Getting Started

Studying abroad is serious business!  First, you will be earning credits and grades that will go toward your graduation requirements.  Second, you will want to fulfill personal objectives and will have to plan to achieve these goals.  Finally, you will be investing serious time, effort, and money on this venture.  Thus, it’s imperative that you choose a program that will allow you to get a sound return on the investments.  How do you decide which program is right for you? The steps outlined below will help:

Complete the  Pre-planning Worksheet.

Purdue Study Abroad oversees more than 300 different programs in over 50 countries.  To determine which program is right for you, determine your academic, professional, and personal goals, desired timetable, and potential constraints.  This worksheet will allow you to examine your situation and identify the factors that will dictate which program will fit your circumstances. 

Explore your options.

Once you have completed your pre-planning worksheet, do a Program Search to investigate possible options. Be aware of the differences (financial, academic and other) between the types of programs offered.

Attend a Study Abroad General Information session. Talk to other students about their study abroad experience!  Meet with peer advisors, students like you have already completed a study abroad program.  They can walk you through the entire study abroad process, as well as regale you with tales of their adventures, challenges, mishaps, and benefits they gained from studying overseas.  Think about it, wouldn't you want to get the take of students who've "been there, done that?" 

Investigate your options carefully. 

You need to do research at the website of the co-sponsored or exchange program you are interested in to make sure that the program chosen meets your needs.  Examine the academic system, level of academic and social support, accommodations options, available extracurricular activities, and other factors that will affect your experience.  Make sure you also meet the program’s eligibility requirements. If you have additional questions, read student testimonials, access the host university or program website, or get in touch with previous participants.

If you have attended a general information session and you still have unanswered questions, email them to and someone will get back to you.  

Select a first choice program and a serious second choice.

You can only apply to one program and name one alternate.

Develop a tentative study plan.

Students receive direct credits for courses taken overseas.  These will be recorded on your Purdue academic record and affect your GPA.   To ensure you are applying to the program that will allow you to graduate on time, developing a study plan as early as possible is crucial.  Many programs also request a list of courses at the time of application so you need to be ready with course choices by the time you complete your host institution’s application form. 

If you’re feeling confident that you have made a good choice – go to the web flyer of the program you have selected and start the application process.

How to Apply