Study Abroad Countdown

Cornerstone Abroad is a perfect opportunity to gain a global perspective from a wide spectrum of international faculty who will guide and educate students. Your engagement prior to the start of your study abroad semester is vital to your success in securing placement. You are required to attend the below events in addition to a group advising session - early fall semester.  

Key Program Dates (TBD for upcoming Fall 2023 semester):

  • Information sessions
  • Pre-Departure Orientation 

*There will also be social events!


Cornerstone Abroad is a spring semester study abroad opportunity offered exclusively to AU first year students. Cornerstone Abroad allows you to get a jump start on your international education—letting you experience international culture firsthand while supported by AU and international university partners.

Central to the Cornerstone Abroad opportunity is your UK study abroad experience, where you will immerse yourself in British culture and study at one of England’s top universities.

Students must maintain satisfactory academic performance and continue to meet the AU Abroad 2.75 GPA requirement. Students who fall below these requirements prior to going abroad could be withdrawn from Cornerstone Abroad.

In addition, any disciplinary action resulting in probation occurring after your admission into Cornerstone Abroad may result in American University rescinding and revoking your participation and program enrollment. In these cases, students will not receive a refund and will be responsible for any expenses incurred on your behalf prior to the date of withdrawal from the program.

AU Cornerstone has between 25 – 30 students. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.

You can find a breakdown of the cost of the program on the program cost page.

The Cornerstone program is reserved for full time, first year degree-seeking students at AU; therefore, financial aid is available for those who qualify and may be applied to this program. For information about financing options, consult with youruniversity financial aid counselor.

The courses provide students the opportunity for active learning, collaboration, teamwork, and interactive discussions. More information on the program courses is available on the curriculum page.

You have access to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on AU's campus. ASAC can be reached by phone at 202-885-3360. More information about ASAC accommodations and services is available online.

New requests for accommodation should follow the Three-Step process. Once students receive information from AU's ASAC regarding approved accommodations, Cornerstone staff will work with host institution to request accommodations for the semester abroad. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that facilities or support services will be available in the same range and quality as on AU’s campus.

Students will travel to host institution from their "home" state/country.

You will have access to campus facilities. These include computer labs, library, fitness center, resource centers, clubs, campus events, etc.

There will be a pre-departure orientation at AU, as well as an on site orientation at host institution.

All students will need an updated passport that does not expire within 6 months of the start date of the program. Students should make sure their passports are in good condition, as damaged passports can be refused for travel use (at the airport in the US or upon entry in UK). Students who do not have a passport or who need a new passport should apply for one by June.

Students will travel on a Standard Visitor VISA in order to participate in Cornerstone Abroad. This visa allows students to study in the UK for the length of the program. Students will receive more information about the visa process during the fall semester. U.S. citizens under the age of 18 at the beginning of the program will need to provide additional documentation to enter the U.K. on a Standard Visitor Visa.

Housing & Residence Life at AU will assign students to their cohort floor. Students in living-learning communities will room with other students in the same cohort.

University College housing is mandatory for Cornerstone students.

On the host institutions campus, students are assigned to a campus flat/apartment with other Cornerstone Abroad students. All bedrooms are singles.

Students can visit Stonehenge, London, and many more historical sites.

DC law and American University policy states that all students must have health insurance - through their parents or through AU. If you have insurance by way of your parent's plan or your own, you can waive AU Health Insurance through your portal. More information about the Student Health Center and insurance requirements is available on the website.

Students will be enrolled in AU's Emergency Medical Insurance for international travel. However, this only covers students during the program dates and in the country of the program site (and is for emergencies only). Students will have additional medical insurance through Wroxton for healthcare within the United Kingdom.

Veteran Affairs does not allow students to use Yellow Ribbon benefits for study abroad programs.

There is an option to store your things on campus while you are abroad. AU in partnership with UPS offers storage for students who will be away over the spring and summer next year. You can inquire here for more details about this option. 

You are able to add your name to a waitlist by selecting the waitlist option on the UC and Cornerstone Reservation Form. There are no guarantees a spot will open, though you can still be included in University College.