Your Study Abroad Experience
You have a lot of resources for learning more about available opportunities and the study abroad process.
Click through the PHASES below to learn more about your study abroad journey.
Phase 1 - Learn More
Step One: Explore Programs
- Learn about all the study abroad programs.
- Find out which program is the best financial fit for you.
- Search for programs.
Step Two: Meet Your Advisors
- Attend a study abroad drop-in advising session.
- Meet with a SEGA to hear from returned study abroad students.
- Meet with your academic advisor see how study abroad fits into your academic study plan.
Step Three: Brainstorm Your Goals and Needs
- Think about what you want out of your study abroad experience.
- Goals: personal, professional, and academic
- Needs: Financial, language, and academic calendar
Step Four: Apply for Passport
- Apply for a passport or passport renewal, if you do not have a passport or if it is expiring within the next two years.
Phase 2 - Application Process
Once you have selected a program, there are multiple application steps
Step One: Complete an Advising Application
- Complete your My Global Connection advising application (Note: this is NOT an application to study abroad).
Step Two: Attend an Advising Session
- View the study abroad advising schedule. The MSU Study Abroad team provides weekly advising. Attend an advising session to ask questions about programs and the application process.
- Make sure you have discussed study abroad with your academic advisor.
Step Three: Request Application
- Once you have had a one-on-one appointment with a study abroad advisor, you can request
your program application application to be uploaded to your My Global Connection profile. Email [email protected] to request your specific application.
- The application cycle will not open until 4 months prior to the application deadline.
Step Four: Complete Application
- Application materials vary by program, but generally include an application fee, essay, passport information, academic references, and transcript. Unofficial transcripts obtained from MyInfo are acceptable for faculty-led programs; all others require an official transcript in a sealed envelope or emailed directly from National Student Clearinghouse.
Spring program deadlines
ISEP Exchange - August 28
All other programs - September 15
Fall/Summer program deadlines
ISEP Exchange - February 10
All other programs - March 15
Faculty-Led Short Term Programs
Deadlines vary by program
Step Five: Interview and Nomination
- All applicants will participate in an individual (DEX/ISEP applicants) or group (CCIS/Direct Enroll applicants) interview to be scheduled after the application deadline.
Note: Interviews for MSU Faculty-Led Short Term Programs will vary depending on the program. You will be accepted by MSU and the Group Leader.
Step Six: Host University Application
- After your study abroad interview you will be nominated to your program. Once you are nominated, you may be required to complete an additional application, required by your host univeristy. Most universities have an online application and will communicate with you via email (Check your junk mail).
Step Seven: Host University Acceptance
- After you complete the host university application, it can take up to 8 weeks before you receive notice of your official acceptance. Official acceptances will be communicated via email, so check your email often. After you've been accepted, you'll be able to apply for housing and visas, if necessary.
Phase 3 - Study Abroad Funding
Step One: Consider Financials
- If you receive Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) please review the following:
- Depending on your financial aid award package, you may be eligible to receive additional funding to help cover the cost of airfare/transportation.
- Schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor to complete your study abroad budget form. Once signed you need to submit the completed form to the Office of Financial Aid.
- If you have any Financial Aid questions please schedule a meeting with Julie Watson, Assistant Director of Financial Aid - MSU.
- If you receive MSU scholarships or tuition waivers:
- These scholarships only apply for MSU Direct Exchange (DEX) or ISEP Exchange programs.
Step Two: Explore Additional Resources
- Visit the Study Abroad Money Matters page for information on additional funding for study abroad.
- The Office of Financial Education at MSU provides resources and coaching for budgeting, savings plans, and scholarship opportunities.
Phase 4 - Course Selection & Credits
Step One: Research Courses
Each international institution has a different method of labeling, administering, advertising, and applying for courses.
- Visit the international university's website for course listings. Keep in mind terminology may be different (i.e. in the UK, courses are called Modules) and course listing for the term you wish to go abroad may not be published yet. (Hint: look at a similar term where the courses have been published.)
- Compile a list of courses with course descriptions (if possible) that you would like to take.
Step Two: Complete Coures Approval Form
- Once you are accepted into your program and have the course listings for your term
abroad, work with your MSU acadmic advisor to complete the Study Abroad Course Approval Form.
- Only your academic advisor can approve your major or minor course equivalencies.
- If you take courses outside of your major, you will need approval from the MSU equivalent department (i.e. if you are taking language courses you will need course approval from the Mondern Languages Department at MSU)
- If you take Core 2.0 classes, you will need approval from the Office of the Registrar
(you will need to turn in your form along with the course descrpition for signature).
