Learning Abroad Center

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 early. Routine processing is 10–13 weeks. Expedited service, available for an additional $60, can take 7–9 weeks. Learn more about current passport processing times from the Department of State.

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)

  • 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 competitive 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 to discuss how your financial aid package applies to the program you selected
    • Graduate students: email OneStop with "Attn: Graduate Unit" in the email subject line to schedule an appointment.
  • Consider inviting your parents, guardian or other family member involved in your college finance decisions to this meeting
  • Consult the Financial Aid section for more basics on financial aid and study abroad
  • Note that financial aid can be used ONLY for credit-bearing experiences

Research & Apply for Scholarships

  • Gift money (free money you don't have to pay back) 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

After Admission

  • Once accepted to your program, complete the Confirmation & Payment Agreement to confirm your spot on the program
  • The Confirmation & Payment Agreement authorizes the Learning Abroad Center to bill the $400 non-refundable confirmation deposit and your program fees to your University of Minnesota student account. Review the Billing section for specific information
  • Complete confirmation checklist items in your LAC Application Portal
  • Regularly check your University of Minnesota email account for important information
  • Attend pre-departure orientation

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