Timeline for Study Abroad
Figure Out When and How to Study Abroad
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. The dates and items below 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.
Questions to Consider
(A year or two before you study abroad)
Before you decide on a study abroad program, be sure to ask yourself the following questions. You can also ask your family, friends, professors, and academic advisor to help you in deciding on a study abroad experience.
Why do I want to go?
- Reflect on your goals. What would you like to gain from your study abroad experience personally, professionally, and spiritually?
Where do I want to go?
- Domestic or international? First-world or third-world country? One location or many?
Where do I want to live?
- Dorm or homestay? Christian or secular community? Fellow JBU students or on your own?
What do I want to learn?
- Core, major, or elective courses? A foreign language?
- Talk to your advisor about studying abroad to get suggestions and advice.
Can I afford it?
- Many semester programs are near JBU’s tuition, room, and board rate and your scholarships may also apply. However, personal spending and travel expenses will cost more.
- Summer study abroad may help you complete valuable upper level core hours and help you graduate early (or on time!) for less than the cost of a whole semester at JBU.
- Check out the costs and financial aid available.
Choose a Program
(A year to six months before you study abroad)
- 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
Apply for the Program
(Six months before you study abroad)
- 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.
Prepare for the Program
(1 semester before you study abroad)
- Confirm your academic credits.
- Contact Mindi Stevenson email@example.com by October 1 for spring semester and February 1 for fall semester in order to obtain JBU approval.
- 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.
Get Ready, Get Set, Go!
(1 month before the program until the start of 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.
- 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!
For More Information, contact:
International Education Coordinator
John Brown University