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 or watch Study Abroad 101. In this required session, you'll gain in-depth info about studying abroad, plus perspectives from a past study abroad student! 
  • Get A Passport! Processing times have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. If you do not have a passport, apply for one right away. Check out the U.S. State Department passport website for details on current processing times and where you can apply for or renew a passport. If you already have a passport, double-check the expiration date to ensure it will be valid at least 6 months past the end of the term you plan to study abroad.
  • Ask to schedule a meeting with our Peer Advisors. They've either studied or traveled abroad and are 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. 
  • 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. Take notes on this document 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 during meetings with your professional/academic advisor and study abroad coordinators.
  • Complete your online student profile. 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 or small town? Warm or cold climate? Near the ocean or mountains? Make sure you find a location that's a good fit for you academically, financially, and personally. When picking a program, consider your current and future goals, as well as your student identity. It’s important to keep in mind cultural differences and your personal views when choosing a country.
  • 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 looking at 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 examples of 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 courses reviewed and approved before you go to ensure they will count towards your degree once you return.
  • Make an appointment with a Study Abroad Coordinator at the Study Abroad office. This appointment will ensure you are aware of important details and are on track with logistics. Bring your Study Abroad guide, make sure you’ve completed your online student profile, and attended Study Abroad 101 prior to scheduling.
  • 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!