Study Abroad


How does the academic aspect work?

Cru provides for and directs your mission experience, while other organizations coordinate your academics. This strategy gives you more flexibility and helps to ensure that you return with the highest possible number of credits toward your degree.

When applicable, we will direct you to a specific university that is most strategic for ministry, and we often recommend a certain study abroad provider as well. If not, you can choose the program or university that best fits your needs. Please note that it is your responsibility to manage the academic aspects of your trip, applying separately to Cru Study Abroad as well as an independent academic program.

How many credits can I earn?

Typically, students earn 12-16 credit hours.

What classes can I take?

Class offerings vary significantly by location ranging from language acquistion to a full menu of major-specific courses. Check your desired location’s page, research academic programs at the school where you plan to study, and talk with a representative at your university’s study abroad office for more information.

What does a typical week look like?

It will be very similar to a week on your home campus: classes, studying, spending time with friends, Bible study, etc. Oh, and exploring an exciting new city and culture! Plus, you will actively engage in ministry activities, receive personal development from a coach, and share your faith throughout the week.

What will ministry look like?

Studying abroad makes you a true insider on your campus and gives you an incredible opportunity to share the gospel in very relational ways. You can look forward to building intentional friendships, having meaningful spiritual conversations, and helping launch new movements of believers! Plan to spend about 10-15 hours per week on ministry-related activities.

Here is a general overview of how you will focus your time during your semester:

  • First few weeks: Learn about your new campus and pray for opportunities to reach your peers.
  • Throughout the semester: Build natural relationships and initiate spiritual conversations.
  • Before leaving: Share the gospel with new friends.
  • After returning home: Remain connected with students you befriended and continue to pray for them.

Will I receive any discipleship or development?

Yes! When you study abroad on mission with Cru, it’s not just about serving and studying. Throughout the semester, your team leader will guide you through our Study Abroad Playbook filled with valuable articles, exercises and assignments geared specifically toward helping students like you have a great semester walking with Jesus and sharing your faith while overseas! Your training will focus on five key areas:

  1. Love the Lord
  2. Live in Community
  3. Launch a Movement
  4. Learn a New World
  5. Excel Academically

Your team leader will also be there to care for, encourage, and pray for you personally throughout your time abroad and you can look forward to being challenged and encouraged in your faith.

How long will this program be?

You will be gone for one semester (about four months in most cases). Note that some countries have schedules that are different from ours. Check your specific location’s page for exact dates.

Can I recruit my friends to go with me?

ABSOLUTELY! What better way is there to spend a semester of your college experience than studying abroad on mission in an awesome location with your friends? Grab your buddies and go!

What if you aren’t sending a team where I want to study abroad?

Check out our “Go Anywhere” page! In order to open the door as wide as possible for as many students as possible, we have created a great way for you to join with us, even if you don’t go with a physical team.

What is a good timeline for planning to study abroad?

Some students begin the process a year or more in advance, but that timeline can be shortened if necessary. We recommend you start planning right away!

Sample schedule:

  • 6-12 months out: Explore options, meet with your academic advisor and ask the Lord for guidance.
  • 4-8 months out: Decide where to go and commit to being on mission while you study abroad.
  • 3-6 months out: Apply separately to Cru Study Abroad and your academic program.
  • After acceptance: Prepare for your trip logistically, academically and spiritually.

How much does a study abroad semester cost?

Check each location page for general cost estimates for our existing locations. You can also research a specific exchange program or study abroad provider for more detailed information.

How do I pay for a semester studying abroad on mission with Cru?

You can pay for your study abroad the same ways you would pay for any other study abroad program or a semester at your home university: personal funds, loans and scholarships. Except in cases where the additional cost of doing ministry is high, you will not raise financial support to cover your expenses. In almost all cases, you will pay your academic provider, university, or exchange program directly.

Who can be accepted to this program?

You must be at least in your fourth semester to study abroad with Cru. Therefore, you may apply during your third term as long as you meet your program’s GPA requirements. Also, Cru prefers to send students with at least some evangelism experience. Check with your specific study abroad program for any added requirements.

Do students have to be involved with Cru at my home university?

No! All missionally-minded students are welcome to join us and strongly encouraged to apply.

What is the application process like?

If you have applied for a Cru Summer Project, this process will be very familiar to you. You will complete an online application and provide contact information for references. After reviewing your application and references, we will contact you by phone to get to know you a bit and later notify you regarding your acceptance. We will then help you walk through the process of applying to your host university. If you have ever applied for a Cru Summer Project, this process will be very familiar to you.

Note: You must apply separately through a qualified academic program or direct exchange through your university.

When can I apply?

Applications typically open six to eight months prior to the semester of study and application deadlines vary. Please check your location page for more information.

Visit the specific location page you want and click the “apply now” button to apply online.

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