Steps to Study Abroad for undergraduate and graduate SIS students

  1. Explore program offerings.
    Review the SIS Office of International Programs (OIP) offerings available (including dual degree, semester abroad, summer short term practica/faculty-led & internships) to determine which option(s) best fit your academic interests as well as your professional and personal goals.

    Begin exploring scholarships, fellowships, and grants that might assist your financial planning while abroad. Consider connecting with a returned study abroad student who can share their first-hand experience and real insight into the program(s) or region(s) you are exploring. OIP may assist in making these connections upon request. 

    Please note: All SIS MA students must complete one semester of classes at AU prior to participating in an SIS study abroad program. You may begin an application to go abroad during your first semester at SIS, but you cannot go abroad during your first semester.
  2. Make an appointment with OIP.
    After you've reviewed and narrowed down your options, make an appointment with the OIP to discuss program timelines, credit transfer processes, or other specific questions or concerns you have about a program and funding. In addition, we recommend reviewing these resources to help you prepare and make the most of your international experience.
  3. Contact your academic advisor.
    Academics are a vital component of your study abroad experience. Once you have explored the programs you are interested in make an appointment with your academic advisor (SIS Undergrad Advising or SIS Graduate Advising). As part of planning for study abroad it is your responsibility to understand which degree requirements you need to fulfill to complete your AU degree, what types of classes are available at the partner school, and have a tentative plan for your academic progress. Note that the SIS Abroad application to study abroad requires students to submit a plan to your academic advisor, you should come into this meeting with a list of potential courses you'd like to take at the study abroad partner school to discuss with your advisor.
  4. Apply to a study abroad program.
    Once you have decided on the right program for you, apply online before the deadline. Deadlines vary by program. Note that students may only have one active application per semester at a time. The SIS Abroad application includes a number of components, some of which require input from other offices on campus, so it is recommended that you start an application as soon as possible. Applications typically include the following - note that individual programs may have other specific requirements.
    • Statement of purpose
    • List of relevant coursework
    • Contact information for an AU/SIS faculty recommender
    • Unofficial AU transcript
    • Resume / CV
    • Student conduct record review
    • Academic advisor approval form
    • Meeting with an SIS Abroad advisor
    • Application fee
  5. Get accepted and complete partner application.
    OIP will notify you of your application status to the program for which you have applied. After applications are processed and reviewed, students will be selected by SIS for nomination to the partner institution. Once nominated, you will be instructed to complete partner school's application. Additional required application materials are listed on individual partner pages.
  6. Attend Pre-Departure Orientation & Complete Additional Requirements.
    All accepted students are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation (PDO) prior to departing in addition to electronically submitting several application materials. The mandatory PDO will review program registration, course approval, AU billing, travel safety and security, travel insurance and other miscellaneous items related to studying abroad.
  7. While Abroad.
    Graduate Students: You must notify SIS of any changes to your schedule upon arrival and/or official registration abroad. If any of the courses you register for are different than those that you initially had approved, you are required to submit and updated Academic Advisor Approval form approved by your SIS Academic Advisor before the end of the first week of classes at the institution abroad.

    Undergraduate Students: All undergraduate students participating in an SIS OIP study abroad program should follow the AU course reporting process to ensure that their credits are transferred back to their AU degree.
  8. Returning to AU - Post Study Abroad.
    Before leaving the institution abroad you should ensure that all administrative processes are complete, and that your transcript will be sent directly to OIP when it is ready. You may need to meet with the study abroad manager, complete a transcript request form or submit all course evaluations. Credit transfers typically occur 2-3 months after completing your studies abroad.

    Important: Your financial aid package for the following year cannot be determined until all of your grades from the previous academic year have been posted to your AU academic record. The finalization and disbursement of financial aid may be delayed if your transcripts are received late or if you have not completed the course equivalency process (undergraduates) or had your courses approved by your academic advisor (graduate students).