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



UNCA offers three types of study abroad programs to choose from: faculty-led programs, partner exchange programs, and provider programs. Start communicating with your academic advisor about which courses you should try to take while abroad. 

  1. How do I decide which program to choose?
    Consider location, course offerings, costs, and terms programs are available. One program type may make more sense for you than another.
  2. Where do I find what’s offered?
    Research programs on our website using the “Program Search”.
  3. How long can I study abroad for?
    Students can complete a semester, year, or sometimes even more of your degree program abroad.
  4. When should I start planning finances?
    It’s never too early to start planning your finances for study abroad: tuition, housing and meal fees, plus required UNCA insurance. 

Don’t forget to budget for airfare, visa fees, school supplies, local transportation and personal expenses. Talk with your study abroad and financial aid offices regarding scholarship, grant and loan details that are available to you based on financial need. 


Schedule an appointment with your study abroad adviser for guidance at any phase during the study abroad process. We will work with you to find programs that meet your needs, it is important to discuss any concerns with Study Abroad. We want to ensure you have a successful experience abroad! 

Set goals, consider the various program types, understand the financial resources, and get started on reviewing application steps before committing to a program


How do I schedule an appointment?

Appointments can be scheduled online, by phone or stop by the Study Abroad office located in the Academic Success Center in the basement of Ramsey. Office hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.


Step 2: Application Procedures


Applying: Pre-Decision

Application Fees are required fees that are due at the time of application. The following fees are paid directly to Student Accounts and are payable by check or cash only:

All Summer Programs: $200
All Semester or Academic Year Exchange and Non-Exchange Programs: $300

How do I apply?

  • Go to to start your UNCA study abroad application. 
  • To begin an application, click the “Apply Now” button on the UNCA brochure page of a selected program. 
  • Please be sure to click the “SUBMIT” button at the top of the application once all items have been checked off. ALL Pre-Decision questionnaires and signature documents must be completed and the application must be submitted before they can be reviewed.  


Applying Through a Partner/Vendor of UNCA (non-faculty-led programs)

Complete the application, fees, and additional requirements directly on the program’s website before the deadline date. Please stay in touch with your advisers at these organizations and be aware that specific application requirements and deadline dates vary.

After Acceptance to the Program

Once you are accepted to study abroad, you will need to take additional steps to prepare for your experience. These steps will be unique to the program in which you enroll, although all UNCA students traveling abroad are required to complete security training.

Please complete ALL of the remaining Post-Decision documents and materials. 

Course Registration

In order for students to be registered in the study abroad placeholder courses for their semester abroad and to receive major/minor credit for their courses, students need to get approval from their UNCA academic advisor and department chair by signing the Permission to Study Abroad (PSA) form. The course overview details and/or syllabus information is needed for academic advisers to review before meeting with students to discuss their study abroad plans to evaluate the course credit and transfer information. This allows students to know how their classes abroad will apply to their degree and the credit equivalence that will be transferred over on their Grad plan and transcript.


Step 3: Other Important Matters


Apply for a Passport

Ensure you have an up-to-date passport or make sure to apply for one as soon as possible. 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.

Apply for a Visa

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

Make Travel Plans

Wait until official acceptance into the program to purchase plane tickets.

Finalize University Requirments

Follow any instructions from the host university about their forms and required deposits before the start date.

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.  Please submit a cancellation request form, located in the forms and agreements section of the Housing portal via Oneport. If you have any questions or issues, please reach out to for assistance.

Pre-departure Orientation

Students are required to attend Pre-Departure Orientation prior to their trip.  Pre-Departure Orientation covers health and safety, security, cultural adjustment information, expectations for behavior while abroad, and travel tips.


Step 4: Go Abroad

Go abroad! Immerse yourself in local culture and work hard in class!

Traveling is, of course, a huge component of the study abroad process. Preparation is key when traveling abroad, and just getting to the host country is only the beginning of the study abroad journey. Students need to prepare for both the logistics of travel and for how navigating a new culture will impact them personally.


Any required tasks while abroad?

Before returning to UNCA, students are required to complete the Final Course Schedule document to ensure the class credits are applicable to their Grad Plan. Having the actual course information that students are currently enrolled in (per the Permission to Study Abroad Form) is needed to ensure a smoother transition when official transcripts are received.


Step 5: Return to UNC Asheville

After returning home, you will receive a copy of your official transcript, which UNCA will use to transfer your courses and credits taken abroad.


What opportunities are available?

  • After returning home, many students wish to go again. Meet with our staff to learn more about our other programs and options.
  • Get involved! Consider applying to be an intern or study abroad assistant, and participate in the UNCA photo contest.
  • Go abroad after graduation.  UNCA highly encourages students to explore ways they can go abroad again after graduation.


Step 6: After Graduation Opportunities


GoinGlobal is the leading career and employment resource for jobs and internships at home and abroad, including country & city guides, H1B visa information, an employer directory and job/internship postings. GoinGlobal Career Guides and the Global Key Employer Directory are continually updated. This research system offers more than 10,000 resources for finding employment in the U.S. and abroad. To help you get the most out of GoinGlobal’s extensive resources, we encourage you to get started with these easy steps:

  1. Access the GoingGlobal website and log in using your Oneport username and password.
  2. Explore Career Guides, Jobs, Internships, the Employer Directory, and more.
  3. Follow the instructions below to create an account, save your research, and set up job alerts.
  4. View the Introduction Video.