As you explore study abroad and global co-op opportunities, the information below will assist you in making informed decisions and choosing the most suitable program for your global experience.

1. Attend a GEO Information Session

  • GEO information sessions provide a general overview of program offerings, policies, and important timeline information. For information on scheduled information sessions, please see the GEO event calendar.

2. Research Opportunities

3. Meet with GEO

  • Meet with either a Global Experience Coordinator or GEO Peer Advisor: In addition to the information sessions, students going on Study Abroad or Dialogue of Civilizations programs are advised to meet with a Global Experience Coordinator or Peer Advisor, either by appointment or during walk-in hours. GEO will work with students who are on co-op or otherwise unable to attend information sessions or walk-in hours to schedule alternative meeting times. To schedule a meeting, please use the online appointment calendar, located under the Self-Service tab of myNEU. Please note that each program has its own application forms and requirements and all students are required to complete an online GEO application.

4. Contact Other NU Resources

  • Since your global experience touches on many facets of your academic career at Northeastern, please meet with your advisors as necessary, including your faculty advisor, co-op coordinator, financial aid advisor, and disability coordinator if applicable. Additionally, all study abroad students must meet with their academic advisor to review course selections before going abroad.

5. Start Gathering Application Documents

  • Required documents may include a copy of your passport, letter of recommendation, a personal statement, passport-sized photos, and/or a medical report.

6. Submit Application or Apply

  • Study Abroad Programs: Submit Application materials to GEO before the application deadline. Please refer to your program specific page to see where application material should be sent. GEO will send only complete applications to host institutions for evaluation. Programs are on a first come, first serve basis and may have limited available spots.
  • Dialogue of Civilizations Programs: A submitted GEO application by the priority deadline guarantees that an application will be reviewed by the faculty leader.  Programs are submit to close at anytime after the priority deadline in November and up until the final deadline on February 1st.   

7. Attend a Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation

  • GEO requires all students embarking on a global experience to attend a pre-departure orientation session. These sessions cover important material to prepare you for your upcoming global experience. For information on scheduled pre-departure orientations, please see the GEO event calendar.

1. Attend a Global Co-op Information Session

  • Co-op Coordinators host college-specific information sessions that provide a general overview of the global co-op process, resources, and timeline information. For information on scheduled information sessions, please contact your Co-op Coordinator.

2. Research Opportunities  

  • Students who wish to participate in global co-op are advised to  research current global co-op positions available to Northeastern students through the NuCareers portal. Students can also view co-op opportunities that Northeastern students have previously participated in on the GEO website.

3. Meet with your Co-op Coordinator

  • In addition to the information sessions, students interested in  global co-op are advised to meet with their Co-op Coordinator by appointment to receive all the necessary information regarding the global co-op process. This step is required before contacting the Global Experience Office for visa or application related information.

4. Begin the GEO Global Co-op Application

  • GEO requires that all students participating in global co-op complete the online global co-op application. This application portal serves as a checklist for students from the time when you meet with your Co-op Coordinator up until embarking on your global experience. Please note that the completion of the online GEO Global Co-op Application is required by all students who participate in global co-op but is not the application for securing a global co-op position.
  • Part I: The first part of this application should be filled out when a student is interested in participating in global co-op. This is the platform where students will complete the following steps:
    • Sign international agreements.
    • Fill out personal and academic information.

5. Secure your Global Co-op Position

  • Apply to global co-op positions on NUcareers. For questions regarding securing your global co-op position, please reach out to your Co-op Coordinator.

6. Contact Other NU Resources

  • Visa Support and Guidance: Please contact your Co-op Coordinator who can refer you to the GEO Mobility Team who can provide you with visa guidance and support based on your global co-op placement. For general information on visas and passports, please visit our Visa and Passport Information page.
  • Additional College-Specific Requirements: Please consult with your Co-op Coordinator to review any additional college-specific requirements related to global co-op such as additional sessions, preparation requirements, polls or surveys, etc.
  • Other Resources: Since your global experience touches on many facets of your academic career at Northeastern, please meet with your advisors as necessary, including your Academic Advisor, Financial Aid Advisor, Disability Coordinator, and any other resources, if applicable.

7. Attend a Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation

  • GEO requires all students embarking on a global experience to attend a pre-departure orientation session. These sessions cover important material to prepare you for your upcoming global experience. For information on scheduled pre-departure orientations, please see the GEO event calendar.

