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Study Abroad Checklist

Phase 1: Researching Programs

(~9 to 12 months in advance)

  • Research locations, courses offered, and cost. Program information can be found in our online study abroad program search engine. Learn more about the types of Programs available (Drake, Exchange, or Affiliate). 
  • Schedule an appointment with the Global Engagement Office to discuss program options, the application process, and financial considerations. 
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor(s) to discuss course selection related to studying abroad. For students joining an Affiliate or Exchange program abroad, make sure you complete a study abroad Course Approval Form with your Academic Advisor as you're selecting a program. On the Course Approval Form, you should write down both your top choice study abroad course(s), but also select back-up course options in case your top choice courses are full, change, or you decide to take another elective course while abroad. 
  • Start saving money. Knowing how much to save can be tricky, because program costs vary widely. Keep in mind you can use Financial Aid or Scholarships for many programs. Also, learn if the program's costs includes airfare, meals, and local transportation. If you plan to use Financial Aid, remember to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Apply for, or renew, your Passport, if necessary. Passports must be valid six months beyond your program's end date. A passport can take more than two months to arrive after ordering, so start your passport application early! You also need your passport number for some of your enrollment and travel paperwork, so ideally you have your passport in hand at least three months before departure. 
  • Attend a Writing Workshop to help with your study abroad scholarship essay.
  • If you are an international student, meet with the Global Engagement Office to discuss your plans to study abroad. There can be implications for student visas and immigration/travel requirements, so we like to discuss those things early. 

Phase 2: Apply for Programs

(~6 to 9 months in advance)

  • Click "Apply Now" on your preferred Program. You can apply for up to two programs per term in Terra Dotta. Apply before the deadline! The deadlines are posted at the bottom of this page. You MUST be approved by Drake University to study abroad BEFORE you apply to the affiliate or exchange partner. 
  • Apply for Scholarships. Scholarship awards are available from Drake, and from many of our Affiliate and Exchange partners. You can also apply for study abroad scholarships from external sources. The Drake Global Learning scholarship application and essay is located within your Drake study abroad application (you'll see the form once you click "Apply Now" on the program page). The scholarship deadline is the same date as the study abroad application deadline.
  • For Affiliate or Exchange programs, don't forget to have the classes pre-approved for transfer credit with the Course Approval Form. This process may take several weeks, so don't delay! If your program abroad hasn't posted the courses yet, ask the Affiliate when they expect the courses to be available.
  • For Affiliate or Exchange programs: most program require an official transcript from Drake University as part of the application.
  • For Affiliate or Exchange programs: once you are approved to study abroad by Drake University, make sure you submit an application to the Affiliate partner (AIFSAPIASECIEEIFSAISASFSSIT, or TEAN) or work with the Global Engagement office to be nominated to the Exchange partner. As a reminder, you must be approved by Drake first, before you apply to the affiliate or exchange partner. Also, Affiliate and Exchange partner programs also have application deadlines that are different from Drake's study abroad deadline.

Phase 3: Acceptance into Program

(~4 to 6 months in advance)

  • Meet with Drake's Financial Aid Office to discuss your financial aid package and disbursement. 
  • Research if you need a student visa by checking visa requirements for your host country. Generally, programs that are over 90 days will require a student visa. Visas requirement for programs under 90 days vary by country.
  • For semester abroad students: notify Drake’s Residence Life office that you will not be living on campus. You can notify them of this in the housing survey.
  • Students joining an Affiliate or Exchange program should research travel arrangements to the host country after you are officially accepted to the program. After acceptance, you will receive travel details from your program (recommended travel dates and arrival airports). Consider using a website like Kayak to compare flight options. Most Drake programs include airfare in the program.
  • For Exchange program students: secure housing in your host country (if the housing is not booked for you). Some Exchange programs provide a list of housing options that students can select from. 

Phase 4: Preparing to Leave

(~1 to 4 months in advance)

  • Attend a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation the semester before you depart. Our office will include Orientation details in your acceptance message.
  • Review materials in International Orientation Blackboard course. You will be added to this course about four months before departure. You are required to read the health and safety information, and take a short quiz.
  • Verify that you have a credit and/or debit card that can be utilized overseas. Contact your financial institution(s) to inform them that you will be out of the country so your card isn't suspended.
  • Make copies (electronic and printed) of important documents: passport photo page, visa documents, airline or travel tickets, health insurance card(s), credit and debit cards, prescriptions, and emergency contact details. Bring the originals in your carry-on luggage, electronic copies saved on your device, and leave a set of copies with a family member.
  • Confirm your travel arrangements in case there have been any last minute flight changes.
  • After packing, walk in and out of your house three times with all your luggage to make sure you can handle your luggage on your own! If you're ambitious, try to walk around the block with your luggage.

Phase 5: While Abroad

  • Check your Drake email address at least once a week for important updates from Drake University.
  • Do NOT enroll in or switch to classes that have not been pre-approved by your Drake Academic Advisor. Email your Academic Advisor if you need a new course approved.

Phase 6: Upon Your Return

  • Complete a Program Evaluation. This will be sent to your Drake email address. This information is very valuable to our office, and helps us understand the strengths and weaknesses of the programs we offer.
  • For Affiliate or Exchange program students, have your official study abroad transcript sent to:

Drake University

Office of the Registrar

2507 University Ave

Des Moines, IA 50311

Application Deadlines

 Term Abroad

Drake Programs

Affiliate Programs

Exchange Programs


April 7 Priority

August 15

August 15


September 1

Scholarship: Aug. 15

September 1

Scholarship: Aug. 15

September 1

Scholarship: Aug. 15


December 15

February 15

February 15

Fall & AY


March 15

March 15