Study Abroad

Current Students

Are you a current SU student interested in studying abroad? Congrats! We believe that immersing yourself in another culture is one of the best ways to expand your horizons. We are dedicated to assisting you every step of the way. From advising to application, pre-departure, on-site experiences, and re-entry, we’re here to make your intercultural experiences and meaningful and impactful as possible.


Meaghan Bellande

Meaghan Bellande

Assistant Director of Study Abroad and International Student Services


Meaghan Bellande

Meaghan Bellande

Assistant Director of Study Abroad and International Student Services

Southwestern Programs are typically SU faculty-led programs where students take courses abroad from a Southwestern professor and travel with a group of SU students.

Click here  to see what study abroad programs are available to you!

Download our Study Abroad Quick Information Handout  for more detailed information.


Summer advising is available! Email us at  to schedule an appointment.


Step 1: Attend Group Advising

July 15th - Virtual Group Advising for CHIP & ISEP Spring 2021

Click HERE to join the CHIP Virtual Group Advising Session 11:00am-12:00pm CST

Click HERE to join the ISEP Virtual Group Advising Session 3:00-4:00pm CST

Step 2: Schedule an advising appointment

IMPORTANT: Once you schedule an advising appointment, please complete this form  24 hours BEFORE your appointment time. 

To make a study abroad advising appointment for SPRING 2021 with Meaghan Bellande, please click HERE .  

To make a study abroad advising appointment for SPRING 2021 with Monya Lemery, please click HERE .

Step 3: Complete the SU Study Abroad Application

Southwestern Study Abroad Application Deadlines

  • September 1st - Spring ISEP & Spring CHIP
  • October 1st - Spring Program Providers
  • December 1st - SU Faculty-Led Summer Programs
  • February 1st - Fall ISEP, Fall CHIP, & Summer Program Providers
  • March 1st - Fall Program Providers & SU London


PLEASE NOTE: The deadlines listed above are for the internal Southwestern Study Abroad Application that students must complete in order to be approved to study abroad. Students looking to participate in ISEP, CHIP, or Program Provider study abroad programs will complete a second application upon receiving approval from the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services. 
Does financial aid apply to study abroad?

Yes, but it applies differently to different programs. There are essentially two financial aid categories for the purposes of study abroad:

  1. If you participate in the SU London Program, the SU Washington, D.C. Program, or the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), you will be able to use all of your financial aid award excluding work study or other aid that requires physical presence at SU. For these programs, you pay the cost of SU’s tuition, room, and board directly to Southwestern. You retain virtually all of the aid you normally receive from SU, the federal government, outside scholarships, and state agencies. Tuition exchange agreements still apply if you participate on one of these programs.

  2. If you participate on any other study abroad program through an approved provider, you pay the cost of that program directly to the program provider. You do not pay anything to Southwestern during the semester/year/summer that you are abroad. In this situation, you are NOT eligible to receive SU merit or  need-based aid. However, you ARE eligible to receive federal aid, such as the Stafford Loan or the Pell Grant. Most outside scholarships will also apply. It is important to remember that many approved provider programs cost about the same or less than tuition, room, and board at Southwestern. Thus, depending on your financial aid situation, it may not necessarily be more expensive for you to participate on an approved provider program. Additionally, several scholarship opportunities are available to students studying on approved provider programs.

How much does it really cost to study abroad?

That question is answered with “that depends.”  Approved provider study abroad programs range from about $15,000 to $20,000 or more. Living expenses vary dramatically depending on the area of the world in which you will be studying. Air travel to your host country will also vary given that some destinations always carry a higher airline ticket price. In short, you’ll need to start narrowing down costs as you begin to decide on program  type and the area of the world in which you want to study. Remember that if you participate in an approved  provider program, you pay no fees to Southwestern for that semester/year/summer. Thus, many approved provider study abroad programs will actually cost the same or less than tuition, room, and board on campus at SU.

Is financial aid available for Summer programs?

If you qualify for federal need-based financial aid, you may be able to utilize that same financial aid source to fund a Summer study abroad program. The Lokey Scholarship is also available to supplement your financial aid package. In order for any aid to cover your Summer program abroad, you’ll need to file a short Summer financial aid application with the Office of Financial Aid.

Note: This content is general information regarding financial aid for study abroad. The Office of Study Abroad will discuss your specific financial aid picture with you during your advising session/s with the office. Additionally, the Office of Study Abroad highly recommends you speak with a member of the university’s Financial Aid Office so that you are clear on how your financial aid package can be used to fund your study abroad experience.

