group of U of M Students in front of a windmill in Spain

Learning Abroad Process

    This is the basic process you’ll complete in order to learn abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible. Apply or renew your passport any time during the process. 

    Complete a First Step Session & Interest Form

    • The First Step Session guides you through the basics of going abroad. It can be done via a 30 minute online module or a 20–30 minute in-person group advising session. 
    • The Interest Form creates a record of your interests and questions, and keeps you notified about relevant programs and events.

    Research Programs & Options

    Meet with a Program Selection Adviser in the Learning Abroad Center

    • Advisers can work one on one with you to help you find a program that fits your interests and needs
    • Advisers can assist you in selecting a program, considering academic and career implications, and discussing financial aid and scholarship basics.
    • Schedule your program selection appointment in advance, or visit us during our drop-in hours

    Consult with Your Academic Adviser(s)

    • Review the academic considerations section on your Learning Abroad Major Advising Page 
    • Discuss coursework and opportunities abroad and how they might meet requirements.  Degree planning is crucial.  Early planning and effective advising makes study abroad applicable to degree requirements and resolves course sequencing issues to help you graduate on time.
    • Complete the Academic Planning Form and obtain your academic adviser(s) signature

    Consult with Your Career Counselor(s)

    • Discuss career implications of learning abroad
    • Discuss opportunities you might engage to further your career aspirations

    Select a Program

    • If you meet the eligibility requirements of the program, and it is in advance of the deadline, for many programs there is no reason to apply to more than one program.  Exchanges and instructor-led programs have a competetive application process for the limited number of spaces available on those programs.  Check with the program contact about the application process and availability of spaces on the program.

    Talk to Your Parents

    • It’s normal not to know what your parents will think of this study abroad idea, but since they’ll likely be paying at least part of the bill, it’s important to discuss it with them soon
    • The Talking to Your Parents section provides rationale, explanations, and information for you and your parents on why this is an important component of your college experience

    Schedule a Financial Aid Preview Meeting

    • If you plan to use financial aid for your program, schedule a Financial Aid Preview Meeting for study abroad to meet one-on-one with a financial aid counselor at the Onestop office in 333 Bruininks Hall to discuss how your financial aid package applies to the program you selected
    • Consider inviting your parents to this meeting
    • Consult the Financial Aid section for more basics on financial aid and study abroad
    • Please note that financial aid can be used ONLY for credit-bearing experiences

    Research & Apply for Scholarships

    • Free money is way better than loan money, and there is a lot of it out there for study abroad
    • The Scholarships section of the website outlines how to find and apply for study abroad scholarships in an easy to use format.  

    Complete the Program Application

    • What's on the application and how to complete it is found under the "apply" tab for each program. Each program has different requirements and instructions
    • For most programs it will take 2–3 weeks after your application is complete to know if you’ve been offered a spot on the program

    Arrange Your Housing in the Twin Cities Before/After You Go Abroad

    • Look into your housing in MN for the term before or after you go abroad, including sublease options