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Where To Start

Choosing a study abroad program is an exciting and important part of your college experience. Many students begin by thinking about what sort of academic experience they want abroad. Students can work on improving communication skills in a foreign language, take classes in their major or minor, get elective credit, do an internship, volunteer and more. Think about what's right for you, and discuss it with your academic advisor. Following the steps below will keep you on track to making your study abroad experience a reality.

Step 1. Watch the First Steps Video Series OR attend a First Steps Info Session!

The choice is yours! If you would like to attend an in-person First Steps Info Session, they are held every Monday - Wednesday from 4 PM - 5PM in 101 International Studies Building while classes are in session.

The First Steps Info Session will encourage you to think about important things to consider before choosing a study abroad program. This includes academics, housing, duration, location, and cost. You will learn how to research a program, understand costs (there is information about scholarships and Financial Aid), and even how to apply!

If your schedule does not allow you to attend a live First Steps Info Session, watch the First Steps video series below instead!


Factors to Consider Video:

What do you want your experience to be? What should you think about when deciding on the right program for you?


Exploring Program Options Video

How do you find out more about the programs that you are interested in?


Cost, Financial Aid & Scholarships Videos

Cost Video: What should you know about cost when planning for your study abroad program?


Scholarships Video: What kind of scholarship opportunities are there for study abroad?


Financial Aid Video: What should you know about how financial aid works with study abroad?

Study Abroad and Federal Aid Guidelines

Cost, Financial Aid & Scholarships - Complete Video Notes (forthcoming)


How to Apply Video (forthcoming)

How do you apply to your study abroad program?

  • How to Apply - Complete Video Notes (forthcoming)

Step 2. Create a Study Abroad Suitcase!

If you think studying abroad is right for you and you would like to continue exploring programs online before you apply, create a Study Abroad Suitcase here:

Study Abroad Suitcase

By creating your Suitcase, you can save programs you like and read about them later. By saving a program to your suitcase, you will receive information about programs in that region and information on when to apply. Pack as many programs in your suitcase as you like! If you want your friends to know about a great program you found, click the "Share This" button on the online program brochure page and spread the word!

Step 3. Talk to a Peer Advisor OR Attend a Regional Info Session

Talk to a Peer Advisor:

Peer Advisors are here to help you narrow down your options, choose a program, and answer questions about the application process. There may even be a Peer Advisor who has studied in a region or country you are interested in! Find them in the Study Abroad Office Resource Room (Room 112 International Studies Building, on the corner of Fifth and Chalmers). The Resource Room is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:45 PM--no appointment is needed! Click here to view the Peer Advisor schedule.

Peer Advisors are available all summer. If you have very specific questions about a program, call 217-333-6322 to make an appointment with a Study Abroad Advisor. Appointments are 20 minutes long, so please come prepared with questions to get the most out of your time with your Advisor.

Attend a Regional Info Session:

Regional Info Sessions are put together by the Study Abroad Advisors and are designed to provide information about the different programs in their regional portfolio. Take a look at our Events and Deadlines calendar to see if there is a Regional Info Session coming up for a region you are interested in.

Step 4. Apply Now

When you are ready to apply, click on the "Create App" button at the top of the online program brochure page.

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