There are many types of scholarship opportunities available to fund your study abroad experience. We hope to provide you with some basic information to help you get started with your search.

Southwestern Maintains Three Scholarship Funds
  • Kahler Scholarship - The Kahler Scholarship provides awards for semester and year-long study abroad. Awards are made on the basis of academic merit and financial need. You will apply for this scholarship as part of your study abroad application. 
  • Lokey Scholarship - The Lokey Scholarship is reserved for Summer study abroad programs. Awards are made on the basis of academic merit and financial need. You will apply for this scholarship as part of your study abroad application. 
  • Paideia Scholarship - The Paideia Scholarship provides awards for semester, Summer, and year-long study abroad. Awards are made on the basis of a demonstrated understanding of and commitment to integrated learning. Financial need may also be a significant factor. You will apply for this scholarship as part of your study abroad application.
Gilman Scholarships

Gilman Scholarships  provide awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Additional Scholarship Information

In addition to the aforementioned scholarships, various granting agencies and study abroad programs provide scholarship funds. 

Helpful Links
  • International Education Financial Aid  - A comprehensive college study abroad scholarship search and grant listings plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.
  • EDUCAID University-Student Loan Specialists  - Information on scholarships, financial aid, and student lending including federal and alternative loans. This website also provides financial/budgeting tips.
  • U.S. Department of Education  - Tells you who is eligible for student financial aid and how to apply. It provides information about accrediting agencies, tax credits for education expenses, and additional sources of aid.
  • FastAID  - A private sector scholarship database. You can search for scholarship aid for study abroad, compare different student loans, or look for internships.
  • FastWeb  - Free scholarship search - Search 600,000 scholarships and get tips on financial aid, careers, etc.
  • CollegeENET  - Find out how to get financial aid, search for scholarships, and get information on college resources.

These two components of studying and living in an international location are critical to a successful experience.


Before departure, you should have a general physical and dental exam. Make sure you pack a complete medical record and a typed copy of any vision prescriptions needed. Ask your doctor how to best handle routine prescription medications. Also check with your insurance company regarding needed medications while abroad.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)  and World Health Organizations (WHO)  have valuable information and updates regarding health abroad on their websites.

Make sure that you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations. You can check the Austin Regional Clinic Travel Services  for information, consultations, and vaccinations.


Be sure to check the State Department  web site for country specific information. 

Other resources on safety:

Safety Abroad Handbook  - basic health and safety information from the Center for Global Education

Department of State  - tips for students studying abroad

U.S. Embassies  - links to U.S. Embassy information abroad

Will study abroad put me “behind” in graduating on time?

It certainly doesn’t have to. Depending on your major, you will need to select a program which offers a curriculum that can contribute to your overall degree plan. Granted, science majors will have to look more carefully at courses than will those students from other majors in the humanities and social sciences, but you don’t need to categorically exclude an experience abroad just by virtue of your major. In fact, many graduate and professional programs look for participation in opportunities such as study abroad when making selection decisions.

What if I have a hard time with classes taught in a foreign language? I don’t want to ruin my GPA by studying abroad. 

First, unless you participate in a “direct enrollment” program where you are attending regular classes at a foreign university, you will be taking courses in the foreign language which are designed for a non-native speaker. Yes, it will be more challenging to take courses in another language, but hundreds of Southwestern students before you have participated and done incredibly well, while dramatically increasing their language fluency. Second, all courses from “outside” study abroad programs (those not offered directly by SU) yield transfer credit which does not contribute to your Southwestern GPA. You do need to achieve at least a C- in any course in order to receive credit.

Will courses from a study abroad program count at Southwestern?

If the program is run through an accredited educational institution, you can receive credit. Be aware that some study abroad programs, even those of good quality, are not accredited. While these programs may provide an interesting cultural experience, they will NOT yield credit toward your degree at SU. Make sure that you speak with the Office of Study Abroad when you are planning a study abroad experience. By gaining approval through the Office of Study Abroad, you can be assured that the credit will be accepted at Southwestern.

Will the courses contribute to my major requirements?

You’ll need to get a copy of your degree plan in order to see which courses you’re still lacking for your degree. When choosing your study abroad courses, look at filling elective slots both within your major and your overall degree. You’ll have a much better selection if you don’t try to force your study abroad coursework into the courses offered at SU. If you do need to accomplish specific courses while abroad, make sure to speak with your advisor and the department chair about the content required for a course abroad to match up with a particular course at SU.