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Step By Step Guide To Study Abroad

Step-by-Step Guide to Study Abroad

Planning and Research

  1. Identify your priorities.
    • Do you want to study abroad for a full semester or short-term program?
    • Are you set on going to a particular country, or are you flexible?
    • Would you like to improve your foreign language skills?
    • Are scholarship opportunities important to you?
  2. Research and explore. Use this website to explore program options. You can search to see what programs are available for your Major/Area of Study, class level, etc. through the Advanced Search function. 
  3. Check eligibility requirements and course prerequisites. Make sure you are eligible to participate before you apply. Eligibility requirements and course prerequisites for each program are listed on the online program brochure pages.
  4. Consider the costs. Review program cost information. Cost estimates for each program are available on the program brochure page for each program. How will you pay for your year abroad? Find a program, which will fit within your budget. Also review scholarship options under the Study Abroad Scholarships section of this website.
  5. Understand application deadlines. The application deadline for most programs is listed on the program under dates.  
  6. Contact the Global Engagement Office. This office will help guide you through the application process and will also be able to advise you on the various program options. Contact information here.
  7. Get a passport. Do you have a passport? If you do not have a passport yet, apply for one right away here. If you already have one, when does it expire? Your passport needs to be valid for six months after your planned date of return to the U.S. Check your expiration date, and if necessary, begin the application/renewal process as soon as possible! You will be required to submit a copy of your passport immediately upon acceptance to the Global Engagement Office.

Application Process

  1. Apply online. Begin your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button on the program brochure page for the program you wish to apply to. Start your application early. You may be required to interview for the London semester program by the Study Abroad Coordinator and faculty from campus as part of the application process. All application materials, including various electronic signature documents and a $500 online deposit, must be complete and submitted by the deadline.
  2. Application Review. After the submission deadline, your application will be reviewed. Once a decision has been reached on your application, you will receive a notification via email regarding a change in status of your application from pending to accepted.


  1. Complete Post-Decision Materials. Once you have received notice that you have been accepted, you will have access to the "Post-Decision" materials in the online application. You must complete and submit these items by the deadlines provided in order to participate.
  2. Meet with your Academic Advisor. You are required to meet with your academic advisor(s) to discuss the courses you will be taking abroad and get approval for those courses.
  3. Apply for a student visa. If applicable, make sure you apply for your student visa in advance to make sure you have it prior to traveling. Students are entirely responsible for obtaining their visa; the GEO does not arrange this for you.


  1. Attend a Pre-Departure Orientation. Attendees will receive valuable information and will have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and past participants
  2. Do more research. Research the location where you will live and the regions to which you will travel. Check the Centers for Disease Control for required immunizations and health information. Check the U.S. State Department for travel warnings and alerts.
  3. Review policies. Become familiar with Samford’s policies and regulations, as well as those of your host country, and host university.