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Steps to Study Abroad

1. Review the online guide to study abroad

Learn about the nuts and bolts of study abroad at Northwestern, including academic information and money matters and much more, by reviewing the Online Guide to Study Abroad.

2. Research programs thoroughly

Why do you want to study abroad? Where do you want to go? Choosing a study abroad program is an exciting process!  Use the search engine to browse programs online by region, country, or term. 

Also, don't forget to stop by the office to read Program Evaluations from past students!

3. Stay connected to NU Study Abroad online

Find announcements about deadlines, upcoming events, and important news on our site. In addition to our website, you can follow NU Study Abroad on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Sign up to receive our newsletter.

4. Learn about your school's policies for study abroad

Each school has written a letter for prospective study abroad students, which includes its policies and requirements:

5. Schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser

Call the Study Abroad Office at 847-467-6400 to schedule a private advising appointment before you apply. This step is strongly recommended. 

If you have general questions, you can also stop in for walk-in hours.

If you have questions about financial aid for study abroad, please call the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid at 847-491-7400 to schedule an appointment with Krista Buda Bethel, Assistant Director of Study Abroad Financial Services.

6. Schedule an appointment with university career services (UCS)

Call UCS at 847-491-3700 to schedule an appointment with a Career Counselor to discuss how your study abroad plans will impact your career goals.  Whether you are planning for an internship or job search in the near future, it is important to connect with UCS before, during and after your study abroad experience - a Career Counselor can help you navigate your study abroad career considerations!

7. Complete & submit your NU Study Abroad Application

Application deadlines:

  • December 15, 2013:  Final deadline for Fall 2014 and Full Year 2014-15 for the following programs:  Earlham Japan Study at Waseda; Royal Academy of Music (RAM)
  • January 15, 2014:  Final deadline for Fall 2014 and Full Year 2014-15 for the following programs:  Arcadia-Oxford University; Arcadia-King's Health and Society; Bologna Consortial Studies Program (BCSP); Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM); Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies; Year of Study in Munich. Priority Deadline for Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).
  • February 10, 2014:  Final deadline for Fall 2014 and Full Year 2014-15 for all other programs (DIS applications for Fall 2014/Full Year 2014-15 are now closed)
  • March 1, 2014: Final deadline for all Summer 2014 programs
  • June 1, 2014: Final deadline for all Winter/Spring 2015 programs
  • November 1, 2014: Final deadline for all IPD Spring 2015 programs

To apply:

8. Complete your program application(s) by their deadline(s)

In addition to the NU Study Abroad Application, you may be required to complete applications for your program(s) by their published deadline(s). Check to see if your program appears on the list of exceptions.

9. Apply for financial aid and scholarships

Northwestern University’s policy of meeting demonstrated need extends to students attending affiliated study abroad programs. Remember to apply early for financial aid and funding for study abroad.

Students who attend unaffiliated programs and Non-NU Summer programs are not eligible for any form of Northwestern financial aid.

Other steps to consider:

When does my passport expire? Generally, 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!

When are my program's application deadlines and what are the program's requirements? This information is available on your program sponsor’s website.

If you have questions, talk to your study abroad adviser.