Steps to Study Abroad


Attend a Study Abroad Info Session

  • Find out your responsibilities
  • Find out the guidelines for studying abroad
  • Possibly schedule an advising appointment with Tisha Temple, Director of Intercultural Learning or Matthew Slaten, Study Abroad Specialist


Research Study Abroad

  • Think about your goals for studying abroad
    • What do I want to learn
    • What academic requirements do I still nee do fulfill: major, minor, general education, general electives
      • What courses must be taken at Southwestern
      • What courses may be taken abroad
    • How important is learning a language
    • Do I want an academic internship
    • What are my non-academic goals: personal and/or professional
    • Do I want to volunteer while abroad
    • In what region of the world do I want to be
    • Do I want to be in a big city or a small town
    • Geographically within my choice country/ies, where do I want to be: on the coast, in the mountains, on the plains
    • What is the weather like in my choice city/ies during the term I will be abroad
    • What does the city have to offer outside of the classroom that I’m interested in : outdoor activities, cultural activities, etc.
    • Where do I want to live; in a homestay, apartment, residence hall
    • In what type of academic environment do I want to study; do I want to study in a university, academic center, with locals, with international students, with SU students
  • Browse the Office of Intercultural Learning’s website:
  • Search through the approved program provider catalogs in the Resource Room in the Office of Intercultural Learning - Prothro Center - Room 233
  • Look at the IIE  Passport Books
  • Research online
  • Talk to your academic advisor
  • Talk to your family
  • Prepare a timeline
  • Look at your budget


Conduct an initial appointment with the office of intercultural learning

  • Email the Office of Intercultural Learning to schedule an appointment:
    • Make an appointment early - 2 semesters prior to the semester/term during which you’d like to study abroad is recommended
  • Come to the appointment with several programs that you like,l or at least with a country/continent in mind
  • Bring a copy of your degree plan and a copy of your financial aid award letter to the appointment
  • Think about your goals for study abroad


hold follow-up advising appointments

  • Schedule as needed
  • These appointments will help you to narrow down your choice of country, city, provider, and program
  • If you do not do the aforementioned research ahead of time, you will likely need additional follow-up appointments…and thus, may not be able to study abroad during the semester/term during which you originally intended


complete and submit the appropriate su study abroad application

  • Access the appropriate SU Study Abroad Application:
  • Print and complete the application accordingly
  • Turn in your SU Study Abroad Application to the Office of Intercultural Learning by the appropriate deadline:
    • Fall semester study abroad = March 1st
    • Spring semester study abroad = October 1st
    • Summer term study abroad = February 1st
  • Must be complete
    • Large number of applications each semester
    • Lots of traffic through the office


Complete and submit the approved program provider application (once approved)

  • If studying abroad with a program provider
  • Access, complete, and submit your program provider’s online application via their website
  • Just before, or right after, clicking “Submit”, print a copy of your provider application and submit it to the Office of Intercultural Learning to add to your file
    • If there is ever any problem with the program missing a piece, we will have a backup copy for you
  • Drop off the study abroad advisor form part of your application to the Office of Intercultural Learning
    • We will complete it and scan/email it to your provider


Attend pre-departure ORIENTATION

  • You are REQUIRED to attend the orientation:
    • 2 orientations for semester study abroad
    • 1 orientation for summer study abroad
  • General information and suggestions
  • All Southwestern pre-departure forms: pre-departure form, transfer credit form, health insurance form, consortium agreement, release of financial aid, transcript release, transcript request, SU course selection sheet, verification of enrollment, financial aid and scholarship info, useful websites
    • Why you fill these out
    • Who they are for
    • Form deadlines
  • Opportunity to talk with study abroad alumni


submit southwestern pre-departure forms by deadline

  • Please start working on these as soon as possible
  • Need various signatures and these individuals are not always readily available


submit program provider pre-departure forms by deadlines (if studying abroad with a program provider)


keep in contact

  • We understand the Southwestern requirements, and we know what it is like to live abroad
  • Registration difficulties
  • Credit approval questions
  • Culture shock
  • Interesting stories or photos


study abroad

  • Work hard, play hard, be safe, and have fun



  • Helps future study abroad students to select a program
  • Helps us to discontinue using a program if there are too may problems or to suggest it if there is great feedback
  • You are REQUIRED to fill this out after you return