Skip to content

Getting Started

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! 

Why explore education abroad? 

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! 

What can I study? 

Education Abroad programs are designed to complement your degree plan.  Courses taken abroad must be required for your degree plan in some way: major, minor, general education, or electives. Internships abroad are available.  

Most majors & minors can find programs with courses abroad.  If we cannot find a course or program that works with your degree plan, we can discuss alternative options.  

You can study abroad on short-term programs (summer, spring break, winter) or long-term programs (fall, spring, academic year).  Not all courses/programs will be available all terms, so it is helpful to be flexible as you search for a program.  

Types of programs

We offer three types of education abroad programs.  Most courses are taught in English.  

  • 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
  • Program Providers offer short-term (summer, winter) and long-term (semester, academic year) programs.  These have a high level of support and provide students with a chance to study abroad with other U.S. and local (host country) students. Examples are programs offered through ISA or USAC. 
  • 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

Overview of the study abroad process

The study abroad process is collaborative and there is some back and forth to complete the process.  However, the basic process for most students will look like this:  

  1. Identify a program (with research and advising)
  2. Apply to the program 
  3. Apply for scholarships and understand financial aid
  4.  Finalize all details (courses, final requirements, orientation, etc..) 
  5. Study abroad
The Office of Education Abroad can help students fill in the details in between each of those steps. 

Let's get started with some in-depth details about study abroad, below. 


Divider - Policies & Requireme

MTSU students must abide by all policies & requirements set forth by the Office of Education Abroad, Faculty Directors, program providers, and/or the host university  in addition to general MTSU policies & requirements. Please review our policies & requirements information prior to committing to a study abroad program.  
Divider - Education Ab. Advisi
It is recommended that students who plan to participate on an education abroad program meet with an Office of Education Abroad for an advising session. This meeting should occur at least 6-12 months prior to your program of interest start date.  Additional advising sessions are welcomed.  

Advising is required for students who wish to participate on an MTSU Exchange Program since these programs and the application process is more detailed than others. 
Divider - program search
Want to explore options on your own?  Are you ready to apply for Office of Education Abroad pre-approval for your chosen program? Explore our simple program search by entering search terms for program name, term (ex: summer), city, country, and/or region.  Move to our advanced program search from the simple search to enter more specific search criteria. 

If you cannot find the program you are searching for or need assistance, please contact us. 

Please use the link below to search for programs. 
Divider - Fin Aid & Scholarshi
Financial Aid
Financial Aid may apply to education abroad programs.  Education Abroad students must take courses abroad required for their degree plan.  In order to receive financial aid, minimum credit hours must be met: the equivalent of 12 U.S. credit hours for a semester or 6 U.S. credit hours for summer.  Courses taken abroad will be reviewed prior to the program start date to determine eligibility for the upcoming study abroad term. 

It is recommended that students discuss their aid options with the Financial Aid Office. The MTSU Financial Aid Office provides students with information about a variety of financial aid options and how those may work with study abroad programs.  

The Office of Education Abroad can provide a detailed cost estimate of a student's program choice in order to help the Financial Aid Office more accurately determine aid options. 

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.  

Please review information on our Financial Aid & Scholarships section of our website for more detailed information.  
Divider - credit & course app
Credit earned 
Students earn all credit they take abroad.  Credit transferred back to MTSU  is determined by the type of credit offered abroad & the conversion (if necessary) and the MTSU course equivalency for each class taken (determined by the student's academic department). 

It is imperative that students understand how the credit earned abroad will be calculated and transferred back to the degree plan.  For additional information, please review information on international credit, linked below. 
  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. 

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 or the link below.
Divider - how to apply
Your education abroad process will consist of at least two applications, the preapproval application and the actual program application.  Exchanges, study abroad independent study, and some provider programs may have additional applications or requirements. 

Apply for Pre-Approval
The first step to indicating your intention to study abroad is the Office of Education Abroad pre-approval application. This is an important internal deadline that must be met regardless of the actual program deadline. 

What does it mean to be pre-approved?  The MTSU Office of Education Abroad will support your participation in an affiliated study abroad program for the term you have applied and received approval for.  You must still obtain approval from your actual program through the application process. 

Students should read the Policies & Requirements section of our website prior to applying for pre-approval. 

To request online pre-approval:
  • Search for your program using the Program Search function
  • Find program, select, then select 'Apply Now'
  • Log in with your Pipeline credentials 
  • Follow steps to create an account on the education abroad website portal 
  • Complete and submit the pre-approval requirements due by the internal deadline.  These are online requirements for your convenience. 
  • There is no cost for the pre-approval process.
You will receive an e-mail from the Office of Education Abroad to our MTSU e-mail address in about one week after your online pre-approval request.

Pre-approval deadlines vary by term.  Please see the Dates & Deadlines section of our website for full details. 

Apply for Your Program
The second step in the approval process is to apply for your actual program. 

You will know that you are at this stage in the process if you have applied for pre-approval and received a pre-approval confirmation email from the Office of Education Abroad.  Your pre-approval email will indicate that you can move forward in the process and apply for your actual program.   

We highly recommend that students complete the Course Approval Form prior to applying for an education abroad program.   Please review the Course Approval Form section of our website for more information and ask questions as they arise.  
  • MTSU Signature Program - Apply with the Faculty Director 
    • Some application information may be on the program website 
    • Look for the 'Application Process' section of the program page for more details
  • Program Provider - Apply with the program provider directly
  • Independent Study
    • Apply with the Office of Education Abroad 
    • Ensure the academic department has approved your Independent Study plan 
  • MTSU Exchange Program 
    • Complete the MTSU Preliminary Application for Exchange 
    • Look for the application in the 'Application Process' of the program page 
    • Deadlines are usually earlier than other programs 
  • COST Program (College of Education students) 
Divider - dates & deadlines
The education abroad process contains important dates and deadlines that are essential to your success.  These include, but are not limited to, the program pre-approval deadline, scholarship deadlines, program application deadlines, mandatory pre-departure orientation, and more.  

Program providers, Faculty Directors, Office of Financial Aid, universities abroad, MTSU Exchange Programs, scholarships, and course registration will have different deadlines. We recommend you add deadlines to your calendar early in the process.   
Similarly, we have education abroad events such as the Study Abroad Fair that we would like to share with you over the course of the academic year.  

Please use the link below to review Office of Education Abroad dates and deadlines. 
Divider - expectations
Because the education abroad experience is unique, we found it helpful to list expectations so that everyone understands their role in the process.  Our expectations section has been designed so students know what to expect from the Office of Education Abroad including ongoing support, guidance, and offering programs of high academic quality. 

It also provides a framework for students to understand their role in the education abroad process by listing specifics actions such as understanding their role as an ambassador of MTSU while abroad or ensuring that all eligibility requirements are met. 

Please take a moment to review the expectations section of our website by using the link below. 
Divider - FAQ
Please review our Frequently Asked Questions section to see if it answers any questions you may have.  We expect students to have many questions, so if you do not see your question answered on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us. 
1100x400 image