Steps to Study Abroad

Use this checklist to guide you through each step of the study abroad process. Find detailed information regarding financial aid opportunities, orientations, application deadlines, insurance coverage, and student benefits in the right-hand links. Find all required forms and paperwork on the Forms & Deadlines page. 

Step 1: Choose a Program

_____  1.  Research the various programs and universities on our Search Programs page.

_____  2.  Make an appointment with the Study Abroad Office to discuss your study abroad options. Or take advantage of our Walk-In Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. & Tuesday & Thursday Noon-2:30 p.m.

_____  3.  Criteria for study abroad requires that you have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. Some programs (such as ISEP) require a higher GPA - 2.75 or 3.0 for some locations.

_____  4.  Talk with your departmental advisor about your plans and the courses you need to take while abroad.

_____  5.  Make an appointment with the Study Abroad office to confirm your plans and receive application materials. Thoroughly discuss the application process.

_____  7.  Discuss your plans with your parents/guardians.

_____  8.  Research scholarships.

Step 2: Application Procedures

_____ 1.  If you have financial aid, submit this year's FAFSA and contact the Financial Aid office to discuss any questions you may have.

_____ 2.  Request a copy of your UNC Asheville transcript to be sent to the Study Abroad office. If you have studied at another university, you must also request a copy of your transcript from that/those university(ies) to be sent to the Study Abroad office.

_____ 3.  Give your letters of reference to your chosen faculty members.  Include an envelope addressed to Study Abroad, CPO 1560, Ramsey Library 28. (Be considerate. Give your referees plenty of time to complete this form and write the letter. Provide referees with information about you that they will need, such as when you were in the faculty member's class, grade received, extra work accomplished, your extracurricular activities and interests, your club memberships, etc.)

_____ 4.  Write your Statement of Purpose.  If your intended language at your host institution is other than English, also write your letter in the language of that country. Submit both to the Study Abroad office.

_____ 5.  Submit your completed application. Applications are different for each program. Complete secondary forms and submit them to the Study Abroad office along with your application before or by the deadline. Note: A complete application usually consists of:

        ___ application form/participant profile for the appropriate program
        ___ two academic references
        ___ language proficiency report (if applicable)
        ___ statement of purpose in English
        ___ statement of purpose in your host country language (if applicable)
        ___ host request list and site forms (ISEP)
        ___ transcript from UNC Asheville and other colleges you've attended if you've received college credit
        ___ application fee(s)

_____ 6.  Ask any further questions you have about studying abroad, including any questions about scholarships and/or financial aid.

_____ 7.  Attend the mandatory study abroad orientation. Please read the Pre-departure Student Handbook prior to attending the orientation.

Step 3: Other Important Matters

 _____ 1.  Apply for a passport if you do not have one. Passports must not expire before 6 months upon return from your program. If it does, you need to apply for a new one.

_____ 2.  Begin reviewing visa requirements and apply for your visa as specified (if required before leaving the U.S.).

_____ 3.  Complete and submit the Permission to Study Abroad (PSA) form to the Study Abroad office. You'll need to meet with your Academic Advisor and/or department Chair and obtain approval of course credits for this form.

_____ 4.  Complete and submit any secondary paperwork not previously submitted (i.e. financial aid adjustment form and documents).

_____ 5.  Make travel plans. Wait until acceptance into the program to purchase plane tickets.

_____ 6.  Follow any instructions from the host university about their forms and required deposits.

_____ 7.  If you live in the residence halls, go to Governor's Hall and let them know you'll be studying abroad. They will give you 2 forms to complete and return to them.

Step 4: At the Host University

_____ 1.  Contact your parents and let them know you've arrived.

_____ 2.  Contact your academic advisor and let them know you've arrived; keep in touch with any course questions.

_____ 3.  Once your schedule is in place, complete and return the Final Schedule Form to the Study Abroad office. You must take the equivalent of 12 semester hours at UNC Asheville (24 ECTS hours if in Europe).  

_____ 4.  Be sure to request a transcript to be sent to the Study Abroad office once your program is completed.

_____ 5.  Pre-register for courses at UNC Asheville during the regular pre-registration period (you should get an email from UNC Asheville informing you of the registration dates). If you have problems with pre-registering, please contact the Study Abroad office.

Step 5: Return to UNC Asheville

_____ 1.  Check on the status of your transfer credit with the Study Abroad and/or Registrars offices.  If you took courses that were not pre-approved on your PSA, take the syllabus and other course documents to your advisor so he/she can evaluate the course(s).

_____ 2.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your transcript arrives at UNC Asheville. Please be in contact with your host university to be sure the Study Abroad office receives your transcript.

_____ 3.  Check in with the Study Abroad office! Volunteer to help with the Study Abroad Fair, Global Ambassador program, giving presentations in classes, or other opportunities to give back to the program. If you received an International Scholarship, this is required as part of the criteria for accepting the scholarship.