Montana State University

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Study Abroad Office

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172260
400 Culbertson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-2260


Heather Dolan - Study Abroad Program Assistant

Tel: (406) 994-7151


Anna Greenberg - Study Abroad Advisor and Outreach Coordinator

Tel: (406) 994-7151
Fax: (406) 994-1619


Susan Welker - Study Abroad Manager

Tel: (406) 994-5719
Fax: (406) 994-1619


Alyson Roberts - CCIS Advisor and Coordinator

Tel: (406) 994-7044
Fax: (406) 994-1619


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Study Abroad Preparations

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Dear students,

Congratulations on having completed your application to MSU.
Many students after having completed their primary applications either forget that there are many additional steps to finishing this process, or they are anxiously waiting to see what will happen next.
Hopefully this timeline will help you set some appropriate expectations for the months to come.

If you are a direct exchange student and you have completed your MSU study abroad application, you can expect:

  1. You will be contacted for an interview approximately one week after the application deadline
  2. Interviews will be held at the OIP usually the second or third week after the deadline
  3. Your application and interview will be reviewed and then if we decide to nominate you to the host university we will mail them your MSU application about one or two weeks after your interview. If we have nominated you to the host university you can expect to receive an official MSU acceptance letter (conditional on the acceptance by the host university) in the mail about 4-5 weeks after the application deadline.
  4. When you receive this acceptance letter READ IT! This letter, along with any flyers we provide will help you be aware of important events that are coming up.
  5. Most direct exchange host institutions require that you do the host university application, as well as the MSU application that you have already completed. All host universities have different procedures and timelines. Please be looking over your school’s website, reading any emails you receive, and inquiring to find out about this process.
  6. Officially acceptance letters are typically sent by the host university after you have completed the host application. Therefore, the timeline for this step mostly depends on how quickly you turn in your paperwork to them. A normal time for an official host acceptance letter to be received is around 6-7 weeks after the application deadline.

    If this host university acceptance letter comes to our office we will contact you when it arrives and you can pick it up. If it goes directly to you please bring it in to the OIP so that we can make a copy for your file and update the status of your file.
  7. After you have been contacted by your host university through email or by your acceptance letter, you should then be in touch with them directly to make sure you are up to speed on reserving housing, course registration, and any other requirements or preparation tips they have for you.

    · Please keep in mind that every host university has a completely different way of doing things so you should be very pro-active with getting information and making sure you are on top of things!

If you are an ISEP student and you have completed your MSU study abroad application, you can expect:

  1. We will review your application and we will nominate you to ISEP and mail them your MSU application.
  2. ISEP will review your application and send it to the host university.
  3. Once the host university has agreed to confirm you into their school ISEP will notify us by email that you have a PPAF to fill out. A PPAF is a packet of information that ISEP requires in order to move you forward in their process. Please note that this information is time sensitive and you need to complete this and return it to the OIP within approximately one week so that we can send it back to ISEP for you. I can take anywhere from about four to seven weeks for us to get the notice that your PPAF is available.
  4. If you have additional questions about your program after you have completed your paperwork with ISEP please let us know and we would be happy to contact them for you. All communication to ISEP and host universities for these programs goes through the Program Coordinator.

If you are a CCIS student and you have completed your MSU study abroad application, you can expect:


  1. We will review your application and if we nominate you we will forward your application to the US university that sponsors your host school. If you have applied to one of the CCIS programs that MSU sponsors we will mail your application directly to the host school. It typically takes about two weeks for us to review the applications and forward them to the host university. If you are attending a program that has an early deadline please make sure we are aware of this so that we can prioritize your mailing.
  2. It can take anywhere from around two to five weeks to hear back from sponsors about acceptance.
  3. If you are going on a CCIS program that is sponsored by a US school other than MSU you will work with the US sponsor to gain more information after you are accepted.
  4. If you are going on a CCIS program that is sponsored by MSU we will send you two packets to help prepare you. The first packet will contain an acceptance letter, a form for you to sign confirming that you will be attending, and a request for a $400 deposit. The second packet will only be sent out after we receive your $400 deposit and your confirmation form from the first packet! The second packet includes more information on the school, host country, and other logistics such as insurance. Please turn in the paperwork for your packets ASAP!

All students on the MSU campus going abroad will be required to attend our Pre-Departure Orientation.

At Pre-Departure Orientation we will cover topics such as:

  1. How you are registered at MSU while you are abroad
  2. How you know how much money you owe and how you pay your bill
  3. How financial aid and scholarships work while you are abroad
  4. Tips on what to expect upon arrival
  5. Culture shock preparation

All students going abroad are responsible for finding out their own visa requirements.

Each country has its own regulations on if you need a visa in addition to your passport to enter your host country, how much it costs, if you can apply by mail or if you have to visit a consulate in person, and the timeframe for turnaround.

You can simply do an internet search for General Consulate of (whatever country you are going to). This consulate webpage should provide you with the answers to all of your questions. Look it over carefully and early! Many of the requirements can take quite awhile to complete.

Although you are responsible for your visa and need to take the leading role in your preparations, we are certainly here to help you. The OIP has more information about some consulates than others. We would be happy to sit down with you and go over specific questions or issues if you need us.

In the past, we have mailed out visas for students going to Italy and met with the consulate to deliver visa materials for students going to Spain. Check with the OIP to see if these services are available for you, how they work, and when the deadlines are.

The MSU OIP has a facebook page! You can find us under Montana Studyabroad. Friend us to meet other people who have been to your host country or will be going abroad the same time you are!

This is a fantastic way to make travel plans together, get information about your location, and also hear about upcoming events and announcements.


A great way to help you prepare for your journey is to buy a guide book.  We recommend the Lonely Planet series, click here for details

Lonely Planet Website