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Getting Started!


Explore the world, experience new cultures, make friends, have fun, find a new path, learn a language, challenge yourself, satisfy your wanderlust, gain empathy & understanding, become more independent, learn from others....Studies have shown that study abroad students have higher graduation rates, higher rates of employment, are more competitive applicants for grad school, earn more over a lifetime, and are more likely to be hired than non-study abroad graduates.

Many students are curious about education abroad but don't know where to start. Let us help you through this collaborative process as you learn more, understand the process, and organize the details necessary to make your study abroad dream come to fruition! 

Review the information below and watch our getting started video. It's short and informative and will help you understand the different types of programs and more! MTSU Study Abroad Video 

Steps to Get Started


1. Plan Ahead and Think About Your Goals

Do you want to study in a specific place? Do you need to take a specific class abroad? Would research be of interest? Do you want to be with a group or more independent? Do you want to live with a family? Visit our Program Page to browse open programs to get a rough idea of what is available. MTSU offers three (3) types of education abroad programs:  
  1. MTSU Signature Programs are MTSU faculty led, have a high level of support, are 2-4 weeks in duration, and earn 3-6 credit hours.  These are typically summer courses
  2. Exchange Programs are long-term (semester, academic year) programs.  They offer greater independence and the ability to study with local (host country) students.  Tuition & fees may be paid to MTSU or to the provider, depending on the program
  3. Program Providers offer short-term (summer, winter) and long-term (semester, academic year) programs. We only recommend these programs if MTSU does not support a specific course of study
It is also required that you understand MTSU's Policies and Requirements as well as our Expectations

2. Meet with Your Advisor

It is recommended that students who plan to participate on an education abroad program meet with our Education Abroad Advisor. This meeting should occur at least 6-12 months prior to your program of interest start date.  Additional advising sessions are welcomed.

Students who are interested in an MTSU Exchange Program will be required to meet with the Director or Advisor of the Office of Education Abroad.  This meeting should occur at least 9 months prior to the program start date or earlier.  The process for these programs is slightly different and has earlier deadlines than other programs.   

3. Speak with Your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor can help you determine the ideal semester for an international experience. They will discuss course options for meeting your degree requirements and options for internships or research.

4. Make a Financial Plan

Selecting the right opportunity is a combination of program selection and a sound financial plan. Consider your budget, discover scholarship opportunities and research financial aid. As each students financial situation is unique, if is important that you, as a student, understand the resources available to you. The Office of Education Abroad offers three (3) scholarships to students participating in a study abroad program. Please refer to the Scholarship page for more details.

It is also important to speak with the Financial Aid office to understand what your award package will and will not cover.

5. Find Your Program

Once you understand the requirements, processes, and costs of your program, it is time to apply! The first step is to complete the EA Pre-Approval application to verify that you meet the program requires. Once you are Pre-Approved, you will complete a list of required documents, depending on the type of program.

6. Course Approval Form

If you are participating in an MTSU Exchange or Provider Program, you must work with your academic to complete the Course Approval Form - this form verifies that the course you plan on taking abroad will count towards your degree plan and qualify you for financial aid, if applicable.


7. Finalize the Details

At this point in the process, you will be completed required forms and documents, verifying that your passport is up-to-date, and preparing for departure!

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