Timeline for Studying Abroad

Do you dream of studying abroad someday, getting to explore the dusty streets of Jordan or the lush hillsides of Ireland? Perhaps you aren't sure whether it's even possible for you to study abroad, and if you could, you have no idea where you'd go or what you'd study. On the other hand, maybe you know exactly what, when, and where you want to study, but you're covering your bases to make sure there's nothing you forgot. Never fear! Whether you've decided on a ten-step roadmap to your destination or you're just exploring the uncharted wilderness of studying abroad, this page should provide you with some useful resources and questions to ask yourself at each stage of your journey.

Keep in mind that every person's study abroad experience will look a little different. If you're starting this process in freshman year, than you can probably afford to take more time exploring options. However, if you're already a junior, you'll want to read up on the costs and deadlines involved as soon a possible! Finally, don't panic if you've missed something on the timeline below. The dates and items are simply meant as a guideline. You can prepare for and enjoy your study abroad experience in whatever way works best for your unique situation.

2 years before you study abroad...

Explore your options:

  • Reflect on your goals for studying abroad. What would you like to gain from  your study abroad experience personally, professionally, and spiritually?
  • Do you have a particular program or country in mind? To explore the options at JBU, check out this page.
  • Talk with your family and friends to help you compare possibilities.
  • Be aware of costs and financial aid available.
  • Mention study abroad to your advisor and ask for suggestions and advice.
  • Make a note of deadlines for the study abroad applications for programs you're interested in.

1 year before you study abroad...

Choose a program:

  • Decide when you'll study abroad
    • Do you want to study abroad during the summer or over a semester?
    • Which year do you want to study abroad? Most people study abroad their junior or senior year, but it's possible to study abroad in your sophomore  year as well. If so, you will need to work on applications immediately!
  • Decide where you'll study abroad
    • Which continent or country would you like to study in? Europe, Africa, Asia, or South America?
    • Would you like to study with a JBU program like the Ireland semester or an outside program such as CCCU's BestSemester program?
    • Talk to alumni of study abroad programs to get an idea of what the programs are really like. They can also offer advice about getting the most out of your study abroad experience.
  • Decide what you'll study abroad
    • Meet with your advisor to determine what courses you need to complete before, during, and after your study abroad experience
    • Meet with the International Office to discuss your interest in the program and make sure the courses you'd like to study are available
  • Look over the application forms and deadlines for your program choice
  • Begin looking for scholarships and financial aid

6-9 months before you study abroad...

Apply for the program:

  • Confirm the study abroad program with your advisor.
  • Apply to the program of your choice by following the directions on this page.
  • Submit supplemental material such as your transcript and recommendations.
  • Come up with a budget for while you're abroad. Remember to include exchange rates and cost of living abroad. Also, apply for scholarships and financial aid so you will be ready to start paying for your trip.

1 semester before you study abroad...

Prepare for the program:

  • Confirm your academic credits.
  • Make payments for the program, including the administrative fee, initial deposit, and other costs.
  • Apply for documentation such as a passport, visa, and other forms.
  • Learn more about your destination's culture and prepare for the transition overseas by using the resources on the pre-departure information page.
  • Make airline reservations.

1 month before you study abroad...

Prepare final details for the program:

  • Pack with the local climate in mind. Pack light--you'll need space for everything you bring back home! Make sure your luggage complies with the weight and size restrictions for carry-on and checked luggage.
  • Make arrangements for a dorm room or apartment after you return from your study abroad trip.
  • Visit your doctor to determine if you need vaccinations and to stock prescription medicines, if necessary.
  • Inform your credit card company or bank that you will be accessing your account and your credit or debit cards from overseas.
  • Make copies of important travel documents such as your passport, driver's license, and credit or debit cards. Leave a copy at home and take a copy with you in case you get separated from your documents.
  • Take time to say goodbye to everyone back at home.
  • Arrive at the airport about two hours before the scheduled departure time in order to check your bag, go through security, and find your gate with time to spare.
  • Enjoy this experience of a lifetime!

Back to Top