10 Steps to Study Away

  1. Get information. Begin to plan at least one year before you intend start your international learning program or domestic study away. Visit the Office of International Programming and Study Away to explore your options and determine which program is best for you.
  2. Save money. You should have funds available so you can take advantage of experiences that are not included as part of your program. Create a savings plan; secure a job and save for your study away experience. Before you travel, set up an online bank account so you can manage your money while you’re away. Tell your bank and credit card companies you'll be studying away. If you don’t, your card may be flagged for fraudulent use and your account may be locked.
  3. Organize and prioritize. Consider which academic requirements (major, minor, core and/or elective) you plan to fulfill. Determine the term length that is most suitable for your major.  Explore locations and costs. Consider an internship abroad to gain work experience and professional knowledge in your field of study. Think about your long-term academic and professional goals, as well as your degree requirements.
  4. Apply. Program application requirements vary, but they usually include an application form, official academic transcript, essay and faculty recommendation. Typically, students are admitted if they meet the minimum requirements.
  5. Be proactive. Don't delay in submitting your full application. If you plan to use federal financial aid, it is your responsibility to understand how it works for study abroad and complete the Student/Adviser Agreement to gain approval for credit toward your degree program well in advance. Be prepared to pay costs up front, often before loan funds are disbursed. Students are responsible for paying the program costs directly to their program provider.
  6. Solidify your academic plan. If applicable, review courses you plan to take during your study away experience with your faculty adviser. Your adviser can assist you in completing the Student/Adviser Agreement form.
  7. Prepare. Order your passport and apply for a visa, if necessary. Book your flight and check with your program provider about packing, arrival on-site, health and safety, communication, money matters, and cultural adjustment. Learn as much as you can about the history, customs and culture of the location you will be visiting. (The U.S. State Department has useful information for international travelers, including details about enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).) If you’re traveling abroad, learn a few phrases in the local language. Make a plan for communicating with home while you’re away. Practice being as open-minded as possible so you can get the most from your learning experience.
  8. Ask questions.It is better to be well informed and prepared for your study abroad or domestic student exchange experience. The State Department has helpful information for students abroad. Don’t hesitate to contact your program provider and/or the Office of International Programming and Study Away. We're here to help!
  9. Do NOT miss deadlines. Create a calendar and be sure to meet all application, deposit, payment and program-specific deadlines. Submit necessary paperwork early, so you have more time to learn about where you will be studying.
  10. Record your experience. Many students take the time to photograph and write about their study away learning experience. Your words and images will help you to remember your study away experience in the years ahead.