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Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

The College collaborates closely with the UT Study Abroad Office in order to provide students with a wide range of international opportunities.

Begin by identifying your priorities:

  • How important is it that you take courses in your major?
  • Are you set on going to a particular country, or are you flexible?
  • Would you like to improve your foreign language skills?
  • When do you want to go (summer, over a long semester or over one year)?
  • How important is on-site support to you and your family?
  • Are scholarships a priority?
  • Will internship options factor into your decision-making process?

Once you've identified your priorities, proceed to the first step.

STEP 1. Attend an information session. You can attend a general information session, a program-specific session or review an online information session. Any of these sessions will be useful.

STEP 2. Schedule a visit with your academic advisor in the Moody College of Communication and identify the best types of courses to reserve for study abroad. Ask how your participation may impact your plans for graduation, and any policies you may need to be mindful of as you begin planning.

STEP 3. Review the Study Abroad Office's searchable online database to narrow down your study abroad options. You can also search the "My Credit Abroad" database to identify programs where other UT students have earned UT credit for courses in your major, or other courses of interest to you. Note that if a particular program or provider is not included in this database, it will be considered a "non-UT program," and special provisions apply (non-UT programs may or may not qualify for transfer credit). Review the study abroad course equivalency information to help identify programs that offer credits in your field of study.

STEP 4. Visit the designated program coordinator for your programs of interest (contact information is available in the Study Abroad Office portal), or meet with the Moody Study Abroad Coordinator by contacting the Advising Office front desk. Use this opportunity to discuss course offerings, credit transfer, cost, funding for study abroad, housing and travel-related questions, etc.

STEP 5. Prepare a financial plan. Students who plan ahead typically increase their options in terms of scholarships and financial aid. Add relevant scholarship deadlines to your calendar, and allow enough time to prepare your applications and request letters of recommendation.

STEP 6.  Apply for the program of your choice. Review application requirements for each program, and be sure to check on deadlines, as they can vary by program. Please note that some programs, providers and host schools have an additional application process (if you're unsure, be sure to check with the Study Abroad Office).

Once you've been informed of your acceptance

STEP 1. If you don't have one, apply for a passport as soon as possible, or, if yours will expire before the end of the time you're planning to be abroad, you should apply for one now. The UT International Office offers convenient passport and ID services. You will need to have a passport before you can apply for either a residency permit or a visa (if required). Allow up to a few months for this process. You will be responsible for contacting the appropriate consulate or embassy for guidelines and to secure the necessary paperwork.

STEP 2. Begin completing and submitting acceptance materials on the "MY SAO" online portal. All this information is required by the University and can be vitally important to your wellbeing. Review, note and keep payment and registration deadlines and instructions for your particular study abroad program.

STEP 3. On the online application, if you've indicated that you will be applying for financial aid, the Study Abroad Office will send the UT Office of Student Financial Services an estimated student budget for your program. Your financial aid advisor will use the budget to review and revise your financial aid award for the semester you will be away, and will send you a financial aid notification. Students who receive aid or scholarships through the Office of Student Financial Services must complete online training, available through CASH, the application website. Visit the International Office's Financial Aid page for additional information about financing your study abroad program.

STEP 4. Review important general student travel and safety information, as well as information specific to your host country, and learn about your responsibilities while you are abroad. Students studying or planning to travel in Asia, Latin America, Africa or Eastern Europe will also need to complete online travel counseling, offered by UT Health Services, and may need immunizations (also offered by UHS).

STEP 5. Attend the required pre-departure orientation session(s) for your program. Learn all you can about your host country and follow the local news so you are aware of what the issues of the day are. Prepare, prepare, prepare!