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Application Instructions

  • To begin an application for a program, visit MyElonGlobal to search for a program brochure page for which you would like to apply, and then click “apply now” at the top or bottom of the page.
  • You do not need to complete your application in one sitting. To go back to your saved application, log into MyElonGlobal at elon.edu/myglobal.
  • Before completing your online application, read the entire program-specific webpage for the program to which you are applying.
  • Read the application instructions and then submit all required items for a complete application by the application deadline.
    • Each item will be checked off (or marked “N/A”) as you complete it.
    • Once all items are complete, a “submit” button will appear at the top of your application. You must click “submit” for your application to be done and ready for advisor review.
    • If your application requires a recommendation(s), your required recommendation(s) must be REQUESTED rather than RECEIVED in order for you to click “submit.” In other words, you may submit your application even if your recommenders haven’t submitted their recommendations.
    • Once you click “submit,” your application will be date and time stamped, and you will receive email confirmation when your application has been submitted.
    • Applications are reviewed by the criteria specified below.
  • If your application is insufficient (e.g. your Learning Plan responses do not adequately address the prompt), you will be asked by your program advisor to revise and resubmit your application.
    • Upon resubmission, your application will again be date and time stamped — in cases of limited program availability, this timestamp will determine the order in which your application is reviewed.
  • You may apply for only one program per term. Students can request to switch into an available program by submitting a Change Request Form.
  • Information on applying for an Independent Program (IP) or a Non-Elon Programs can be found on the webpages for those types of programs.

Apply Now

Application Essays for Study Abroad: GEC Learning Plan

(for Center, Affiliate and Exchange Programs)

REVISED for summer and fall 2020

Below are the essay prompt questions for all Center, Affiliate, and Exchange study abroad applications. Please use this as a reference if you would like to work on your essay prior to the application being available.

The Global Education Center’s (GEC) mission is to develop and facilitate experiential opportunities for the Elon University community that promote understanding of the self, the world’s peoples and cultures, and that provide a framework for lifelong intercultural learning.

In support of that mission, GEC staff will evaluate the personal learning plan you write below.

The purpose of these questions is to ensure you have selected a program appropriate for your goals and have thoughtfully considered how you will work toward those goals.


  1. Write well. Be concise, employ proper grammar and spelling, and consider the services of the Elon Writing Center before submitting your written work.
  2. Write thoughtfully. Consider interviewing global ambassadors, faculty members, or other advisors to inform your responses.
  3. Write honestly. If you use sources other than your own knowledge and experiences, cite your sources using the citation format with which you are most comfortable. The Elon University Academic Honor Code requirements applies.

1. Intent

Read the following before answering this question:

Global Engagement Student Goals

5 skills employers want that you won’t see in a job ad

Use this rubric to frame your answers appropriately

Tell us how you intend to leverage your time on this program to meet your academic, personal, and professional goals.

Specificity and brevity are encouraged. It’s important for you to say what you need to say, but there are no bonus points for length. We encourage you to write in bullet points or outline format (no more than 500 words).

2. Impact

Read the following before answering this question:

Elon’s definitions of diversity, inclusion, and global engagement

When you participate in study abroad, you and your fellow study abroad students enter into a new community, both with one another and with the members of the community abroad. Your pursuit of the goals you outlined in question one will have an impact on both your fellow students and the local community. With that in mind, how will you embody your interpretation of Elon’s values of diversity, inclusion, and global engagement both among your fellow study abroad students and to your host community?

A good response to this question will address both parts of the question, will show willingness to invest time and energy building community while abroad, will demonstrate familiarity with the program setting, and familiarity with opportunities offered by the program including coursework, student organizations, extracurricular opportunities, and leadership roles that align with diversity, inclusion, and global engagement. Prior engagement with diversity, inclusion, and global engagement on campus will be highly regarded. (No more than 500 words).

3. Cultural Adversity

Read the following before answering this question:

The Seven Dimensions of Culture

On your study abroad program you will encounter adversity, some of which will stem from cultural differences. Select one dimension from the article and answer all of the following questions (no more than 300 words):

1. Recognizing that each dimension is a spectrum rather than an either/or selection, where do you think you personally fall on the spectrum for the dimension you’ve selected? Give examples.

