Getting Started

Studying abroad represents a serious investment of time and energy. You will be earning credits toward your Purdue degree, fulfilling personal objectives, and exploring a different culture while making new friends abroad. How do you decide which program is right for you? The steps outlined below will help:

Complete the Pre-Planning Worksheet

Purdue Study Abroad has over 300 different programs in over 50 countries.  To determine which program is right for you, determine your academic, professional, and personal goals, desired timetable, and potential constraints.  This Pre-Planning Worksheet will help you examine your priorities and identify the factors that matter most to you when selecting a study abroad program.

Explore your Options

Once you have completed your pre-planning worksheet, do a Program Search to investigate possible options. Be aware of the differences (financial, academic, and other) between the types of programs offered.

Talk to other students about their study abroad experience!  Meet with peer advisors, students like you who have already completed a study abroad program.  They can walk you through the entire study abroad process as well as share tales of their adventures, challenges, and benefits they gained from studying abroad. 

Research the website of the program you are interested in to make sure it meets your needs.  Examine the courses offered, housing options, extracurricular activities, and other factors.  Make sure you meet the program’s eligibility requirements. If you have additional questions, read student testimonials, access the program website, or get in touch with previous participants.

If you still have unanswered questions, email them to

Apply For or Renew Passport

If you plan to study abroad, you will need a passport! Passport processing times vary, but we encourage you to apply for or renew your passport as soon as you know you are interested in studying abroad. More information about how to apply for/renew a U.S. passport can be found on this U.S. Department of State website.

Select First and Second Choice Programs

You can only apply to one study abroad program, and choose one second choice program, per term.

Develop a Tentative Study Plan

You will receive direct credits for courses taken abroad. These will be recorded on your Purdue academic record and affect your GPA. To ensure you are applying to the program that will allow you to graduate on time, developing a study plan as early as possible is crucial. Many programs also request a list of courses at the time of application so you need to be ready with course choices by the time you complete your host institution’s application. Use this Tentative Study Plan to help you prepare.

Apply to Study Abroad

If you are feeling confident that you have made a good choice, go to the webpage of the program you have selected and start the application process. Visit How to Apply for more information.