Preparing to Study Abroad

Selecting a Program

Peruse the ABA lists of study abroad opportunities. Note that ABA-approved study abroad programs are generally conducted by U.S. law faculty cooperating with foreign law schools. Consider the topic as well as the location. Tuition costs are typically comparable to one semester at Pitt Law.

Arranging for credit at Pitt

1. Obtain a letter of good standing and/or permission to take summer courses. This letter is usually required when applying for a study abroad program.

If you are planning to develop your program of study abroad, i.e., not participating in a program already approved by the ABA, you should schedule a meeting with CILE at least three months before the beginning of the intended term to obtain the necessary forms and discuss the process for obtaining Pitt credit and ABA approval for individual study abroad. You will subsequently need to meet with Professor Brand about your plans.

2. If you plan to use any financial aid for your study abroad program, contact Meme Jeffries, Director of Financial Aid. A minimum course load of 5 credits is required to obtain a student loan for summer study. Know how your financial aid will be processed, payment made, and refund sent well before you leave the country.

3. When you return from your trip and before graduation, obtain an official transcript with your course grades from the sponsoring university. This is then submitted to the Registrar to verify the study abroad credits (contract) or complete the transfer of credits (waiver & release form).  

    Safety Issues

    The University's Study Abroad Office publishes a handbook of health and safety information.

    According to these guidelines, students traveling to "heightened risk" destinations must read the State Department's warning about their destination and then "must sign a release, acknowledging the existence of the travel warning and his/her decision to continue with the planned activity despite that warning, and releasing the University from liability for injuries or losses suffered by the student while participating in the activity."

    When the State Department travel warning "forbids, restricts, or otherwise urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to a certain country," students cannot travel there under the University of Pittsburgh's auspices. They cannot receive funding for their trips.