Students often think they need to fulfill all of their general education requirements before studying abroad, but this is not the case. Many study abroad programs offered through the U of I can easily satisfy general education requirements.
Gen-eds can be fulfilled abroad at any time during your four years at the U of I. Just be sure to consult with an advisor  early about whether the program you’re interested in offers courses that will transfer for gen-ed credit.
Most departments provide their students with 4-year graduation plans (e.g. Chinese majors ) that can be helpful in determining when to take general education courses.
Also keep in mind that your major requirements might dictate when you study abroad. Check out the Major Advising Page  corresponding with your major for more information about when to plan your study abroad experience.