- Remember to always make a copy of the form before you drop it off at any office.
- Once you have completed the form with all the nessesary signature(s), upload it to your My Global Connection application.
Often, course offerings change after you have submitted your course approval form.
You may always submit an updated course approval form after you have returned from
your study abroad program. Keep lines of communication open with your academic advisor
at MSU in case you must find new courses once you are abroad.
Step Three: Understand Credits and Grades
- All grades will return to your MSU official transcript as Pass/Fail, based on the host university's grading scale.
- Credit amounts may be different that MSU credit amounts.
- Be sure you are enrolled as a full time student at your host institution to ensure compliance with immigration policies and MSU financial aid and scholarship requirements.
Phase 5 - Getting Ready to Leave
Step One: Attend Pre-Departure Orientation
- Check your My Global Connection application for the date and RSVP links
Step Two: Attend a Travel Health and Safety Class
- The Travel Health and Safety Class is held in conjunction with the Pre-Departure Orientation.
- View upcoming travel health and safety classes.
Step Three: Secure Housing Abroad
- Housing options vary depening on insitution. It is your responsibility to apply for housing. Once you are formally accepted by
your host university, they will send you steps on how to apply for housing.
- Be sure to read all emails that you receive from your host university so that you do not miss deadlines and important information.
Step Four: Understand Entry Requirements (Visa)
- A visa may be required to enter your host country.
- Please visit the Department of State's travel resources webpage to reserach your entry requiements.
- While the MSU Study Abroad Team will assist in interpreting visa requirements, it is YOUR responsibility to apply and be in compliance with any visa regulations.
- Note: some countries require visa applicants to travel to a US based consulate to apply and pick up your visa in person.
Step Five: Register for STEP
- Register for the Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for important updates and resources while abroad.
Phase 6 - While You're Abroad
Step One: Register side trips and excursions
- Register any side trips through itinerary updates on your My Global Connection application.
- View a step-by-step guide to register your travel.
Step Two: Stay connected through Social Media
- Tag your photos with #MSUBobcatsAbroad
- Follow @InternationalMSU on Instagram
- Share updates through Facebook
Step Three: Have fun :)
Don't forget, we're here if you need us!
- 24/7 Emergency Contact Number
- +1 (406) 994-2121
- Study Abroad Office
- Office of International Programs
- +1 (406) 994-4031
Phase 7 - Returning Home
Transcripts and Credits
Official transcripts from your host university will take time to be processed. Allow at least one semester after you have returned for credits to appear on your DegreeWorks. The process is as follows:
Step One: While in host country
- Save all course syllabi.
- Some international universities have transitioned to digital transcripts. Confirm with your host institution's international office how transcripts will be sent to MSU.
Step Two: Back in Bozeman
- International Transcript received by MSU Study Abroad - transcripts must be received directly from the host institution or provider and will
not be accepted from the student
- This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months
- Transcript evaluated by MSU Study Abroad
- We must have the most up to date Study Abroad Course Approval Form for evaluation.
- Transcript sent to Registrar's Office for input onto your MSU transcript.
- Once credits are entered onto your MSU transcript, your academic advisor will be able to move the credits to the appropriate location on your DegreeWorks.
Re-Entry and Reverse Culture Shock
- According to What's Up with Culture, an online course for studying abroad, returning home brings its own set of stresses. The Study Abroad Team is here as a resource and there is never shame in seeking someone to speak about the social and psychological adjustments or you can visit MSU Counseling Services.
- Attend the MSU Study Abroad Re-Entry Workshop.
Engage with Study Abroad
When you return to MSU, there are many ways to share your experience and get involved:
- Student Engagement Global Ambassador Program
- Exchange Student Buddy Program
- Submit Photos to the Study Abroad Photo Contest
- Volunteer at annual study abroad events: Pre-Departure Orientation, MSU Fridays, International Basketball Night, Study Abroad Fair, International Food Bazaar, etc. - the list is endless! Email [email protected] to find out how you can get involved.
Go Abroad Again!
- Consider a short term summer program, faculty led, or a semester abroad to fullfill that travel bug that you got while you were abroad the first time.
- Meet with a study abroad advisor to learn about tutition reduced programs and apply today!
Phase 8 - Applying Your Experience to your Next Step!
Market Your Study Abroad Experience
- Employers today highly value international experiences. Review the resources below to learn how to apply study abroad to your professional develpment:
Post Grad International Opportunites
- Peace Corps
- JET Program USA
- Teaching English in Japan
- Funded post-grad research and teaching