University of Iowa

Steps to Studying Abroad

1. Define your Objectives

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are your goals for your time abroad?
  • How will your program fit into your academic program or professional goals?
  • Do you want to study in a foreign language or learn a language?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • When do you want to go? How long do you want to stay?
  • What is your budget?

2. Attend a Discover Study Abroad Session

Discover Study Abroad sessions provide an overview of the steps you'll take to find and apply for the right international opportunity. Discover Study Abroad sessions will be offered weekly.

When: Tuesdays at 11:30 am; Fridays at 1:00 pm

Where: 1124 University Capitol Centre

How Long: 20 minutes

Students who have not visited UI Study Abroad previously are encouraged to drop in and attend one of these Discover Study Abroad sessions. If these session times don't fit your schedule, you can stop by the Study Abroad Resource Room in 1111 University Capitol Centre anytime between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Our Resource Room staff will be happy to give you an overview of the Discover Study Abroad content.

3. Explore Program Options

 Start by taking a look at the UI Study Abroad program search pages. Your aim is to identity a few interesting options that appear to be well-aligned with your academic or professional objectives. While the UI Study Abroad program web pages are great place to start, you are not alone in your program search process. You are welcome to stop by the UI Study Abroad Resource Room in 1111 University Capitol Centre anytime during office hours to discuss your goals and explore program options.

4. Meet with a Study Abroad Advisor

Once you have attended Discover Study Abroad and considered a few program options, it is time to schedule an appointment with the study abroad advisor who is most knowledgeable about the program(s) and region(s) you’re interested in. You can schedule an appointment by calling 319-335-0353.

5. Meet with your Academic Advisor

Selecting a study abroad program is an important academic decision.  The application of credits toward major, minor, and certificate requirements must be approved by the relevant UI department. Your study abroad advisor may ask you to consult with your academic advisor(s) directly, as part of the program selection process. Your study abroad advisor will let you know when it is time to meet with an academic advisor, and prepare you for that meeting.

6. Research your Intended Destination

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you. Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

7. Get your passport

Applications are available for U.S. citizens at the main Iowa City Post Office, or online.

8. Apply to the Program of your Choice

Applications for University of Iowa study abroad programs are available online.  Most applications are due the semester before you study abroad, but some programs have earlier deadlines!

9. Apply for Scholarships and Explore Funding Options

Information and applications are available on our Funding Your Study Abroad Experience page.  We encourage you to apply for any awards that you’re eligible for. Your study abroad advisor will also help you understand how financial aid can be applied toward study abroad.