University of Iowa


Once you have decided on a program, make another appointment with your study abroad advisor for an application, a Credit Approval Form (if you didn't already get one), and help with financial and travel planning. Now is also the ideal time to make sure you have your passport!

Apply to your Program

Application materials and procedures will be provided by the individual programs. Applications for some University of Iowa-sponsored study abroad programs are available on the program web pages, while others are given to you by your study abroad advisor. Most applications are due the semester before you study abroad, but some programs have earlier deadlines.

Credit Approval Form

How will the credit that you earn abroad count toward your degree requirements? The Credit Approval Form, to be completed by you, your study abroad advisor, and your academic advisor, addresses your credit concerns. You will use the Credit Approval Form to list courses you propose to take overseas in order to have them approved.

It constitutes a “learning agreement” that specific courses taken abroad (assuming you successfully complete the work!) will satisfy specific major, minor, certificate, or general education program requirements at the UI. The Credit Approval Form is also critical when it comes to applying financial aid to the costs of study abroad. Don’t omit this critical step!

Study Abroad Credit Approval forms may be obtained from your study abroad advisor. You will receive this form once you have selected a program.


Do not delay getting your passport. If you have a passport, check the expiration date. Many countries require that a passport be valid for six months beyond the planned date of return to the United States. Applications for U.S. passports are available at the Iowa City main Post Office, or through the US Department of State Passport Services web page.

Getting a passport can take a long time (up to 8 weeks), so begin this process early!


Not all countries require students to have visas, but many do.  Visas are (typically) stamped into your passport by the host country’s embassy or consulate, and they give you permission to enter and remain in the country for a specific period of time.

Information regarding visa requirements for various countries is provided by the U.S. Department of State Consular Services. Your study abroad program will give you additional information on applying for a visa.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

In addition to your program application, you should plan to spend some time applying for scholarships and financial aid. There are many University of Iowa and external scholarships that support study and research abroad. You’re encouraged to apply for any awards that you are eligible for.

Check out the scholarships section of our website.

If you qualify for or currently receive financial aid, contact a Financial Aid Counselor at the Office for Financial Aid, 208 Calvin Hall, to discuss the procedures for applying financial aid toward study abroad program costs.

Ready to go? Get prepared!