Steps to Studying Abroad

1. Define your Objectives

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Why do you want to go abroad?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • How will study abroad fit into your academic program?
  • Do you want to study in a foreign language?
  • When do you want to go?
  • How long do you want to stay?
  • What is your budget?

2. Visit the Study Abroad Resource Room and Explore Possible Programs

Our resource room, which contains extensive information about UI study abroad programs and is staffed with student peer assistants who have previously studied abroad.  They will help you start the process. Out of all the possibilities, your aim will be to choose a program that’s right for you given your own personal and academic objectives.  Collect more information about several programs, then compare and contrast.

3. Meet with a Study Abroad Advisor

Schedule an appointment to see a study abroad advisor once you have a general idea about where you’d like to go and what program(s) you’re interested in.

4. Meet with your Academic Advisor

Selecting a study abroad program is an important academic decision.  We strongly encourage you to consult with your academic advisor(s) as part of the program selection process.  You should be aware that the application of credits toward major requirements is a departmental decision.

5. Get your Passport

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

6. 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!

7. Complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form

How will the credits you earn abroad count towards degree requirements?  The Study Abroad Credit Approval form, to be completed by you, your study abroad advisor, and your academic advisor, addresses credit concerns.  The form constitutes an agreement that specific courses taken abroad (assuming you successfully complete the work!) will satisfy specific major/minor/certificate/general education program requirements at the UI.  It also specifies how the credit (transfer or resident) and grades will appear on your UI transcript.  Study Abroad Credit Approval forms may be obtained from a study abroad advisor.

There are several internal (the UI contributes more than $500,000/year) and external scholarships that support study/research abroad.  More 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.  If you qualify for financial aid, contact a financial aid counselor at the Office for Student Financial Aid, 208 Calvin Hall, to discuss the procedures for applying financial aid toward study abroad program costs.  In general, this can be done!