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Planning to Study Abroad

It is common to have lots of questions about the study abroad process. When should I go? Who do I talk to? How much will it cost? How do I get started? This website is designed to answer those questions, but we also encourage you to meet with someone in our office to get your process started. For an idea of where to begin, check out our example study abroad plan below.

Freshman Year

  • Discuss your interest in studying abroad with your family and your advisor. Consider how your current enrollment serves your study abroad goals: Are you planning to minor in a modern language? Do you know what prerequisites will be necessary for your top-choice study abroad program?
  • Attend a Study Abroad Fair and a study abroad info session offered through the Office of Global Engagement.
  • Apply for or renew your passport if needed (
  • Make an appointment to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss what programs might be best for you. Some students may find that securing an internship abroad as a junior might be easier to obtain if they do an intensive language program abroad over a summer or for a semester during sophomore year.
  • If you are planning to earn a minor, particularly in a modern language, you might explore study abroad options during the summer after your first year at OCU.
  • Learn about scholarships that may apply to your programs and interests. Some scholarships have a deadline of a year or more prior to the start of a study abroad program, so planning early is key.
  • Save your money!

Sophomore Year

  • Meet with a study abroad advisor to further discuss program options considering academics, location, and cost.
  • Meet with your academic advisor and financial aid.
  • If this is the year your choose to go abroad, apply early, complete all required paperwork, attend a predeparture orientation, and apply for a visa if required.
  • Apply early for applicable scholarships, then enjoy your time abroad.

Junior Year

  • If you didn't study abroad as a sophomore, now is the time to enjoy being abroad!
  • Share links to your blog and Twitter/Facebook info so our office can share all the great things you're doing abroad.
  • Upon your return, participate in returnee activities on campus, such as Open Mic Night and Digital Storytelling and share your experience with other students.
  • In the late-spring or early summer, begin exploring internationally focused graduate fellowships such as Fulbright or the Davies-Jackson scholarship.

Senior Year

  • Early in the semester, consider applying for an internationally focused graduate fellowship.
  • Consider applying to be a peer advisor in the study abroad office.