Steps to Study Abroad

As you begin your journey 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.  Find the application deadlines on the 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.  Once you have narrowed down your search make another appointment to confirm your plans.

_____  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.  Discuss your plans with your parents/guardians.

_____  6.  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 yourself so you can upload it into your application.

_____ 3.  To apply, go to the online application system and search for the program for which you’d like to apply.  Click on the Apply Now button to begin the application process.

_____ 4.  Once you have completed your application, submit it.  If you have any questions during the application process please email the study abroad office ( or come to the Study Abroad office so we can assist you.  Be sure to submit your application by the deadline as the application will shut down after the deadline and will no longer be accessible to you.

_____ 5.  Ask any further questions you have about studying abroad, including any questions about scholarships and/or financial aid.

_____ 6.  If you do not already have a passport, begin application procedures now as it can take several weeks and you will need to have it if you need to apply for a visa.

_____ 7.  Attend the mandatory study abroad orientation. Please read the Pre-departure Student Handbook and complete the online pre-departure orientation modules.

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 your current passport is valid for less than 6 months after your return from abroad, you will need to apply for a new passport.

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

_____ 3.  Make travel plans. Wait until acceptance into the program to purchase plane tickets.

_____ 4.  Follow any instructions from the host university about their forms and required deposits.

_____ 5.  If you live in the residence halls, go online to the Housing website and complete the necessary paperwork to exempt you from fulfilling your contract because you’ll be studying abroad.

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 at your host university, go to your UNCA Study Abroad online application and complete the Final Schedule Form located under the While Abroad section of the application and submit it.  You must take the equivalent of 12 semester hours at UNC Asheville (24 ECTS hours if in Europe) during the fall or spring semester to be considered full-time.  You must be full-time in order to keep your student visa status.

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

_____ 5.  Advising for the following semester after your return will happen while you are abroad.  Please be in touch with your advisor during this time to conduct advising through your UNCA Email Account and to get your RAN.

_____ 6.  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 ( so we can assist you.

_____ 7.  Enjoy your time abroad!  Plan to submit photos to the Photo Contest.

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 The Study Abroad Office 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 Study Abroad activities sharing your experiences with prospective Study Abroad Students.  There are many opportunities to give back to the Study Abroad program:

The Study Abroad Fair

The Global Ambassador Program

Classroom Presentations

Other opportunities

If you received an International Scholarship, participation is required as part of the criteria for accepting the scholarship.