Studying abroad with bad grades


Education is the cornerstone for any society’s development and advancement. It serves as the foundation for the overall framework of human growth. Getting an education outside of one’s native country broadens one’s viewpoint, provides fresh insights and serves as a resume boost when applying for future jobs. 

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. However, there is a belief system that studying abroad is restricted to straight-A students. As a result of this belief, academically struggling students limit themselves to their safe environment. 

Most study abroad programs require a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, and programs accepting students with a GPA under 2.5 are rare. Many students worry that their grades are too low to get into a good Bachelor’s or Master’s degree abroad. They begin to consider how they might increase their GPAs. While the possibilities for individuals with a low GPA may be restricted, study abroad is still feasible through good programs.

There are enough higher education institutions that need A-level grades, which are not reached by all overseas students. Universities might be lenient with program admission criteria if you can demonstrate that you have abilities or experience that compensate for lower grades.

The next question that comes to mind is how this can be accomplished. You can persuade the institution that you have what it takes to join a program by doing the following:

  • Work experience in the field you plan to pursue, such as a six-month internship
  • Volunteering work is also a good plus, especially if done in your (academic) area.
  • perfectly written motivation letter may prove your maturity level and commitment.
  • Short-course certificates
  • Taking a university preparation program. Universities offer foundation training that covers the basic academic knowledge, ensuring you have what you need to enroll in a degree from that university.

With the right research, a strong personal statement, and recommendations from teachers or mentors to offset your grades, you can have one epic experience. There are limited programs with relaxed requirements out there, you just have to know where to look. Below are 9 study abroad programs that accept low GPAs:

9 study abroad programs that accept low GPAs

 IFSA London.

IFSA is one of the finest study abroad programs, providing a one-of-a-kind experience in future-focused learning. Your study abroad experience will be unique, with possibilities to combine coursework with internships or guided research. Travel to London to study politics, economics, business, communication, and other subjects, acquiring knowledge and experience both inside and outside the classroom. If you’re not sure where to begin in the planning process, IFSA’s Global Wayfinder is a great resource for finding the best-fit study abroad program with a 2.0 GPA requirement.

Cairo American University

The American University of Cairo offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to study abroad in Egypt with a low GPA. It’s one of the only study abroad experiences that has no GPA requirement unless you want to partake in a winter research project, for which you must have a 2.0 GPA or higher. You can join one of the university’s short-term study abroad programs for two to three weeks to learn about Egyptian culture, take an Egyptian-Arabic language class, or develop your creative writing skills. 

IFSA Auckland

IFSA provides even more incredible opportunities for students with low GPAs to study abroad. Travel and study at the University of Auckland in New Zealand’s North Island’s largest and most metropolitan metropolis. You’ll combine study with local cultural immersion here, where your time outside of the classroom could be spent on a rugby field, visiting vineyards, hiking snow-capped mountains, or visiting black sand Kiwi beaches, all of which are included in the tuition.  A 2.4 GPA is all that is required.

ISA Study Abroad in Florence

Even if you have a low GPA, study abroad programs through ISA are still possible. Travel to the heart of Tuscany, the birthplace of the Renaissance, for a truly romantic study abroad experience. In Florence, you can embrace your inner artist while studying alongside the influences of Dante, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. With ISA, you can study anything from filmmaking and acting to Italian art, culture, and fashion, and even combine studies with internships and experiential learning opportunities, all while maintaining a 2.5 GPA. In your spare time, you can visit museums, take cooking classes, or relax at a vineyard for the most exquisite wine tasting.

Maximo Nivel

If you are wondering how to study abroad with a low GPA in South or Central America, look no further than Maximo Nivel. This program offers several study abroad options, from history to anthropology to veterinary science, there are many options to study abroad with a low GPA of 2.5. All courses are offered in English, so no need to perfect your Spanish skills before jetting off with Maximo Nivel.

Buenos Aires 

Buenos Aires is the perfect location for students who want to combine adventure with study in a cosmopolitan city. API can take you there, with both full-time and part-time university programs all year round. There is a range of options to study abroad with a low 2.5 GPA, whether you want a Jesuit experience at Universidad del Salvador, dual degree study at Universidad de Belgrano, or a classic liberal arts program at Universidad Torcuato di Tella. There are options for every type of student with API, paired with excellent on-site support from resident directors and host families.

England USAC

USAC is another excellent program for study abroad in London with a low 2.5 GPA requirement. You will find yourself in one of the most diverse, innovative, and historical cities in the world with world-renowned educational institutions. Their options for study abroad with a low GPA include studies in arts and social change at both London Metropolitan University and Imperial College London. Choose from courses all year round, with the most popular occurring in the summer, and even opt to include a four-week internship to top off your experience abroad with USAC.

SAE Barcelona

SAE offers a boutique study abroad and internship program, combining academic, cultural, and professional experience in Barcelona. With this program, you can improve your Spanish skills, gain university credit, and participate in local tours and cultural activities. Courses are taught in both English and Spanish with options to study liberal arts, humanities, business, and entrepreneurship. With SAE Barcelona, you can study abroad with a 2.5 GPA, blending academics with experiential learning.

IFSA Mérida University Program

IFSA offers yet another option for those with a GPA of 2.5 or higher! Their Mexico program also requires four semesters of Spanish for admission, with courses in advanced Spanish, Mexican community and culture, and optional research programs. You will experience the contrast of pre-Hispanic Mayan influence with 21st century Mexico through both your studies and multi-day excursions to Mexico City, San Cristóbal de las Casas, and Chiapas. Top off your studies with a homestay for the ultimate cultural experience.

Do not let the low grade discourage you. Stand up and take control of your life.


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