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First Steps

Global Engagement is excited that you are exploring education abroad opportunities at Drake University. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. 1

    Understand Your Objectives

    Start the study abroad process by asking yourself some clarifying questions regarding the purpose of your study abroad experience: Why do I want to study abroad? What do I want to gain from the experience? How will studying abroad benefit me academically, personally, and professionally?

  2. 2

    Join an Online Study Abroad Session

    The study abroad sessions are intended to provide an overview of study abroad, and to provide clear “next steps” about how to apply to study abroad. 

    When: The online info sessions are completed for the spring semester. Fall dates will be added soon! 

    Where: Zoom (make sure to login with your Drake ID)

    To access the study abroad zoom session, log-in with your Drake account credentials. We will let you into the meeting from the waiting area. If you aren't able to join a Study Abroad Session, submit a study abroad advising request to set-up a time to meet with us on a day and time that's convenient to you!

  3. 3

    Explore Study Abroad Programs

    Take a look at program options in our study abroad portal. You can look at all programs or set parameters to narrow the list of programs (such as, programs in specific countries, language of course instruction, and programs that are offered during the term you would like to go abroad). We recommend talking with your Academic Advisor as early as possible to let them know you would like to study abroad, so that they can potentially assist you with what courses or AOI’s might be best to take while abroad.  Also consider the cost of the program and how you plan to pay for it. Once you have selected a program, you can schedule a meeting with Student Financial Planning to review how your financial aid package could apply.

  4. 4

    Talk with the Education Abroad Advisor or Faculty Member

    Once you have considered potential programs and want to discuss the application process in more details, reach out to Drake’s Education Abroad Advisor or the Faculty Member leading the program. Generally, if you are considering a semester abroad, contact the Education Abroad Advisor, and if you are considering a faculty-led program, such as a traveling J-term program, contact the Program Leaders. You can schedule an appointment by emailing

  5. 5

    Research Your Destination

    Start to dig into your study abroad location. Drake even offers optional courses to help students learn more about their program’s destination (the first course is titled: WLC 080 – The Study Abroad Experience I). If you can’t fit the course into your schedule, consider what kinds of knowledge regarding the city, country, or region would help you feel at home as quickly as possible after arriving.

    It is also important to consider your program country’s entry requirements, local laws, culture, health conditions, and safety and security environment before applying to a program. The U.S. Department of State provides information regarding many of these topics on their country information pages. Non-U.S. citizens should seek guidance from their country of citizenship, as entry requirements and other details may vary.

  6. 6

    Apply to the Program of Your Choice

    Return to the study abroad portal to submit an application! Pay close attention to deadlines. Many programs have application due dates one or two semesters before departure.

  7. 7

    Apply for Scholarships & Funding

    As you review the finances of studying abroad, consider also applying for scholarships. Drake offers Global Learning Scholarships for our students, and there are also many other sources of funding for study abroad. These deadlines are also often one or two terms before departure, so apply early!

  8. 8

    Apply for a Passport

    Passport applications are available through the U.S. Department of State. You can also submit your application at the U.S. Post Office located at 1165 2nd Ave in Des Moines. Submit your application as soon as possible, because it can take several months to receive your passport. If you have a passport, make sure that it’s valid six months beyond the return date of your program.