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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 an Advising application. 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. Advising applications are not tied to a specific program, but aimed at preparing you to making a final program selection. 

Advising Application Button 2
If you will apply to a faculty-led program, you are not required to complete an advising application; however, you are welcome to do so.
4) Attend an online or in-person Study Abroad Information Session: An Advising application provides you with access to view the online study abroad information session. 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.
  • 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.