Skip to main content

Get Started

Not sure where to start? The following section will help you navigate the study abroad process, from thinking about your goals to exploring programs and meeting with an adviser.

Step 1: Complete First Step Advising

This brief session is designed to give you an overview of study abroad at Northwestern. It will provide valuable information about the different types of study abroad opportunities, academic and financial planning, the application process, and choosing the program that best meets your goals.

First Step Advising

Step 2: Identify Your Goals

Why do you want to study abroad? Some students explore a particular academic field in greater depth; others work toward greater proficiency in a foreign language. What do you hope to achieve? The study abroad goals assessment worksheet can help you think through some of these questions as you get started.

Step 3: Explore Programs

Along with the broader goals you've identified, consider some of the more practical issues that might influence your program selection and then use our program search tool to find programs that meet your needs.

Explore programs

Step 4: Determine Your Eligibility

Northwestern encourages all students to consider study abroad; however, each school and program has their own requirements. Learn more about these requirements and policies for study abroad to determine your eligibility.

Step 5: Research Program Cost and Ways to Pay

Program costs vary widely, and may be more or less expensive than the cost of studying at Northwestern. You can find estimates of total costs on each program page.

The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid & ULA are committed to finding an affordable path for every student, including students on financial aid, Pell grant recipients, and first-generation students. With proper planning, your study abroad and financial aid advisers can help you find a study abroad opportunity that fits into any budget. Check out the money matters section to learn more about the financial considerations of studying abroad, including program costs and billing, financial aid, scholarships, and managing expenses.

Next Steps

Meet with an Adviser

  • ULA Advisers
    We encourage you to meet with a study abroad adviser. From helping to navigate the process to specifics about programs of interest, they’re a great resource!
  • Financial Aid & Funding
    Meet with Krista Bethel, Assistant Director of Study Abroad Financial Services, to discuss how your financial aid applies to study abroad and to learn more about scholarships and additional funding opportunities.

Learn from Past Participants

One of your best resources is learning from other students about what their experience was like abroad.

  • Connect with Ambassadors
    ULA Ambassadors are trained to answer your questions about study abroad opportunities at Northwestern, and are happy to talk about their experiences and/or answer questions via phone, email, or in person.
  • Contact Past Participants
    In many cases your fellow students are the best resource for getting the inside scoop.
  • Read Program Evaluations
    Program evaluations are available online, and are a great way to see what your peers have to say about the programs.

Apply to Study Abroad

All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.