How to Study Abroad: 6 Steps for a Seamless Process
Ready to make your dream to go overseas a reality? If you’re not sure how to study abroad, follow these steps to get organized and start your journey.
Step 1: Find the right study abroad program for you.
With so many study abroad program options available, it can be challenging to make a decision. AIFS is here to help from the very start! First, be sure to consider your academic focus and location.
Does the program offer courses that will help you move closer towards your academic goals? Review the sample lists of course offerings for an idea of the classes you may take in that particular program. You will also want to set up a time to chat with the study abroad office and/or your Academic Advisor at your home institution to discuss credit transfer ahead of time.
If you are not sure where you want to study abroad, narrow down your options a bit by asking yourself general questions like:
- Am I looking for a big city experience?
- Am I looking to improve my foreign language skills?
- Do I prefer an English-speaking country?
Be sure to use all your resources. Ask your friends who have studied abroad why they chose their program location. You can also talk to any of us at the AIFS office who can why other students choose certain locations or her own experience choosing a program. You can also connect with AIFS alumni to get a better sense of their experience and why they chose their specific program.
AIFS Study Abroad offers programs in the Spring, Fall, Summer and Winter term. Knowing when you want to study abroad can have a big impact on where you study abroad.
Step 2: Talk to your family about studying abroad.
It’s never too early to your interest in studying abroad with your family. The sooner you start the conversation, the sooner all their questions can be addressed. The AIFS website has a section for parents that covers safety abroad, program dates, program fees, benefits of studying abroad, and more. Find some time to sit down and chat with your family so you can begin planning your study abroad journey.
Step 3: Discuss your study abroad options with your school.
Make an appointment with your academic advisor to ensure your courses and credits are approved for transfer. It is important to be aware that your home university may also have specific steps that they require you to follow on their side.
Step 4: Organize your study abroad funding.
Are you receiving financial aid? Meet with the financial aid office on your home university’s campus to see if the funds you receive are applicable to your semester abroad. View scholarship and grant opportunities that you may be eligible for. Over 50% of our study abroad participants receive financial support through AIFS in the form of scholarships or grants.
Step 5: Submit your study abroad application.
Complete the online application for the study abroad program of your choice! This process has a few steps, and does take some time to complete, so be sure to get started as soon as you are ready.
Step 6: Prepare for your departure
Apply for or renew your passport as soon as possible. Your passport is absolutely essential to your trip abroad. It is vital that you read all of the information provided to you by your AIFS Admissions Officer, as you may need to apply for a student visa, depending on your study abroad program location.
Now that you know how to study abroad and what the process is, visit www.aifsabroad.com to start your application!