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Resources for Planning Your International Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing a program, cost is an important factor to take into consideration. Early on in the process, you should evaluate what you are able to afford for your international experience and look at the resources you have available to you (loans, grants, scholarships, family support, savings, etc.). Discuss your concerns and questions with an Education Abroad Advisor early on to take advantage of scholarship opportunities and get advice on programs that may fit your budget.

A good starting point to determine what you can and cannot afford is to look at the U of I estimated costs page which includes tuition and fees, housing and meals, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous and personal expenses (including health insurance). This will give you an idea of what you usually spend in a year and will help you decide how much, if any, you would be able to afford beyond these figures.

Typically, the total costs of an education abroad program are approximately $12,500-18,500. An Education Abroad Advisor can help you make budget comparisons between different programs.

Checkout the Financing Study Abroad page for more information.

As you search for an appropriate program, think about what you want to accomplish academically. Look for program offerings that line up with courses you need for your degree. When you talk to an Education Abroad Advisor, this topic is thoroughly covered.

As a part of the U of I education abroad application, you are required to complete a Course Planning Form. This form will determine how the courses you take abroad will transfer back to the U of I. If you have specific degree requirements that will need to be met while studying abroad, it will be even more important to discuss your programs of interest with an Education Abroad Advisor and work closely with your academic advisor.

Note: U of I course equivalents have already been determined for USAC Specialty Programs. These equivalents can be found on the U of I Registrar’s website.

Education Abroad will ensure that while you are studying abroad, you are registered at the U of I for a block of placeholder credits. This allows students to remain active within the U of I system and receive any financial aid they would normally receive. During the semester, students are registered for a block of 12 credits (the actual number of credits they take abroad will transfer back once their transcript is received by the U of I). Summer participants are registered for the exact number of equivalent U of I credits that they take abroad. When the transcript is received by U of I upon completion of your term abroad, the placeholder credit will be replaced with the exact courses you took and grades you received. The exception to this are students attending a Faculty/Staff-Led International Travel (FSIT) Program. FSIT students will register themselves for the appropriate U of I course associated with the trip.

Continue to complete all required application materials (both your U of I education abroad application and your program application, if applicable). An important part of the U of I application is to read through the Survival Guide - it has many important details that will help you have a successful and safe experience abroad. In addition, you will be required to attend the U of I Pre-Departure Orientation in-person.


If you do not already have one, get your passport right away. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after you return from your experience abroad. More information is available on the U.S. Passport Information page.

Read through the FAQs, gather application materials, complete the application and go to your local passport acceptance facility to submit your application. In Moscow, you can submit your passport application at the U.S. Post Office.


Depending on where you are going, you may need to apply for a visa. A visa is a stamp or sticker in your passport allowing you entrance into a specified country for a specified reason and period of time. You will receive general visa information either from your program provider, your host university, or the U of I Education Abroad Office, however, it is your responsibility to determine specific requirements for your visa and get your visa in a timely manner. In many cases you will need several months to apply for your visa prior to your departure so start looking into this as soon as you have been accepted by your program.

Many destinations require or recommend that you get certain immunizations prior to departure. Check the Center for Disease Control to see what shots or prescriptions you might need. It is very important that you get started on this early, as some of the immunizations need to be taken in a series, spanning several weeks or months. You should also schedule an appointment with your general health practitioner or family doctor for a travel physical.

If you take medication on a regular basis, be sure to discuss it with your doctor and inform your program as well. Keep in mind some medications available in the U.S. are not available or may even be illegal in other countries. Be sure to look into this many months prior to your departure so you have time to make appropriate arrangements.

All U of I students participating in university-travel will either be provided with sufficient international medical insurance by their program provider or U of I. U of I Education Abroad recommends students keep their domestic insurance while abroad in the event that they need to return from their program early due to medical reasons.

Students will be responsible for making their own flight arrangements. Some programs offer group flights and will provide specific flight information after your application has been accepted.

Deadlines for applying to study, research, intern, do service or field work abroad:

Term Abroad Deadline
Summer April 1
Academic Year April 1
Fall Semester April 1
Fall Break May 1
Winter Intersession Oct. 15
Spring Semester Oct. 15
Summer FSIT Dec. 1 or later, check program application
Spring Break Jan. 31
Non-study abroad travel (conferences, etc.) 30 days prior to departure

Phone: 208-885-7870

Fax: 208-885-2859