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After You Apply

It is important to keep up with the continuing requirements of the study abroad process after you have applied for preapproval and for your program. This is a time to continue to ask questions of the of the Office of Education Abroad, the Program Provider or Exchange, or your Faculty Director.  Please monitor your MTSU email during this time for updates. 

Use this guide to help you through this stage of the education abroad process.

Study Abroad Process Overview

An overview of the study abroad process is as follows: 

  1. Visit the Office of Education Abroad for program advising 
  2. Apply for program preapproval on the Office of Education Abroad website (using the 'Apply Now' button on the program web page)
  3. Meet with your Academic Advisor(s) to ensure the course or courses you wish to take will apply to your degree plan in some way 
  4. Meet with the Office of Financial Aid so you understand your aid options, if applicable 
  5. Apply for the actual program through the program provider (ex: USAC or CIEE), or with the Faculty Director (ex: MTSU Signature Program)
  6. Apply for scholarships  
Note: This is not the exact order of the process for some students.  A student may meet with his/her Academic Advisor(s) prior to applying for preapproval or may meet with the Academic Advisor multiple times during the process.  A student may meet with the Office of Financial Aid at any point during the process. Students are welcome to meet with Office of Education Abroad staff more than once to discuss options and meet requirements. 
  • We highly recommend that students understand all aspects of the program and related details prior to putting down a non-refundable deposit on a program. 
  • Office of Education Abroad advising is recommended but not required except in the case of MTSU Exchange Programs. 
  • Office of Education Abroad preapproval is required.  We ask students to complete preapproval as the first step of the program.  

Course Approval Form

The Course Approval Form lists the courses the student intends to take abroad and their MTSU equivalencies.  Not only does it help the student determine what courses are available on their selected program, it shows exactly how those courses will transfer back to the degree plan.  Since financial aid is tied to required courses (on campus and abroad), this is an integral part of the education abroad process.  Further, it ensures that students do not take courses that will unnecessarily extend their plan of study.  Completion of the Course Approval Form is a collaborative effort between multiple parties/departments on campus. 

Who completes this form?  Students who participate on the following programs: 

  • MTSU Exchanges 
  • ISEP Direct Programs 
  • Programs offered by our affiliate providers such as USAC, CIEE, ISA, and LAC 
  • Independent Study students 
Students participating on an MTSU Signature Study Abroad Program do not need to complete the Course Approval Form. 

COST students who student teach abroad do not need to complete the Course Approval Form. 


The Course Approval Form is best completed as early in the education abroad process as possible.  It can be submitted to the Office of Education Abroad early at any time, but must be submitted no later than the Pre-Departure Packet deadline. 

For additional information on the Course Approval Form and a downloadable copy of the form, please see the Course Approval Form page on our website. 

Related links: 

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Scholarships are available for education abroad programs and students are encouraged to seek out and apply to more than one. 

Awards are available for short-term (spring break, summer) and long-term (semester, academic year) programs.  The MTSU Office of Education Abroad offers scholarships and grants that may be used in conjunction with others earned.  Other scholarships include those offered by program providers, governmental agencies, and other MTSU colleges such as the Jones College of Business and Honors College. 

Many scholarships have early deadlines, all deadlines will vary.  You are welcome to discuss scholarships in advising if you would like assistance identifying those that may apply to your selected program.

Please review additional information on scholarships on our scholarships page.  

Related links: 

Dates and Deadlines

The education abroad process contains important dates and deadlines that are essential to your success. 

At this point in the process you should be aware of, and meeting, deadlines for:

  • Pre-Departure Packet 
  • Additional program application materials, if any 
  • Deadlines set by your Program Provider, Faculty Director, or Exchange 
  • Program payments 
  • Financial Aid  
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Scholarships
  • Office of Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation 
  • Course registration 

All MTSU Office of Education Abroad dates & deadlines will be sent to you via email or are available on our website.

We recommend adding dates and deadlines to your calendar early in the process to stay organized. 

Please use the link below to review Office of Education Abroad dates and deadlines. 

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Pre-Departure Packet 

The MTSU Office of Education Abroad Pre-Departure Packet is a set of documents that you will complete closer to your program term. 

The documents include:

  • Education Abroad fee ($50)
  • iNext insurance fee ($33), if applicable 
  • Course Approval Form, if applicable
  • Medical Surrogacy form
  • Online signatures and other requirements 
You will access these documents by logging into our website as you did for the preapproval process, selecting your program name (it is a link), then reviewing the requirements for your program and the corresponding deadlines. 

Most of these requirements can be completed online (online portion).  Some must be printed and completed.  You can upload your printed/completed requirements to your portal online providing you with the ultimate flexibility for submitting them by the deadline.  Documents may also be submitted in person to our office in Peck Hall 207.  

  • We will email you via your MTSU email address once your Pre-Departure Packet is available in your online portal.  
  • Pre-Departure Packets are typically available 3-4 weeks prior to the deadline. 

Please contact us if you have any questions about the Pre-Departure Packet.

Please note:  Because of the importance of ensuring courses you take abroad are required for your degree plan, you have access to the Course Approval Form at all times on our website or by asking us for a copy.  Your form may be turned in at any point in the study abroad process.  You may submit one to our office in Peck Hall 207 any time prior to the Pre-Departure Packet release. 

Pre-Departure Orientation

The MTSU Office of Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation is a mandatory orientation for all education abroad students.   

It is designed to inform students of a variety of education abroad issues including course registration, transcripts, visas, health, and academics abroad.  The orientation also gives students to meet others who are in the same program, touch base with the Faculty Director (if applicable), and learn about related subjects such as travel, packing, and cell phones abroad.  

There will be one Pre-Departure Orientation prior to each study abroad term.  Orientation dates are planned far in advance and can be found on our website under the Dates & Deadlines section.  The Pre-Departure Orientation date for your chosen program will also be in your Office of Education Abroad preapproval email. Students who fail to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation may not study abroad. 

Related links: 


A visa is official permission to enter a country that is granted by that country's government.  Visa requirements differ from country to country, and not all study abroad students will require a visa.  A general guideline is that if your study abroad program (including internships) is longer than 90 days you will need a student visa for that country.  A few short-term programs may also require a visa.  Most summer programs do not. 

Other visa information:

  • You must have a passport to apply for a visa
  • Visa instructions provided by the program provider, host university, and embassy/consulate must be followed very carefully 
  • You may be required to submit your application in person and/or attend an in-person interview at the consulate 
  • Most visas have fees associated with them

Students can research visa requirements for each country by inquiring with the Faculty Director, your program provider, or researching on your own online.  Program Providers offer visa assistance and we encourage all students on provider programs to take advantage of this service. 

It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not the chosen study abroad country requires a visa.  The Office of Education Abroad may be able to assist minimally with the visa process.  Please contact us if you would like assistance. 

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Travel and Airfare

Most information regarding travel and airfare to your chosen study abroad country can be found through an online search.  Program providers and Faculty Directors can also assist with questions you may have about travel and airfare.

Travel abroad is a topic discussed at the Pre-Departure Orientation. 

Below are some links we recommend.