UMD: A Globally Connected University

Getting Started

Getting Started

Student on top of hill

Your study abroad journey starts here.


Step 1: Join us for a Getting Started Session: Study Abroad 101 or 201

Study Abroad 101 is an introductory session designed to meet your needs right at the beginning of the study abroad process. You will get an overview of the types of study abroad programs and become familiar with EA’s search tools and resources to help you successfully plan a study abroad journey that works for your personal academic plan and budget. 


If you are considering studying abroad for an upcoming term, Study Abroad 201 will help you choose the right program for you and steps you can take before applications open!



Prefer a live session with our peer mentor? Join our virtual Study Abroad 101 session!

What's Next? 

Step 2: Explore programs and courses

Search programs to get an idea of the academic focus, destination, terms, and engagement opportunities that interest you. Take notes and record questions to ask during the meeting with your EA advisor. Be sure to note courses that interest you. You will need to seek approval from your department, college, and EA advisor to receive credit for courses.

Step 3: Update your passport

As soon as you consider going abroad, you should apply for a passport or make sure that your current passport is valid for six months after your program end or return flight date.

Step 4: Consider your finances

Determine how your scholarship and financial aid will apply to study abroad by browsing the Money Matters section of our website. You can also apply to scholarships for additional funding opportunities. You will have the option to apply to the UMD Education Abroad Fund as a part of your program application in MyEA.

Step 5: Meet with your EA advisor

As you begin to explore study abroad programs, schedule a meeting with the EA advisor for the region in which you are interested. Your EA advisor will help you develop your goals for study abroad and answer questions on topics including:

  • Finances
  • Academics
  • Professional Development
  • Personal Concerns

Step 6: Meet with your academic advisor

You should plan to meet with your academic advisor soon after you decide to go abroad to determine how study abroad can fit into your four year plan. It is best to do this after meeting with your EA advisor so you have an idea of the types of credits and requirements you may be able to fulfill abroad.

Step 7: Complete online application

Once you decide on a program, you must apply through our online application portal, MyEA. Maryland semester (Maryland-in), Maryland Short-term, Exchange, and Freshmen Abroad applications are completed entirely through MyEA but to attend an Affiliate Program or Other Approved Program, you must complete a MyEA approval application as well as an application to the program provider.

Step 8: Commit to a program

If you are accepted to the program of your choice, you will need to commit to the program by pressing the "Commit" button on your MyEA application. For Maryland-in, Maryland Short-term, and Freshmen Abroad programs, you will also need to pay a non-refundable program deposit through your MyEA application.

Step 9: Complete study abroad course pre-approval

Study abroad course pre-approval (SACA) is the formal process by which you share your ideal courses and alternates with your academic advisors to see if and how they will count towards your degree, major(s), and minor(s). After you commit to a program, your EA advisor will contact you with instructions for how to complete your SACA.

Step 10: Complete pre-departure materials and attend orientation

You are required to attend a pre-departure orientation that will supplement online resources in MyEA. EA advisors and study abroad alumni will present on topics such as health and safety, academics, billing, course registration, travel documentation, and culture.

Step 11: Get a Visa

You may need a visa or residence permit to study abroad depending on your host country, your length of stay, nationality, area of study, and intention to work, intern, or volunteer abroad. Your EA advisor can help you find resources but you are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa.

Step 12: Study Abroad

Once you have completed all necessary forms, booked your flight, packed your bags, and kissed your loved ones goodbye, you are ready for your study abroad adventure!

Step 13: Return to College Park

Your study abroad experience does not have to end when you return to College Park. By volunteering with our office or pursuing your own project, we are here to help you translate your international experience into a meaningful on campus initiative, career path, or post graduate opportunity. Meet with your EA advisor after you return to find out how or to further develop your international experiences by studying abroad again!