Steps to Study Abroad

Step 1: Academic Planning

Knowing where one stands, academically, can help narrow down program possibilities and determine the most appropriate time for when to participate in international experiences. You should work with both your academic advisor and study abroad advisor to determine:

  • what kind of experience you want (study, research, or internship)
  • what courses you can take abroad
  • how long you can be abroad

Students with declared majors should work with their academic advisor to map out their academic track at TAMU-CC. Students currently “undeclared,” should meet with the Islander Transition Center to discuss potential academic majors, or programs.

Step 2:  Financial Planning

There are many projected expenses that students need to plan for, and making sure that you are financially prepared to meet these financial obligations will help you in the long run. Start planning and saving far in advance!

Projected Expenses:

  • Program fee: Program fees usually encompass the basic necessities for a program (i.e., housing, in-country transportation, meals (if included), scheduled excursions, etc.). Depending on the program you select, this fee may, or may not include tuition. For exchange and faculty-led programs, the program fee is separate from tuition fee. So, be mindful of what is included in your program fees.
  • Tuition fee: Exchange and faculty-led program participants will be assessed TAMU-CC tuition; provider program tuition rate/fees will differ based on location and host institution. 
  • Out-of-pocket fee: include personal expense while studying abroad

Types of Financial Resources Available:

  • Financial Aid: Federal or state grants or loans available through the TAMU-CC Financial Aid Office.
  • Scholarships: Department Scholarships/ TAMU-CC Scholarships/ Private Scholarship/ Regional, National, International Scholarships
  • Other sources: Parent(s) or guardian(s), Family or friends, Fundraising campaign (through community organizations or online)

Step 3: Program Search

TAMUCC utilizes many program options.

Exchange Options:

  • Direct partnerships we have with specific universities overseas.
  • Best for a semester or academic year students
  • Offers the most variety of courses
  • More affordable option for many students

Faculty-Led Programs

  • Short-term programs
  • Study with TAMU-CC faculty & students
  • Most affordable option
  • Specific academic focus or courses available

Independent/Provider Programs

  • Independent Organizations or study abroad companies
  • Offers a variety of courses
  • Offer more locations
  • Short-term, semester, & academic year
  • More expensive, but includes more program amenities

Students should attempt to utilize exchange or faculty-led options first. If none of the available options is a match, then students are encouraged to utilize an approved provider program. Stop by the Office of International Education talk to one of our staff members about your program choice. Be sure you select the option that is best for you.

Step 4: Apply For A Program

Prepare required documents. All students will need to submit a Study Abroad Application and an Unofficial Transcript to the Study Abroad Programs, regardless of their program selection. Additional application materials required will vary depending on which program students select, see checklist below for general guidance, and consult with Study Abroad Advisor for your comprehensive list.

  • Exchange program checklist
  • Faculty-led program checklist
  • Provider program checklist

Submit documents on time. All programs have pre-established deadlines, so students should research not only WHAT application materials are due, but also WHEN they are due, and WHOM the items need to be submitted to. General deadlines for Summer, Fall, or Academic Year Programs is March 1st, and for Spring Programs is October 1st. However, Faculty-Led Programs may have earlier deadlines

Apply or renew your PASSPORT if needed. Passport has to remain valid for six months after your program end date.

Step 5: Conditional Acceptance

All students will be considered for conditional acceptance into their study abroad programs after completing the initial application materials required. Official acceptance into a program will come directly from the host institution, or provider program, or OIE (faculty-led programs).

After getting the acceptance letter, students will have follow-up items/tasks to complete for travel compliance with TAMU-CC. Students participating in faculty-led programs will be required to submit a $200 confirmation deposit in order to confirm their participation in their program.  

Step 6: Post Acceptance

  • Apply for a visa (If necessary)
  • Secure housing and/or flights
  • Attend Pre-departure orientation
  • Complete other pre-departure items
    • Health/Dental Exam
    • Vaccinations
    • Notifying banks, landlord, housing, etc. of study abroad program
  • Pay tuition

 Step 7: While Abroad

  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish while abroad
  • Keep in touch with family in friends so they know you're okay
  • Be safe!
  • Get the most out of your experience

 Step 8: Return Home

  • Students who participated on provider programs will need to make sure their transcripts, or official transcript evaluations, have been received by the TAMU-CC Admissions Office in order to complete the transfer credit process 
  • Consider how your international experience can impact your career and professional goals, and share your thought.
  • Network with fellow study abroad returnees and new study abroad students
  • Enter photos into the Annual Office of International Education Photo Contest
  • Complete the survey on your experience abroad
  • Update your resume
  • Consider going abroad again

 Download our Study Abroad Planning Guide, to keep in your pocket what things students should be considering before study abroad.