Find out whether the country(ies) you intend to visit require visas.  Once you have your passport in hand, keep in mind that securing a visa may further extend your timeline, so plan accordingly.


Language Preparation:   It is never too early to begin language courses if you want to study in a non-English speaking country.  Some programs mandate prior language study for all participants.  Although there are typically program options in both English and the native language of the host country, most students report an enhanced experience when they are able to interact using the local language.


Explore Program Options:  Start researching programs that meet your budget, course requirements, personal interests, and career goals.  Your advisor may have suggestions or contacts for you, including other students who have previously studied abroad.


Academic Requirements:  Be sure to confirm with your advisor how study abroad options track with your academic requirements and intended graduation date.  Keep in mind that some courses are only offered once per year or must be taken in sequence.  Some students choose to go abroad during the summer or to delay graduation to accommodate time away from campus.  Ideally, you should have answers to all your questions at least one month before you start any study abroad application process.


Housing Arrangements: If you live on campus, you must notify the appropriate officials of your plan to spend a semester abroad. Find out how to plan for housing arrangements upon your return semester.


Financial Planning: As you research and budget for your time abroad, allow for travel, tuition & fees, accommodations, insurance, food, and supplies.  If you receive financial aid, meet with a financial aid representative to be sure you understand how that aid relates to study abroad costs and to file any necessary paperwork.  If you plan to use a credit card during the time you are away, notify your bank and doublecheck whether your banking network has overseas access options.


Medical Coverage:  Plan to meet with a medical travel specialist or visit a travel clinic to be sure your vaccinations are up to date and to determine whether you need any new ones.


It is also important to confirm whether your current medical insurance coverage applies while you are overseas and whether supplemental coverage is recommended.




Steps to Study Abroad