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Student Athletes & Education Abroad

CU Boulder Education Abroad supports our student athletes! An increasing number of collegiate athletes are studying abroad and there are ways for you to make it happen.

Check out this video and read on to find out more!

Playing my sport while abroad with the locals was great and added to my experience. I was able to see how important soccer was all over central and South America while enjoying the local spin they put on the game. — Division I soccer player & Semester at Sea participant 2012

Did you Know?

  • CU Dept. of Athletics partnered with CU Education Abroad to provide recommendations for when to go abroad.
  • Short programs are available, like May term, summer (over 100 programs available!), and winter break.
  • You can go abroad after your NCAA eligibility ends, but before you graduate. For example, in the past, fall season athletes studied abroad the spring of their final year.

Benefits and opportunities:

  • Join a local team or training facility, which provides a unique opportunity to engage in a local community.
  • Experience a new environment, which can enhance your training as well as improve your ability to react and adapt on and off the field.
  • Return with valuable experiences and skills that not only benefit you, but will also benefit your teammates.
  • Gain some perspective on planning for life after college.

You are Ready!

  • Translate skills you’ve already learned through cooperating with a team towards education abroad and vice versa.
  • Sports teach skills like responsibility and independence - both of which are absolutely useful abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is possible to fit education abroad in, even with demanding athletic schedules. The key to a successful education abroad experience is early planning, with the approval of your coach and the help of your academic advisor(s), the Education Abroad office, and others. Consult the useful Education Abroad Timing by Sport guide to get started.

Many athletes are able to mirror the routines they established at home while studying abroad. You can research exercise facilities and consider joining local teams. Even if neither of these is available, there are other ways to continue conditioning. Watch what the locals do- one option could be running outdoors, which is a great way to familiarize yourself with the city.

Starting a dialogue with your coach and teammates is key to being able to reintegrate after a term abroad. Your coach will be able to provide suggestions about how to maintain rank or place on your team. Communicating with your teammates through Facebook, email, or Skype is a great way to stay connected so you can still feel as though you are part of the team.

Yes! Many athletes are able to go abroad by participating in shorter programs during the summer, winter, or even during fall or spring semesters. Your coach can help you decide which time works best with your sport(s).

In addition to CU Boulder scholarships, program-specific and region-specific scholarships, athletes are encouraged to apply for education abroad scholarships for athletes. Check out the Finances section.

How do I get started?

See Get Started for your next steps and use the program search to explore programs, including terms and lengths (i.e. a 3 week summer program). We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your goals and plans!

Sources: "Broadening Your Playing Field: How Some Student Athletes Are Reaching Their Next Goal in Another Country - And Why You Can Too"


ISA Abroad: We Are Study Abroad, published on June 19, 2013