Steps to Study Abroad- For Students

Research the available Study Abroad programs and choose the one that is best for you

JSU currently offers:

Faculty-Led Study Abroad: Faculty-led programs are usually short-term programs (a few weeks or a month)  and often offered in the May mini-semester. Faculty-led programs are an excellent Study Abroad experience for most students. They are shorter and less intimidating than an entire semester abroad by yourself, but they still offer all the benefits of traveling. You also get an opportunity to get to know your professor better and learn more about their research and travel interests, as well as meeting JSU students you might not have had the chance to meet before.

Direct Student Exchange: Exchange programs are more challenging but also more rewarding. They tend to last at least six weeks and are usually an entire semester. Students usually go alone, and there are no JSU faculty or staff at the other university. Exchange programs are partnerships between universities, so JSU students will not be entirely alone or without support. The exchange university you choose will be prepared for you and will have many other American students studying
there as well. You will get an amazing opportunity to live in another country and make friends from all over the world.

Meet all the prerequisites, requirements, and deadlines for the chosen program

Some programs require prerequisites, minimum GPAs, or recommendations from your professors, and some only require that you are interested in participating. Some are only for certain majors or minors, and some are open to everyone.

Check with the Office of International & House Programs, or the faculty member leading the program, or your advisor.

Once you know what you have to do and when, set deadline and due date reminders in your phone, start saving money, ask your family and friends for help, and commit to making this opportunity a reality!

Meet with your advisor and make sure you are registered for the program

Study Abroad programs are like other classes – you have to register for them and pay your tuition and fees on time in order to register. Also like other classes, Study Abroad programs have to have a minimum number of students participating for them to happen. So, be sure you meet with your advisor on time and get your account in good order so you can register for the program you want. Your advisor will also be able to help you make sure your Study Abroad class counts toward your graduation and that you’re still on track to graduate on time.  

Provide proof of health and/or travel insurance as required by the program

In order to participate in Study Abroad programs, you have to have health insurance that covers you while you travel. The insurance coverage must include the following listed benefits:

  • Medical Coverage
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Repatriation of Remains

GO to the link for the information on Insurance providers  

Provide proof of any vaccinations and/or health screenings required

For some Study Abroad programs, you’ll be entering countries where you have to have proof that you’ve been vaccinated against certain diseases. Some programs might require proof of a health screening to show that you’ll be able to complete all the activities the program requires.

Understand the local laws and social issues

Different countries have different laws, and while you are a visitor there, those laws apply to you. American citizens are required to follow the local laws and customs of countries they travel to, even when they are very different to laws at home. You should speak to the faculty leader of your program, the Office of International House & Programs, and other students who have travelled or are planning to travel to the country you plan to visit to find out what laws are different from those of the US.
You should also be aware of what is considered “normal” socially in the country you’re planning to visit. Big things like laws and small things like table manners are all good to know when you are travelling.
Find Information on the Country You Intend to Travel to 

Attend orientations, other assigned activities and complete JSU required forms

Your faculty leader and/or the Office of International House & Programs will have mandatory orientation meetings, assigned readings, different forms for you to sign. These meetings and activities will play a big part in how successful you are in getting everything ready for your Study Abroad program, participating in the program, and using what you learned in the program to your advantage after you return.

Get or renew your passport

You must have a passport to leave the country.
Information on Applying for/Renewing a Passport

Your passport can’t expire within 6 months of your expected return, so double check the expiration date and renew your passport if it will expire soon.

Get a visa (if required)

Visas are travel documents that go along with your passport to let you enter a country. Sometimes they are required and sometimes not. The faculty leader or the Office of International House & Programs will be able to tell you if the country you’re planning to visit requires entry documents or not.

Plan ahead for your health

If you have a disability, life-threatening allergies, chronic health problems, or routine medications, you have to prepare for your trip. All these things can be affected by stress, changes in diet or exercise, changes in air quality, or lots of other things that you often don’t consider when you’re thinking of going on a trip. But it’s important to plan ahead and take good care of your health so you can enjoy your Study Abroad program.
You will need to pack all the doses of your medication that you will need (plus some extras just in case). You’ll also need to discuss the trip with your doctor to see if they have any advice or warnings for you. And, you’ll need to talk to your faculty leader and/or the Office of International House & Programs so that, in case of emergency, they’ll be able to help you.
It is important to be honest about what’s going on with your health and what support or care you’ll need if something goes wrong while you’re travelling. Remember that your health and a successful Study Abroad program are more important than temporary embarrassment or an awkward conversation. You can always send an email instead of having these types of conversations face-to-face.

Pay your fees on time 

It is important that you understand the deadlines and due dates for all the fees and expenses and make sure that you plan ahead to make payment on time. 

Get your finances in order

Be sure you can afford your plane tickets, hotel room, food, tuition, and fees and have a little left over to buy souvenirs or gifts. It may seem like too much, but don’t be discouraged. There are many scholarships and grants that are designed to help students study abroad. If you want help finding or applying for these, or if you want help finding ways to save up to study abroad, the Office of International House & Programs will help you.

Study Abroad opportunities are available yearly, so even if you are not able to go this year, you can start saving and preparing now for a trip next year.