Can you envision yourself spending a semester at one of Rome’s finest universities, visiting the Colosseum and indulging in some authentic gelato every night? If you answered “yes,” you sound ready to study abroad. But, how do you make this vision become a reality? Here are some steps detailing how to apply to study abroad programs.
After deciding whether you want to go abroad for a semester or full year, the first step is to begin researching the countries that pique your interest and their universities. Check with your school’s study abroad office to see what types of study abroad programs are offered, which colleges/universities you can easily attend and whether you are eligible to apply. You most likely can study abroad regardless of your year in school. Next, schedule an appointment with your advisor to determine whether you can get academic credit for classes abroad, which classes you still need to take and if you will still be able to graduate on time.
Once your program choices are narrowed down, it is time to apply to the study abroad programs. Depending on your school, you may be required to submit an application form and recommendation letters. Check with your study abroad office to see exactly what you will need in order to apply. Also, make sure to note application deadlines immediately. If you happen to miss a cut-off date, talk to your study abroad office.
Now, it is time to sit back and be patient. You may not receive an acceptance letter for several weeks or months. Once you have been approved, take time to consider your choice before notifying a school. If you need some help funding your trip, talk with your school’s financial aid office and study abroad program to see what grants, loans and scholarships are available.
However, if your university does not provide a study abroad program that interests you, online services, such as www.aifsabroad.com and www.iesabroad.org, are easily accessible. Scholarships can also be found on such sites, and most applications can be submitted with the click of a mouse.