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 Cortney Carlson, Intercultural Learning Coordinator


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?
  • Search through the approved program provider catalogs in the Resource Room in the Office of Intercultural Learning - Prothro Center - Room 233
  • 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

  • Select an appointment slot, or 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 strongly recommended
  • Come to the appointment with several programs that you like, or at least with a country/continent in mind
  • 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


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 clicking “Submit”, print a copy of your provider application and submit it to the Office of Intercultural Learning to add to your file
  • Please note that your study abroad program application may include a Home School Advisor Approval form, or Transcript Approval Form that must be completed by the Office of Intercultural Learning.
    • We will complete it and 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
  • Receive all Southwestern pre-departure forms, along with an explanation of what information is required, and appropriate deadlines


submit southwestern pre-departure forms by deadline

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


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


keep in contact

  • 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