Study abroad takes planning to succeed. The sooner you start preparing to study abroad, the better your experience will probably be. Start the process by following these steps.
- Meet with your Academic Advisor
Discuss your academic goals and graduation requirements with your advisor to ensure that you can successfully fit study abroad into your academic plan.
- Visit Your Study Abroad Office
Each school has different policies for study abroad. Your school may even have different policies for different majors. Meet with your own campus study abroad advisor to find a program that fits your academic, personal, and career goals. If a program or office doesn't exist on your campus, contact Diversity Abroad at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Research Study Abroad Programs
As we've shared, here are hundreds of study abroad programs out there, as well as a plethora of other global opportunities, such as internships abroad, teach abroad, or volunteer abroad programs. Choose a program that fits your academic and personal goals for going abroad. Select the location, program, and time you want to go abroad. Inquire about the diversity related support onsite and what types of scholarships are available. Make sure you feel comfortable with the student services provided and that safety and crisis management are high priorities for the program provider. Still not sure? Read more about how to choose the right program.
- Contact Your Financial Aid Office and Research Funding Opportunities
If you already receive a financial aid package, make an appointment with your financial aid advisor so you know how much of your awards package can be applied towards going abroad. This will vary by institution. Federal and state aid may be used toward study abroad, but some schools place limits on what campus scholarships will cover.
Once you understand how much you may still need to pay out of pocket, do your research and apply early for scholarships, grants or fellowships to help pay for study abroad. Ask your study abroad advisor about what you're eligible for. Contact your academic department about potential funds you can apply towards your program. Visit Diversity Abroad's Scholarships page to learn more about the many diversity, merit and need-based scholarships available for study abroad.
- Apply for Your Passport
Make sure you apply for your passport if you don't already have one! Passport processing can vary depending on how busy your local offices are, and applying early means that you don't have to pay additional fees for rush orders. Plus, obtaining your passport will get you one step closer to making your goals to go abroad a reality!
- Apply for Study Abroad Programs
Study abroad programs fill up quickly. Apply for two or three programs as soon as possible or at least a few months prior to the application deadline. Review the application carefully. If your school is the program’s sponsor, see your study abroad advisor for specific application information. For all other programs, contact the program administrator directly for application questions and deadline.
- Get Study Abroad Courses Approved
Once you've submitted an application, schedule an appointment with your academic or study abroad advisor as soon as possible. Discuss with them what classes you take abroad to make sure that they are all approved before you commit to that program abroad. This will ensure that you get credit for the classes you’ll take abroad.
- Plan Your Budget
Use the estimated fees and student expenses that program providers offer to determine in advance how to maximize your budget abroad. In addition to program cost you must think about your lifestyle and what other fees you may incur abroad (e.g. traveling, souvenirs, dining). These estimates will help you anticipate the cost of living while you are abroad.
- Prepare for An Adventure!
Get ready for a life changing experience on your global program!
Author: Diversity Abroad Community