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Getting Started with Study Abroad

So, you want to study abroad! These are your first steps:


  1. Obtain or Renew Your Passport (if necessary). If you do not already have a valid passport with an expiration date at least six months after the end date of your program, apply for a new or renewed passport as soon as you can. Passport application processing takes an average 10-13 weeks; expedited applications (for an extra fee) take at least 7 weeks.
  2. Meet with your academic advisor (This is a REQUIRED Step!). They will help you figure out the best time for a semester or two abroad as well as good program matches to fit into your degree plan.
  3. Read through our 7 Things to Consider document for some things to keep in mind when making your choices. Look through our exchange programs and write down your top three choices. You can find the program pages through the Programs menu on the black bar at the top of the page. 
  4. Schedule an advising meeting with the Global Education Office. (This is a REQUIRED Step!)  Assistant Director Sarah Lyle will cover, locations/program options, requirements, the application process, financial aid, credits abroad, etc., or any special questions you may have.
  5. Meet with your financial aid counselor (This is a REQUIRED step if you receive financial aid). This will help you understand how financial aid will work during your time abroad. You will be able to discuss additional costs not normally associated with a normal semester at WAC and ways to pay for those.
  6. Apply to study abroad through GEO, here on this website once you have met with your advisor and GEO staff. To access the application, hit the “Apply Now” button on the page for your first choice of program. If you are applying for a single semester or full year in one program, you will only need to create one application. If you are applying to two different schools in two different semesters, you will need to create two applications: one for each semester. List your top three choices for each semester. Make sure you complete your application by the deadline! The current deadline will always be available in the Announcements section and under the sidebar.


I submitted my study abroad application. Now what?


  1. GEO will review your application and make the final decision as to where you are approved to study in collaboration with the Provost. This generally takes about two weeks after the GEO application deadline.
  2. Once GEO approves your program location, you will be notified of the decision and sent a link to a Canvas course for study abroad. Accept this invitation for access to pre-departure information.
  3. Now it is time to apply to your host institution. The application process and due date differs for each institution; check the Canvas course and your emails for specific information.
  4. Attend GEO’s mandatory information sessions for your next steps, including the post-decision forms you need to fill out and how to apply for visas.
  5. Once you have your acceptance from your host institution, it’s time to apply for your visa and make arrangements to travel.
  6. Complete and submit all required post acceptance forms- Liability waivers, course approvals,, travel info, etc.