Before you study abroad: Choosing a program

Studying abroad is often among the most rewarding experiences that university students can have. Not only does studying abroad improve cultural awareness and transform you into a true “global citizen,” studying abroad can also help you learn about yourself and your future goals. While the benefits are clear, the process of finding and applying to a study abroad program can be confusing. That’s why you can always stop by our office or call us if you have any questions along the way.

Steps to study abroad

Below you’ll find the general steps you’ll need to take in order to find a program that’s right for you and make it happen. Although the order is flexible, it’s important to complete all of the following steps to ensure that you have the information that you need to prepare yourself for study abroad. Please note that are welcome to apply in all majors and must be 18 years or older with a valid passport. 

  • 1. Attend a making study abroad possible information session
    • Making Study Abroad Possible Information Sessions are your introduction to study abroad. During this meeting we’ll discuss the different types of programs available, review their eligibility requirements, and provide you with important academic and financial considerations that may influence your program selection.
    • View the Calendar of Activities
  • 2. Research programs
    • Start thinking about what kind of program you’d like to do, where you’d like to go, and how much you’d be able to spend on study abroad.
    • Once you know what type of program you’re interested in, contact the Office of Education Abroad to find out the application deadline, and inquire about the application process.
    • Search our programs in the OEA Portal
  • 3. Meet with your academic advisor(s)
    • Meet with your Academic Advisor to find out what degree requirements you have yet to fulfill, and which ones you can potentially fulfill abroad.
    • If you’ll be taking classes for your major and/or minor, you may need to meet with multiple advisors from those particular academic departments.
  • 4. Talk to your family
    • Even though deciding to study abroad may have been an easy decision for you, keep in mind that it might not be so easy for your family, especially if they’ll be contributing financially. Make sure to discuss this with them before applying to study abroad.
    • Consider the following benefits of studying abroad when consulting with your family:
      • Academic Enrichment – what better way to learn about international business than by conducting business internationally!
      • Professional Development – skills obtained when studying abroad (intercultural communication, self-reliance) translate into marketable skills to add to your resume.
      • Personal Growth – living in a completely new environment gives you the opportunity to expand your horizons, forge international connections, and develop a greater understanding of not only those around you, but of yourself as well.
      • Financial Aid – don’t forget that you can use your financial aid towards most study abroad programs and there are numerous scholarships that you can apply for, as well. Have your family take a look at our Fund Your Study Abroad Experience section to learn more.
  • 5. Research and apply for scholarships
    • There are lots of scholarships available to study abroad students, but don’t wait until it’s too late to apply. Start researching scholarship opportunities before you apply to study abroad. Check out our Scholarships section so you can get to know what’s out there, or attend a “Making Study Abroad Possible” information session.
    • Visit Funding for more scholarships’ information
  • 6. Select a program and apply
    • Confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements for the program you are applying to and be sure to submit all documents by their specified deadlines. Late documents will jeopardize your study abroad eligibility!
    • Application instructions can be found on each of the program pages, FIU Education Abroad Programs, International Student Exchange, Education Abroad Programs Outside of FIU.