Getting Started

Brenda Negret - Japan, Summer 2019


Around 200 SHSU students study abroad every year. Studying abroad can be a daunting process for students but it will also be one of the most memorable, rewarding parts of your Bearkat Experience. Below you can learn more about the steps to study abroad and how you can make your semester abroad happen. Be sure to connect with your SHSU Study Abroad Coordinator – we are available to help answer your questions and provide additional support throughout your study abroad experience.

Take the First Steps

Get ready to make the world your campus! The steps below will guide you through the study abroad process from understanding study abroad, to selecting a program, to funding, to the application process.

  • Find Out Why You Should Study Abroad
        Check out 
    Why Study Abroad page
        and learn our top 10 reasons why you should study abroad. Also, know the facts about study abroad and debunk the 
    myths
      .
  • Check Out Your Options! Get Inspired
        We offer hundreds of
    approved study abroad programs
        . There is somethings for everyone. Browse our website to see what interests you. There are options all over the world with classes available for all majors. SHSU has 3 types of programs:

      • Faculty-led programs: Program led by SHSU faculty member. Financial aid applies the same as on campus.
      • Exchange programs: Partner universities where students can use financial aid, SHSU scholarships, and VA education benefits.
      • Affiliated programs: Third party companies that offer a wide variety of program types. Students can use federal financial aid.
  • Attend Study Abroad Events
        Every semester we host different study abroad events. Our Study Abroad 101 info sessions will provide you with general information about study abroad and the programs we offer and are offered about twice a month. Once a semester we have a Study Abroad Fair where we’ll have general information, program specific information, study abroad alumni, and affiliated provider information available to you.
    Upcoming Study Abroad Events
  • Talk With Your Academic Advisor
        The earlier in your college career you start planning, the better. You and your 
    Academic Advisor
      can decide together when would be the best time to go and what courses to take during that term. Some questions to discuss with your Academic Advisor:
      • Are there academic terms that will work particularly well – or not at all – for my experience abroad?
      • Which courses should I take while abroad?
      • How will courses completed abroad apply to my degree requirements?
      • Are there specific degree requirements that I cannot fulfill abroad?
  • Choose the Best Program for you
        Take your time and look around the study abroad website. This will give you some background information on study abroad and is a good first step to finding the right
    program
      . The best fit program for you is very personal. You will want to consider things like your academics, finances, personal commitments and goals, location interests, independence level and the type of experience you would like abroad. Some students will pick a program related to their major and others will choose to explore a new subject area to expand their knowledge and broaden their experiences (often for elective).
  • Work Towards Meeting the Requirements
        It’s never too early to get started! Even if you don't think you'll study abroad until later, you can make sure to keep your GPA up and start taking languages classes if you want to go to a country with a language requirement.

      • One completed semester at SHSU when applying
      • Minimum SHSU GPA 2.0
      • Good academic and judicial standing
      • Some programs may have additional requirements
  • Define Goals and Objectives
        Dedicating time to defining your goals and objectives is the best way to ensure a positive outcome from your study abroad experience. Check out our 
    Resource page
        for inspiration.


    Academics
    Stay on track for graduation by using study abroad courses to satisfy major, minor, electives, and general education requirements. Your goal is to determine how many, and what type of, classes you need before you begin your program search.

    Personal
    From the length of participation to the level of engagement with the locals, personal goals are unique to every individual.

    Career
    There are many career benefits of studying abroad. While researching programs, you can consider what skills you would like to obtain or improve upon - whether that is learning a language or interning abroad.

    Eligibility
    Review the minimum eligibility for each program as you explore, including minimum GPA, class standing, language and/or course prerequisites, and eligibility for a student visa in the host country. Some eligibility requirements must be met at the time of application (typically GPA), while others can be met by the time of participation (typically class standing and language/course prerequisites).

  • Come Talk To Us
        The sooner the better! 
    Make an appointment
        as soon as you start thinking about studying abroad. We will talk about your options, what programs might be good for you, and how to fit studying abroad into your degree plan. For example, saving your electives or language requirements for Study Abroad is a great way to fill a requirement abroad.

    Talk to students who have studied abroad: We can connect you with students who have studied abroad and can talk to you about their experiences on particular programs. They're excited to speak to you!

  • Start Thinking About Scholarships and Financial Aid
        Study abroad is more affordable than you think! You can absolutely plan a great study abroad experience that fits your financial needs. Our
    Funding page
        will introduce you to costs and budgets, identifying funding through scholarships, and applying financial aid to study abroad participation.

    Some scholarships have early application deadlines, so you will want to check out our scholarships page and work with our office so that you can apply for scholarships to study abroad. You will also want to meet with the Student Money Management Center for your Study Abroad Financial Coaching session to understand what aid you can use abroad and how to fund your program.

  • Get Feedback From Your Parents,Family and Friends.
        Discuss with them the programs you are considering, share your research, and be sure to talk about costs and financial need. Our 
    Information for Families page
      has some great resources.
  • Apply!
      You will need to apply to study abroad through SHSU as well as apply to your host university or affiliated program. Always submit your SHSU application first! Application instructions are available on each program page.
  • Apply For Your Passport
      You will need a valid passport, which does not expire for 6 months after the end date of the study abroad program, either at the time of application or very shortly after acceptance to the program. Apply for your passport or passport renewal now to avoid paying expedited fees closer to the application deadline.
  • Apply For Your Visa
      The visa process is different for every country, so you will want to check the website of the Consulate for the country you are going to. You will also need a valid passport to travel internationally.
  • Get Prepared
      Learn about where you're headed. You can contact students who have studied there previously and prepare a budget for your time abroad. You will also want to think about how you will get money and cell phone service in your host country. There will also be a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation where you can get some practical advice and meet other students who are studying abroad
  • GO!
      Make the World your Campus!

Connect with Us

Study Abroad
Picture of Malin Hilmersson Malin Hilmersson
Study Abroad Coordinator
malin@shsu.edu 936.294.3276 Farrington 116C Make an appointment