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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!  

STEP 1: Attend a topic specific informational session.
STEP 2: Begin researching programs online.
STEP 3: Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor in Peck Hall, Room 207 for an advising session.
STEP 4: Request online pre-approval from the Office of EA to apply for your chosen program.
STEP 5: Apply for your actual education abroad program.
STEP 6: Organize all necessary details to participate on your program.
STEP 7: Submit the Pathway Packet forms.
STEP 8: Attend the on-campus Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation.
STEP 9: Study Abroad!!

Attend a topic specific informational session.

Several sessions will be held throughout the academic year on various topics including the Gilman Scholarship, the Boren Scholarship, Exchange programs, etc.  No reservations required – just show up! This step is not required, but it can be very useful depending on your interest.

Go to the  Events and Deadlines page for more details.

Explore education abroad program options.
  • It is important for you to first get acquainted with the types of programs that MTSU offers. Please click here to and read through the Program Type descriptions before moving forward.
  • After deciding which type of program best fits your needs and interests, you can begin searching for programs in the online database (StudioAbroad).  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.  For example, if you search Summer/Germany then the system will generate all MTSU approved summer program options in Germany.  You can then click on each program name to read more details and even click on the homepage to go directly to our partner’s website for further information.  This can be 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 some things to consider when researching, and ultimately choosing, an education abroad program.
  • After you have narrowed down your program choices, you can bring in any notes you have taken during your research along with these attached recommended items, and participate in an education abroad advising session detailed in Step 3.

Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor in Peck Hall, Room 207 for an advising session.

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. 

Summer Advising Appointment:
We do not offer Walk-In Advising during the summer months, therefore, you should follow these guidelines to schedule an appointment.  

Please email the following information to  You can expect a response within 48 hours, if the email is received during business hours, and we will do our best to schedule the appointment within one week of your request depending on your flexibility.  It is also possible to schedule an advising session by phone if you are unable to come in person.

-Country of Interest
-Study Abroad Term of Interest (i.e. Winter term or Spring semester)
-Program of Interest (if you already know)
-MTSU majors/minors
-Suggested times/dates for advising session (more than one option please)

Request online pre-approval from the Office of EA to apply for your chosen program.

Students who have chosen an education abroad program must first receive approval from the Office of EA in order to apply
  • To request online pre-approval simply click here to search for your program of choice in the StudioAbroad database.  When you find your program of choice, click “Apply Now.”
  • You will then follow the steps to create an account in the StudioAbroad portal.  Once created, please click on your program name and submit the two online forms entitled “EA Participation Approval Form” and “EA Participation Approval Signature Form.” Please submit these two online forms no later than the internal deadlines listed below.
  • You should expect a response from the Office of EA to your MTSU email address approximately 5-7 business days after the online request.
  • Please be aware that the deadlines listed below are internal, meaning MTSU deadlines.  You must meet the MTSU internal deadlines in addition to any partner or affiliated external program deadlines.
  • Please be aware that you can only request pre-approval for ONE program per term (unless the dates do not overlap).  If you request online pre-approval for more than one program in the same term in which the dates overlap, your request will not be considered.
*Pre-Approval Request Deadlines:
Winter 2014-15:  November 1st, 2014
Spring 2015 semester:  November 1st, 2014
Spring Break 2015: TBD
Summer 2015: March 6th, 2015
Fall 2015/Full Year 15-16:  April 3rd, 2015

*We HIGHLY recommend a much earlier submission as the requirements/deadlines listed below must also be met.

Apply for your actual education abroad program.

If you are on this step you have been EA 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.).  You have already received an email from our office by now with basic instructions on how to apply for your program, so you can begin by referencing this email.  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:
Contact your program directly for the exact date.  Below are typical ranges.
Winter 2104-15: Varies/August - October, 2014
Spring 2015 semester: Varies/August - October, 2014
Summer 2015: Varies/January - March, 2015
Fall 2015/Full Year 15-16: Varies/January - April 2015

**Don't forget:  You need to meet the Step 4 online pre-approval request internal deadline as well so keep this in mind when looking at program deadlines!

Organize all necessary details to participate on your chosen program.

This will likely include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Apply for a passport.
  • Work with your Academic Advisor(s) to establish course equivalencies by using the Office of Education Abroad Course Approval Form, which is attached here.  (Some students choose to do this prior to Step 4).
  • 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. Click here for a budget template.
  • Need more guidance or have additional questions?  Come in for another walk-in advising session or click here for some other recommendations.
Submit the Office of Education Abroad Pathway Packet forms.

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 to participate.  Students will receive an email from our office when the Pathway Packets are available in their StudioAbroad accounts.

***Click here for the Pathway Packet submission deadlines.
Winter 2014-15: November 15th, 2014
Spring 2015 semester: November 21st, 2014
Summer 2015: March 27th, 2015
Fall 2015/Full Year 15-16: April 17th, 2015

***Students should be aware that the program provider, consortia, international university, faculty, etc. will likely also require additional post acceptance paperwork with different deadlines.  Students need to keep track of and meet all deadlines.

Attend the on-campus Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation.

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.

Mandatory Pre-departure Orientation dates:
Winter 2014-15:
Spring 2015 semester:
Spring Break 2015: TBD
Summer 2015: TBD
Fall 2015/Full Year 15-16: TBD

Study Abroad!!

This step by step list is NOT comprehensive. It is ultimately your responsibility to determine the individual requirements for your chosen program. The Office of Education Abroad is here to assist and guide students throughout this process and while abroad.