Steps to Studying Abroad

The study abroad process can certainly seem overwhelming. The good news is UNC Charlotte Education Abroad (EA) is here to guide students through the entire process. This page provides an overview of the phases students will go through on their study abroad journey. Having a general understanding of the study abroad process can help you advise and support UNC Charlotte students pursuing an international experience.

Research & planning

Students are encouraged to begin the study abroad process once year in advance of the semester they intend to go abroad. Reflecting on their needs, understanding how the process works and sifting through a lot of great program options will take students quite a bit of time.


The first step to applying for a program is to complete the required Study Abroad 101. Once a student has identified a program that is a good academic, financial, and personal fit for them, they should begin the application process with UNC Charlotte Education Abroad (EA).


To travel internationally, everyone will need a valid passport. In addition to having a valid passport, students may also need to apply for a visa or other immigration document. Visas and immigration documents are issued by a host country’s government and give permission to the student to live and study in the host country for a given amount of time.

While Abroad

Having the opportunity to be immersed in another culture is the best part about studying abroad. Learning how another group of people behaves and what they value can be a really eye-opening experience. While there can be challenges adapting to a new lifestyle at first, it typically ends up being the most rewarding part of the program.

Upon Return

Once they have returned to campus students have a lot to think about; how to process and utilize their experience, what they want to do after graduation, and how to finalize their credits and grades from abroad.