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Before You Study Abroad: Choosing a Program

Studying abroad is often among the most rewarding experiences that university students can have. Not only does studying abroad improve cultural awareness and transform you into a true “global citizen,” studying abroad can also help you learn about yourself and your future goals. While the benefits are clear, the process of finding and applying to a study abroad program can be confusing. That’s why you can always stop by our office or call us if you have any questions along the way. Office Hours & Location.

Where do I start?

1.  Attend a Study Abroad General Information Session

In person:

Location: SASC 230

Schedule: Ask for our schedule by calling us or sending us an email to

To see our calendar of events and RSVP for a meeting, go to our Study Abroad Events Calendar or call us at (305) 348-1913.

Steps to Study Abroad:

Below you’ll find the general steps you’ll need to take in order to find a program that’s right for you and make it happen. Although the order is flexible, it’s important to complete all of the following steps to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

1. Attend a Study Abroad General Information Session:

  • Study Abroad General Information Sessions are your introduction to study abroad. At the meeting we’ll discuss the different types of programs available, along with academic and financial matters pertaining to your participation in a program.

2. Research Programs:

  • Start thinking about what kind of program you’d like to do, where you’d like to go, and how much you’d be able to spend. Take a look at our Choosing a Program section for ideas to help get you started in deciding on which program is best for you, and make sure to read our Student Experiences and Profiles to learn what past students thought about their study abroad destinations.

3. Set up an appointment with a Program Coordinator:

  • Program Coordinators will assist you with your program selection process. They’ll work with you to give you more detailed information on the programs that interest you in order to find one that meets your academic, financial, and personal needs.
  • Call our office at (305) 348-1913 in order to set up an advising appointment.

4. Meet with your Academic Advisor(s):

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to find out what degree requirements you have yet to fulfill, and which ones you can potentially fulfill abroad.
  • If you’d like to fulfill UCC or Upper Division requirements while abroad, please meet with our Study Abroad Academic Advisor, Alexi Berry (
  • If you’ll be taking classes for your major or minor, you’ll need to meet with your advisors from those particular departments.
  • Remember, this first meeting is for you to find out what requirements you still need to fulfill within your degree so that you can get a better idea of what kinds of classes you should be looking to take abroad (major, minor, elective, etc.). Knowing what kinds of classes you need will really come in handy when selecting a program. Later on in the application process you’ll meet with your Academic Advisor again to obtain approval for the specific courses you choose. Don’t worry about obtaining these approvals in your first meeting!
  • *Course approvals are only required for semester long programs.

5. Talk to your family:

  • Even though deciding to study abroad may have been an easy decision for you, keep in mind that it might not be so easy for your family, especially if they’ll be contributing financially. Make sure to talk it over with them before applying to study abroad.
  • Consider the following benefits of studying abroad when consulting with your family:
    • Academic Enrichment – what better way to learn about international business than by conducting business internationally!
    • Professional Development – skills obtained when studying abroad (intercultural understanding, self-reliance) translate into marketable skills to add to your resume.
    • Personal Growth – living in a completely new environment gives you the opportunity to expand your horizons, forge international connections, and develop a greater understanding of not only those around you, but of yourself as well.
    • Financial Aid – don’t forget that you can use your financial aid towards your program and there are numerous of scholarships that you can apply for. Have your family take a look at our Fund Your Study Abroad Experience section to learn more.

6. Research and Apply for Scholarships:

  • There are lots of scholarships available to study abroad students, but don’t wait until it’s too late to apply. Start researching scholarship options before you apply to study abroad. Check out our Scholarships section so you can get to know what’s out there.

7. Select a program and Apply:

  • Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for the program you are applying to and be sure to submit all documents by their specified deadlines. Late documents will negatively affect your application and can jeopardize your study abroad experience!
  • Application instructions can be found on each of the program pages, FIU Study Abroad Programs, International Student Exchange, Study Abroad Programs Outside of FIU.
  • Please note that applications for students applying to semester-long programs will not be considered unless you have attended a Study Abroad Information Session or met with a Study Abroad Coordinator.