Going abroad is a unique experience for every student and, as such, students approach the decision to study abroad in different ways. For some, participating in a specific program in a specific country is the fulfillment of a long-held dream. For others, the option to go abroad is new and overwhelming with possibility.

While it’s easy to begin your program search by imagining yourself in a dream destination, it is important to consider other factors as well. Begin by first determining what you want to gain from going abroad. Defining your academic and personal objectives as the top priority can help you to select the program that is the best fit for you.


What are you trying to achieve? Are you mainly interested in...

  • an international perspective on your major?
  • an intercultural experience?
  • language acquisition? 
  • career skills? 
  • a resume builder?
  • adventure?

Are you looking for courses to fulfill your major, minor, core or honors requirements, or mainly for electives?

Do you know what you still need to complete your degree?

When is the best time for students in your major to study abroad? How many credits will you earn?

Do you want to learn another language abroad?

Do you want to take content courses taught exclusively in English?

Do you want or need to take courses in a language other than English?

How much flexibility do you have in the timing of your program abroad?

Is there a quarter, semester, or year might be best for your graduation plan?

Do you want to study abroad for more than one quarter? On multiple programs?

Would you prefer a guided program with OSU peers and instructors or would you excel in an independent, autonomous experience?

Do you want to go abroad with other Americans or to solely immerse yourself in the host culture?

Are you interested in a highly structured program or one requiring a greater degree of personal motivation and self-reliance?

How important is program location to your decision to study abroad?

How challenging do you want your new environment to be to your comfort zone?

How similar to or different from your day-to-day life in the U.S. do you want to experience? Do you prefer a big city or a more rural location? Are you looking for a small program or to be immersed in a large university?

Do you want internship experience while abroad?

Do you want to explore an international workplace environment?

Have you thought about how studying abroad can increase your job opportunities?

Getting Started

Set Up Your Get Started Account

Start by setting up an OSU GO Get Started account through our online portal. This account provides us with important information that will help us support you through the program selection process. Once completed, our team will connect with you directly to discuss next steps and set up a Get Started advising session. In this meeting, it is helpful to be prepared to have some ideas of what and where you would like to study. To get an idea about which study abroad program model is right for you, check out our Study Abroad Programs page.

Meet with Your Academic Advisor

Together you can make sure your time abroad will not interfere with any major or minor requirements; some majors have more flexibility than others in terms of when you can study abroad. Your academic advisor is the best resource for helping you determine which term works best with your academic schedule.

Apply for a Passport and Visa

It can take eight weeks to have your passport processed, so the sooner you apply, the better. Passports are valid for 10 years, so you can never apply too early! If you have a passport, check its expiration date. Most countries require that your passport be valid for six months after your program ends. Also, keep in mind that many countries require a student visa. A visa is a travel document used in conjunction with the passport, and you cannot apply for a visa without having a passport. Your study abroad program will inform you of the need for a visa and will send you information on how to apply for it. Visa processing times vary from country to country and consulate to consulate, so advanced planning is imperative. For information on applying for and renewing your passport, visit http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.


Complete the OSU GO application and program provider application if one is required.


Complete Pre-Departure Orientations and any necessary OSU GO materials.


 If you have specific questions, you can also email our OSU GO Ambassadors directly at intl.ambassador@oregonstate.edu.