Study Abroad Guide

Reasons to Study Abroad

  • Study abroad allows you to earn credits toward your major
  • Study abroad is the optimal way to learn a language
  • Study abroad provides the opportunity to travel
  • Study abroad allows you to get to know another culture first-hand
  • Study abroad will help you develop skills and give you experiences a classroom setting will never provide
  • Study abroad affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world
  • Study abroad helps you to learn about yourself
  • Study abroad expands your worldview
  • Study abroad gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic routine
  • Study abroad enhances employment opportunities
  • Study abroad can enhance the value of your degree

Before Studying Abroad

Which Study Abroad Program is Right for Me? PDF
Why Do I Want to Study Abroad? PDF

  • Meet with your advisors:
    • Study abroad advisor - She/He can tell you what you need to know and who you need to see. Their job is to make sure you are prepared for your experience and that you will gain the most from your study abroad program.
    • Academic advisor - Many universities provide an academic contract, which is your insurance as to the credit you'll receive upon return form overseas. Your academic advisor can tell you what type of credit you're likely to receive and how it will fit into your overall degree.
    • Financial aid advisor - Most study abroad participants utilize some form of financial aid for their experience. The most common aid used for study abroad is student loans.
  • Get a passport
    • You can apply for a passport at post offices, and county and municipal offices. Apply several months before you leave, especially if you need visas from foreign embassies. You must apply in person if you are obtaining your first U.S. passport, if your old one was lost or stolen, or if you have an expired passport issued more than 12 years ago. Otherwise, you can renew your passport by mail. To apply for a passport, you first need to complete application form dsp-11, which you can pick up anywhere you can apply for a passport or check the Passport section of the US State Department Website.
    • When you apply, bring proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified birth certificate, a naturalization certificate, a consular report of birth abroad, a previous passport, or a certificate of citizenship. You must also bring proof of identity, such as a driver's license, a current student or work id, or an old passport. Your social security card is not considered proof of your identity, but you must be able to supply the number. You will also need two 2"x2" photos of yourself taken in the past six months.

      As soon as you receive your passport, make a copy of the front page that has all your identification information, and keep it in a separate place from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, the copy will make it easier to get a new one.
  • Get a visa
    • Do some research and find out if your country of destination requires a visa. If so what kind of visa will you need? Sixty percent of the world's countries require visas for any length of stay. If you travel, you may need visas for other countries. Apply early for visas. processing time varies widely.
  • Get your shots
    • The Center for Disease Control offers the most up-to-date information regarding vaccinations and shots. You should also consult your doctor.
  • Consider a phone card
    • Do a little research and find out how you'll be communicating with your people back home.
  • Get insured
    • Make sure you have a comprehensive travel insurance.  Your coverage should include medical evacuation and repatriation. 
  • Develop a budget
    • Consider the in-country costs before you go. You should develop a budget and live by it. Consider the costs of optional excursions, gifts, school supplies, internet access, in-country transportation and general living costs.
  • Learn about your destination
    • One of the ways to have a better experience is to have realistic expectations. Read everything you can about your future home to minimize culture shock.
  • Pack light
    • Pack light! Research your destination in advance, find out what kind of items you must bring and find out what items you can purchase locally.

Living Abroad

Orientations and Arrangements

Health and Adjustments



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