6 Steps to Education Abroad

1. Define Your Goals 

Now that you've decided to study abroad, ask yourself WHY? Do you want to become proficient in a second language you study? Go to a geographical/cultural region you've always dreamed of visiting? Participate in an internship abroad to enhance your resume? Take courses that will seamlessly transfer over to fulfill your MSU degree requirements? Do international research?

Every student has their own vision of what studying abroad means to them. Take some time to reflect on yours. This will help you choose the best program for you!

2. Select a Program

  • We offer a variety of programs - some are led by our faculty here at MSU! We partner with international educators to offer education abroad experiences all over the world. Some are exchange programs with other universities that offer cost-effective solutions to studying abroad. 
  • You can search for programs here!
  • Use filtered search options to select your major, your language, your preferred location, and more in order to find the programs that best meet your needs.

3. Get Your Passport!

You can't go abroad without one. This is an exciting first step, and could take up to 3 months, so it is imperative that you complete this as early as possible. Visit our Passport and Visa page for more information!

4. Talk With Your Academic Advisor

  • Discuss the education abroad program you want to go on, and how it will fit in with your degree requirements. 
  • Make a plan for graduation that includes studying abroad. 
  • Make sure the courses you want to take abroad are approved through the pre-approval process. Your advisor or Education Abroad staff can assist with understanding how the pre-approval process works.
  • We encourage you to bring our Advising Conversation Guide with you when meeting with your academic advisor. This is a new guide the Office of Education Abroad has created to help facilitate the study abroad advising process for academic advisors and their advisees!

5. Apply for a Program & Scholarships

Be mindful of deadlines!

  • Mark your calendar! Each program has their own unique application deadline. Know your program's deadline as you move through the process. There are also deadlines for all our scholarships.
  • Complete two applications- one on the Education Abroad Website and one on the provider's website (if going through a third-party provider)
  • Submit a budget worksheet (found on your MSU application). Our staff can help you through this, so don't worry. 
  • Meet with Financial Aid with your completed budget worksheet to further investigate your financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
  • Get paid! Apply for Education Abroad College Scholarships after you apply for your program.
  • Don't forget to check your program provider's website for extra scholarship opportunities!

6. Prepare To Go

  • Apply for a visa in the country you are going to. This could take some time, so again, be mindful of lead times and deadlines!
  • Research the location that you will be traveling to, so you are as prepared as possible. Google is your friend! There are some travel guidebooks such as Lonely Planet that are excellent resources for all travelers, especially those on a budget.
  • Review our "Health and Safety While Abroad" page, as well as begin the petition to travel process if necessary.
  • You will attend a required pre-departure orientation held on the Study Day (the day of no classes before finals) before you go.