8. Complete the GEO Global Co-op Application

  • Part II: The second part of the GEO Global Co-op Application should be filled out when a student is committed to a global co-op position. This portion of the application serves as a checklist for students with information regarding the various pre-departure tasks that must be completed before going abroad. Prior to the start of the global co-op term, students must complete the following:
    • Complete the information session survey.
    • Verify that you have attended a mandatory GEO pre-departure orientation and complete the online survey.
    • Verify that you have contacted the GEO Mobility Team for information regarding visa support and guidance.
    • Find out more information regarding the international travel petition process, international student travel, on-campus housing release, the presidential global scholarship, the international travel registry, and other online resources, if applicable.

Prepare and manage expectations for your experience abroad.

Proper preparation and management of expectations can help to make transitions and cultural adjustment much easier.

Language Skills

Language skills can be a valuable asset for your global experience. Here are some options for brushing up or honing your foreign language skills:

  • Traditional language classes at Northeastern
  • NUCALLS (Northeastern University Cultural and Learning Language Society), which provides accelerated language learning classes
  • Online and software-based language instruction, such as Rosetta Stone or DuoLingo

Research Your Destination

Researching your destination can provide valuable insight into cultural norms and practices, which can help you adjust more easily. Websites such as the U.S Department of State country pages and resources such as Globe Smart can help you prepare.

Talking to Alumni

Get in touch with as many alumni as possible. To contact with alumni from several different programs, contact the Global Experience Office at .

Ignorance is No Excuse

  • Know the rules of conduct — cultural, civil, and criminal — before you go.
  • Be respectful. Assume that what is appropriate speech and behavior in the U.S. is also appropriate in your host country.
  • Remember you are the guest, so you need to be sensitive to your hosts, not vice versa.
  • A good rule of thumb is to carefully observe what the locals do and, when in doubt, ask.

Drugs & Alcohol

  • Don’t do it! The majority of accidents and deaths overseas involve drugs & alcohol. If you carry or use illegal drugs, you will be subject to the laws and penalties of the country in which you are visiting, and in most cases, they will be more severe than in the U.S. They will not care if you are a U.S. citizen; they will not care if it was just a small amount; and there will be nothing that the U.S. government or your family will be able to do for you. The average jail sentence worldwide for a drug conviction is 7 years, and that does not include the length of time you will sit in jail waiting for a trial.
  • Being abroad, you will be less able to discern the safety of your environment and the trustworthiness of the people around you. This makes you even more susceptible to problems, such as theft and assault, when under the influence.


  • Always be aware of your surroundings and use the street-smart senses you have developed by living in Boston.
  • Always keep your valuables (passport, money, credit card) in a safe place when at school and wear them in a money belt when touring.

Political Violence

  • Going to a political “hot spot” may sound exciting in the abstract, but it is not worth your life.
  • Pay attention to U.S. travel advisories and school warnings. They are policy for a reason.
  • Avoid demonstrations. What appears peaceful can suddenly change into a dangerous situation, and you could become caught in the middle.

Sexual Harassment

  • When living in a different culture, you can’t expect that relations between genders will follow American traditions and rules.
  • Be advised that men from other cultures may mistake friendliness for romantic interest. In many other cultures, it is acceptable for men to approach women, even touch them, without permission — especially if the woman is “western.” Some ways to avoid this are by dressing conservatively or adopting local dressing habits. Avoid walking alone or meeting a person you do not know well in a non-public place.
  • Do not travel alone. In some countries, an unaccompanied woman is an open invitation.


  • Safety video suggestion.
  • Learn the local traffic customs and signs. Traffic accidents are actually the number one cause of injury and death among international travelers.
  • Do not operate a motor vehicle of any kind while abroad.
  • Be cautious even when using public transportation, and never get in a vehicle you suspect will not safely make it to your destination. Avoid overnight transport, which in many countries has become a target for crime.
  • Do not hitchhike.

Legal Rights & Issues

  • The best advice is to know and obey the laws of your host school and country.
  • Should you find yourself in legal difficulty, contact your program coordinator or a consular officer immediately. They cannot serve as your legal counsel but they can provide you with a list of local attorneys who speak English, advise you of your rights under local laws, ensure that you are held under humane conditions, and verify that you are treated fairly under local law.
  • Under international law, you have the right to talk to the U.S. consul if you are detained. If you are denied this right, be persistent and try to get someone else to contact the consulate.
  • Legal protections, taken for granted in the U.S., are nonexistent in some other countries. You may be “presumed guilty until proven innocent,” denied bail, and detained until trial.

GEO hosts a mandatory pre-departure orientation for all students going abroad. During this orientation, important information will be addressed. A general list of topics includes:

  • Health and safety concerns while abroad
  • Emergency contact information
  • Important on-site information as it pertains to your specific destination
  • Withdrawal policy
  • Financial costs
  • What to expect once abroad/culture shock and about re-entering the U.S. at the end of your program