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Get started & take the first steps…

  • You’re already here…have a look around! The most current info about programs, the process, resources, and everything you need to know about studying abroad is available here.

  • Attend Study Abroad 101. In this required session, you'll gain in-depth info about studying abroad, plus perspectives from a past study abroad student! It’s offered at 12 PM every Tue. & Wed. in the Study Abroad office, at 138 Kirby Plaza, and lasts about 45 minutes. Drop-ins welcome! Alternatively, a video version is available here.

  • Talk with our Peer Advisors. All have studied abroad—some multiple times! They’re a wealth of knowledge and can guide you in the decision-making process. They can answer most questions and will walk you through details in the guide to study abroad.

  • Stop by Drop-in Advising, available Mon.–Fri. from 10—11 AM. This is your chance to talk with a study abroad staff member…no appointment needed!

  • Read through the steps in the Guide to Study Abroad (a hard-copy is available at our front desk.) Use this to keep track of the required steps to study abroad. It’s helpful if you take notes on this before meetings with advisors and even before Study Abroad 101. This will help you think through items such as choosing a location as well as larger questions regarding your goals. It’ll also help you prepare meaningful questions to share with your professional/academic advisor, and study abroad coordinators in our office during your meetings.

  • Complete your online student profile. Reading and thinking through the Guide to Study Abroad will help prepare information to include. Completing the profile will get you into our system and further prepare you for meetings with our staff.

  • Begin financial planning. When researching programs, check out this budgeting tool to estimate and compare program costs. Look into scholarships, financial aid options, and start saving money. You’re going to want it for your upcoming adventure!

  • Research program locations. Do you want to live in a big city? Warm or cold climate? Near the ocean or mountains? Make sure you find a country that is a good fit for you academically, financially, and personally. When picking a program, you should also consider your current and future goals, as well as student identity. It’s important to keep in mind cultural differences and your personal views when choosing a location.

  • Begin planning your academics. Meet with your Professional or Faculty Advisor to discuss your degree requirements using your grad planner or your APAS (Academic Progress Audit System) report. Your advisor can guide you in regards to which major/minor requirements are ideal to take at UMD and which may be okay to take abroad. This may also help you narrow down a particular university. If you already have a place in mind, these meetings may help you select courses to keep you on track for graduation.

  • What courses do you want to take abroad? Review our Study Abroad Course Database to see classes UMD students have taken abroad. If courses you’re interested in aren’t listed—work with your professional or faculty advisor and use the Academic Planning Form to get other courses reviewed and approved before to ensure they will count towards your degree once you return.

  • Get a passport. You can apply for one right on campus, in our office! Processing can take 6–8 weeks, so plan ahead as you won’t be able to enter the country (or even apply to some programs) without one in hand. If you’re serious about studying abroad, you’re going to need one of these little books—regardless of when you want to go. 

  • Apply! Once you are ready to commit, apply to the program (use links on the respective program web page.) Make sure you’re aware of all fees and pay attention to deadlines. Let us know if you have further questions and we’ll guide you through the next steps moving forward. Cheers!