2. Again, recognizing that each dimension is a spectrum and that people vary both on an individual and a cultural level, where do you think your host culture will fall on the spectrum for the dimension you’ve selected? Give examples, being sure to cite your sources.

3. How do you think you will be challenged both personally and academically by the the difference between where you fall and where your host culture falls on this spectrum?

4. How can you prepare yourself for these challenges?

Competitive Programs Supplemental Questionnaire

(for Center, Affiliate and Exchange Programs)

Certain fall programs are likely to hit capacity. Historically, these are the Elon Center in London, the Elon Center in Florence, DIS Study Abroad in Copenhagen, and CIEE programs in Barcelona. Students applying to these programs for fall are asked the following: 

You have chosen to apply to a study abroad program that could have competitive admissions for the fall semester due to program capacity constraints. The information you submit in both this questionnaire and the GEC Learning Plan questionnaire are the primary criteria by which your application will be evaluated against others.

Other criteria such as GPA may be used as a tiebreaker, but GPA beyond meeting the minimum requirement is not a primary point of evaluation. Please read the instructions carefully to ensure that you are putting forth your best application.

In the event that your application is not accepted after the early action period, you will have three days to revise and re-submit your application. At the conclusion of the revision period, your application will be evaluated against other re-submitted applications for admission into the program or to be placed on the waiting list.

You may also change programs during the revision period. Once you notify the GEC that you’d like to change programs by completing a change form in Global Commons 360, you will follow the same revise-and-resubmit process as above. Applications not resubmitted by the conclusion of the revision period, or resubmitted without sufficient revision, will compete with new applications submitted during the rolling period on a first-come first-served basis.

Students who are accepted or waitlisted for a program after either the initial early action period or the revision period may defer to the spring or switch into any open program. Please note that doing so will require some application revision.

I understand that the program I’m applying to may be competitive and that there is a chance I will not be accepted to the program.

I understand that my admission, should I be accepted, is always conditional on my maintaining the minimum required GPA, completing appropriate follow-up in a timely fashion, and attending all mandatory orientations. I also understand that should I fail to do so I risk losing my spot on the program and incurring financial consequences.

I understand that my responses to the GEC Learning Plan questionnaire will be the primary criteria for evaluating my application. Therefore, I will carefully read the instructions and reference materials provided.

What is your backup plan if you don’t get in to this program and why?
Note: it is wise to pick a program that is unlikely to be competitive as your back-up plan; the programs likely to be competitive are London, Florence, Barcelona, and Copenhagen. Note that students are NOT automatically admitted to their back-up option if they are not admitted to their first choice; students must still go through the program change process.

Why are you applying to your program for the fall semester as opposed to the spring? (optional)
Note: This questionnaire is not required, but compelling rationale for studying abroad in the fall can help your application. Please don’t share social considerations (IE all my friends are going abroad).

Application Review

Short-Term Programs

(Winter Term and summer faculty-led programs and semester travel-embedded courses)

Q: How are applications reviewed?

A: In support of Elon University’s goal of 100 percent access to global engagement, we prioritize applications based on whether applicants have previously participated in a study away program through the GEC (this does not include Fellows cohort travel, such as the Honors Fellows first-year program to Italy) and class standing. Accordingly, graduating seniors who have not yet participated in global engagement are given priority.

Applicants must also meet minimum requirements, including the minimum GPA and student conduct standards (i.e. student conduct sanction prohibiting study abroad or Study USA).

In cases where all other eligibility factors are equal, applications are selected in order of GPA.

Select programs require additional application components, such as a research proposal or course prerequisites. Applications for these programs are reviewed also for the strength of these requirements.


Q: I was previously accepted to a Winter Term 2021 program, but it was canceled. Will I automatically be admitted to a Winter Term 2022 program?

A: Applications are reviewed for the term and program for which they are submitted.

Students that previously applied or were accepted to a short-term program (such as a canceled Winter Term 2021 program) must apply again for the current term.

