Many students dream of studying abroad, but not all of them actually do. It can be a long process and a lot of work to study abroad, but it is all worth it in the end! Check out my Five Steps to Help You Apply for Study Abroad to make the process as smooth as possible.
There are many questions to answer prior to applying for study abroad. Before you apply, you should know how your study abroad trip will fit into your degree plan, the type of program, the location, and, if doing a Transfer Credit program, the study abroad company. Once you know all of this, you are ready to apply! This is the easiest step because there are few decisions to be made and the application process has step by step instructions.
If you are doing a Faculty-Led or Exchange program, your application process may be a little different from mine, but these tips can still be helpful! With a Transfer Credit program, you will most likely need to apply to study abroad with your school and with the study abroad company. Here are a few of my tips to making the application process a little easier.
Gather any Necessary Documents
There will probably be lots of documents to be read and signed. Gather all of these as soon as possible and print them out. In addition to your application documents, don’t forget about your passport! If you already have one, check the expiration date as you may need to renew it.
Plan One Day to get Everything Signed
For my study abroad application with the school, I needed to get a packet signed by two different department advisors and the dean. I took one day to make all the necessary appointments and get it done. Afterwards, I was able to turn it into the study abroad office. It was a long day on campus, but it was nice to have it all over with in one day!
Communicate with Your Advisors
Your advisors are there to help you so be sure to utilize them. I am constantly sending emails to my department advisor, my school’s study abroad advisor, and my company’s study abroad advisor. They are there to help you and will happily answer any questions you have!
Set Deadlines for Yourself
Both the school and study abroad company have deadlines for all of the paperwork. However, the deadline for me is in the middle of the semester. I get busy during the semester, so I planned to get all of the paperwork done before school starts. It’s really helpful to get it all done early. That way, you won’t have to stress about it and can focus on other things, like school work or scholarships.
Don’t miss out on your study abroad adventure because you lost a paper or missed a deadline! I have three main tips for staying organized. The first is to get a folder and store all of your paperwork in that. My second is to write down all the important due dates and the deadlines you set for yourself in a planner. Last, but not least, make a checklist of each thing you need to do during the application process. Not only does this keep you organized, but crossing an item off the list always feels good!