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Getting Started

1) Apply for or renew your passport. For U.S. citizens, visit the SDSU Passport office for more information; call (619) 594-3800 or email with any questions. The passport book is valid for all international travel by land, air and sea. However, the passport card is only valid when entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from: Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean or Bermuda. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel. 
2) Plan ahead as early as possible. You should start researching programs 6 to 9 months before you plan to go abroad. Browse all programs options via the Aztecs Abroad database Program Search. The Advanced Search allows you to search by more parameters. Most programs have a save option to allow you to view programs for later review.
3) Need help considering your options? If you need help navigating the process and are not sure which program may be the best fit, start Advising. This will familiarize you with the international experiences available and help you narrow your interests so you will be better prepared to meet with a Study Abroad Advisor. The Advising tool is not tied to a specific program application, but aimed at preparing you for the experience and making a final program selection.
start advising button2If you will apply to a faculty-led program, you are not required to complete the online advising phase; however, you are welcome to do so.
4) Attend an online or in-person Study Abroad Information Session: The online Advising phase provides you more information how study abroad works, program types and the application process. See our events calendar to attend an in-person information session coordinated by the International Student Center (ISC). In-person information sessions are presented by ISC peer advisors with personal study abroad experience and provide a good opportunity to ask questions and network.

If you will apply to a faculty-led program, you are not required to attend an information session; however, you are welcome to do so.
5) Want to apply right away? If you already have a program in mind or you found a strong match, find your program in Aztecs Abroad, then click the “Apply Now” button during open application cycles. Please note many programs still require completion of the online Advising phase and meeting with a study abroad advisor prior to beginning a program-specific application.
  • Pay a deposit and reserve your space - Some programs are open to all students and available on a first-come, first-served basis, where you can apply, pay a deposit and reserve your spot. Often this applies to many of the summer, winter break, or spring break options.
  • Apply for consideration, finalize nomination - Other study abroad options may not have upfront fees, but will include an advising phase to help make sure that you select a program that is the right fit for your academic needs, financial aid eligibility, general budget, and other essential considerations, especially if you plan to go for an 8-10 week summer, a semester, or an academic year. These programs require staff to confirm your eligibility and placement. 

6) Consult the Financing and Scholarships menu options for information on how to fund your study abroad experience. Apply for scholarships early! Be sure to estimate costs and budget for your time abroad.
7) Meet with a study abroad advisor. If you have questions or need assistance, refer to the contacts listed on the program pages.