Applications previously accepted to a short-term program (such as a canceled Winter Term 2021 program) are not prioritized above new applications. However, applications are weighed according to class standing and previous global engagement experience — that is, having previously participated on a study abroad or Study USA program. That does NOT include having previously been accepted to — but not participated on — a study abroad or Study USA program (such as a canceled Winter Term 2021 program).

In other words: Rising seniors that have not yet participated in study abroad or Study USA are given first priority.


Q: Does the Global Education Center consider special circumstances?

A: Yes. GEC staff look at special circumstances surrounding the student’s application, graduation plan, or program selection. Students have an opportunity in their application to list circumstances, such as:

– You are a varsity athlete and restricted from studying away any other term

– You will graduate early and are unable to study away after this term

– You have disability or mobility concerns, and the program you’ve selected best accommodates

– You are a member of a special or accelerated academic program, such as a 3+1 dual-degree program or ROTC


Center, Affiliate, and Exchange Programs

Applications are reviewed by the following:

  • Eligibility per program requirements and prerequisites
  • Quality and relevance of application materials
  • Special circumstances
  • GPA

Application Statuses Explained

Application Submitted

You have completed all the application requirements and submitted your application, which is awaiting advisor review. In the Early Action period, your application will be reviewed and your status posted on the decision day (listed from the deadlines webpage). In the Rolling period, your application will be reviewed and your status posted within two weeks of submission.


Your application has been initially approved by the Global Education Center (GEC). Elon’s official approval is granted after the completion of mandatory orientations or pre-departure course and the completion of post-decision requirements. Your final acceptance will come from the affiliate or exchange program.


Your application has been initially accepted by the GEC. Elon’s final acceptance is granted after the completion of mandatory orientations or pre-departure course and the completion of post-decision requirements.

Conditionally Approved or Accepted

The conditional approval or acceptance is based on missing application materials (such as an advisor recommendation) or a question about whether your application satisfies the eligibility requirements for the program (such as GPA). A conditional approval or acceptance might also be assigned for a student conduct violation that the GEC is reviewing with the Office of Student Conduct.

Contact your GEC program manager with any questions on your conditional approval. Your application status will be updated once all conditions are suitably met.

In the meantime, proceed with your application as you would if approved or accepted: Attend mandatory orientations or your pre-departure course and complete on your post-decision requirements.


We received more applications from qualified applicants than we have spaces available on the program. You will be notified by email if a space becomes available for this program. You may elect to remain on the wait list, but we recommend that you also consider one of the many programs still available.

For short-term programs, this also means the program to which you applied is currently waitlisted. This means it is still accepting applications to be added to the waitlist but will be closed if the waitlist hits 40 applicants. Learn more from the status chart.

If you choose to remain on the wait list and a space does not become available, your deposit (if paid) will be automatically credited to your account after the final deadline.

If you want to remain on the wait list and remain eligible for participation in the program, you must attend the orientations for the program. Visit the orientation schedule webpage to see the orientation dates, times, and locations.

Program Waitlist at Capacity

We received more applications than we have spaces available on the program and on the program wait list, which is capped at 40 students.

We cap wait lists at 40 because students beyond that will not be admitted to the program (i.e. 40 or more students would need to withdraw from the program or the wait list in order for additional students to be offered admission).

Instead, students assigned this status are able to switch into an open program by submitting a Change Request Form (linked here). Students that applied during the Early Action period have a special Change Period wherein to submit a Change Request Form before open programs are reopened for the Rolling Period. Learn more from the deadlines webpage.

For short-term programs, this also means the program to which you applied is closed. The program will not accept any further applications, even if student switch out of the program or off of the wait list. Learn more from the status chart.

Revise and Resubmit

Your application was not approved; you will have to take further action in order to be considered. Your GEC program manager will be in touch with additional instructions.

Under Review

Your application needs further action; your GEC program manager will be in contact with you to discuss it further.

Pending – Course Conflict

Your registration for the required one-semester-hour fall prerequisite preparatory seminar presented a course conflict with your existing registration. You must resolve the course conflict in order to apply again for the program, or you may choose to switch into an open program.

Pending – Deferred

You have chosen to defer your application to a future term — this is your new application. We have carried forward from your previous application select requirements. Review and submit any incomplete requirements, such as requesting your advisor recommendation again, and click “submit” to complete your deferred application.