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Getting Started

Nine Steps to Studying Abroad

The education abroad application and pre-departure process can be time consuming and complicated, which is why we recommend that you follow these steps to assist you along the way. Our office is here to guide you with the entire process through advising sessions, advice over email and phone calls, and referrals to outside organizations or other MTSU offices.  So please ask questions and stay informed!  

  MTSU offers hundreds of education abroad opportunities for students. Before exploring the various options, try to narrow your focus first.  Think about where you want to go and how long you want to be there.  Would you be more comfortable in a group environment or would you rather go alone? Do you want to learn another language while abroad or take classes solely in English?  If you can pinpoint a few of your preferences at the start it will make the list of available programs much less daunting!

It is important for you to first get acquainted with the types of programs that MTSU offers. Please click "Program Types" to read the Program Type descriptions before moving forward.
After decide which type of program best fits your needs and interests, you can begin searching for specific program in the online database (StudioAbroad database).   We recommend that you search by term and country in order to narrow down your choices, while keeping in mind the type of program you prefer. After you find your program, click on the program name to read more details and link to the program homepage to go directly to our our partner's website for further information.
This can be a bit confusing, but just take your time and get familiar with the system and the various options.  At this time it is not possible to search by academic subject in the StudioAbroad database, although some of our partner programs have search engines by academic subject.
Need some more guidance? Click here for 10 things to consider when choosing an education abroad program!
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Students who plan to participate on an education abroad program should meet with an Office of EA advisor for a 30 minute advising session. This meeting should occur at least 6-12 months prior to your program of interest start date.  Additional advising sessions are welcomed.
Walk-In Advising hours
Peck Hall 207
Mon, Tues, & Wed:  1pm - 4pm while classes are in session*
No appointment necessary during walk-in hours

*Walk in Advising will begin on Monday, August 29th for the Fall semester
If you are unable to come to the office during Walk-in advising hours, please e-mail us to schedule an appointment with an EA Advisor.  Be sure to include your name, your contact information, and provide your M number when you e-mail!

This is an important INTERNAL deadline that must be met regardless of the program deadline.
Students who have chosen an education abroad program must first receive approval from the Office of Education Abroad in order to apply for an actual program. Please read through the EA Policies as you must meet these requirements in order to be pre-approved.
To request online pre-approval:
  • Search for your program using "Search for Program"
  • Find program, select, then select "Apply Now"
Selecting "Apply Now" starts the pre-approval process!
  • Follow steps to create an account in the StudioAbroad portal
  • Complete and submit two online forms, due by the internal deadline:
    • EA Participation Approval Form, and
    • EA Participation Approval Signature Form
  • You will receive an e-mail from the Office of Education Abroad to your MTSU e-mail address in about one week after your online pre-approval request
The pre-approval deadlines listed are INTERNAL, MTSU deadlines.  You must meet these deadlines in addition to any partner, Faculty-Led, or affiliated external program deadlines.
Office of Education Abroad Pre-Approval Request FINAL INTERNAL DEADLINES
Winter 2016-17: October 28, 2016
Spring 2017: November 4, 2016
Spring Break 2017: February 3, 2017
Summer 2017: March 3, 2017
Fall 2017 and Full Year 2017-18: March 24, 2017
*We HIGHLY recommend a much earlier submission as the Faculty-Led and external program requirements/deadlines must also be met
 If you are on this step you have been OEA pre-approved (yay!) and it’s now time to apply for your education abroad program of choice.
The actual education abroad program application deadlines vary based on your program of choice.  Normally you will submit an application to your program organizer (i.e. faculty, provider, etc.). Below is an example of education abroad program application deadlines.

By now, you have already received an email from our office with basic instructions on how to apply for your program, so begin by saving and referencing this e-mail. It is your responsibility to understand the specific application process of the chosen program, but please call or email us (or your program) to confirm if you are unsure.
Education Abroad PROGRAM APPLICATION DEADLINES (all program types)
Contact your program directly for the exact date. Below are typical ranges.
Winter 2016-17 & Spring 2017: Varies throughout August - October 2016
Summer 2017: Varies throughout November 2016 - March 2017
Fall 2017 & Full Year 2017-18: Varies throughout November 2016 - March 2017
* Don't forget, you have more than one deadline! You need to meet the Office of Education Abroad INTERNAL pre-approval request deadline in addition to your actual program deadline!
This will likely include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Apply for a passport and student visa
  • Work with your Academic Advisor(s) to establish course equivalencies by using the Office of Education Abroad Course Approval form (you may have completed this step earlier in the process)
  • Research the student visa process of program destination
  • Meet with the MTSU Financial Aid office
  • Apply for scholarships (keep track of deadlines!)
  • Create an overall budget and timeline of when funds are needed. You can use our Budget Template
Need more guidance or have additional questions?  Come in for another walk-in advising session or contact your faculty leader/program provider/host university for assistance.

All MTSU students who participate on an education abroad program must complete the Office of EA required paperwork, also called the Pathway Packet, by the deadline.
These forms will only be available to those students who have been pre-approved.  Students will receive an email from our office when the Pathway Packets are available in their StudioAbroad accounts.
Winter 2016-17: November 11, 2016
Spring 2017: November 18, 2016
Spring Break 2017: TBD
Summer 2017: TBD
Fall 2017 & Full Year 2017-18: TBD
* Don't forget! Program Providers, Consortia programs, Faculty-Led, and all external programs will have different deadlines. These deadlines differ from the Pathway Packet deadline.

All MTSU students participating on an education abroad program are required to attend the MANDATORY Pre-departure Orientation, which is held on MTSU campus. 
Please put these dates in your calendar now!
Students who do not attend the mandatory Pre-departure orientation cannot participate on a study abroad program.
Winter 2016-17: Wednesday, November 16, 2016; 4:30 - 7:30 pm
Spring 2017: Wednesday, November 30, 2016; 4:30 - 7:30 pm
Summer 2017: Saturday, April 1, 2017; 9 am - 1 pm (check-in begins at 8:15 am)
Fall 2017 & Full Year 2017-18: Saturday, April 22, 2017; 9 am - 1 pm (check-in begins at 8:15 am)
This step by step list is NOT comprehensive. It is ultimately your responsibility to determine the requirements for your chosen program and individual situation. Please remember that you have multiple deadlines to keep track of and multiple documents to submit to our office and your program provider or Faculty, depending on the type of program you have chosen. The Office of Education Abroad is here to assist and guide you throughout this process and while abroad.