Academics & Recommended Study Abroad Timeline


Is there a “best time” to study abroad?


Great question! From the U of A perspective, you need to be in good academic standing and have completed at least 24 credit hours on our campus to be eligible to study abroad. 

There is no "perfect" time to study abroad. For some students, it makes sense to study abroad the summer after their first year and maybe for others, it makes better sense to study abroad for the Spring Semester of their Junior year. (Some students also study abroad more than once... just throwing that out there!) 

My best advice is to chat with an academic advisor early to understand: 

  • What courses should you be looking for in a study abroad program in order to advance your degree plan and stay on track?
  • g., specific courses for your major/minor? JR/SR business electives? foreign language courses? elective courses?
  • Based on that, do your academic advisors have any suggestions on what semesters you should look at for study abroad?
  • For example, i​​​​​f your academic advisor suggests that you look for JR/SR business electives abroad, when are you eligible to take upper-level business courses? 

As much as you can, try to save your most flexible degree requirements for study abroad. For example, it is a lot easier to find an upper-level Finance course or a university elective rather than a specific catalog course. 

Once you have settled on when you want to go, we advise that you start really digging into the study abroad process about 2-3 semesters before you want to be abroad (in an ideal world). That should give you ample time to explore, find the right program, apply for scholarships, and not be too stressed during the program application process.

Recommended Study Abroad Timeline: 1 + year, learn about study abroad; 6-12 months, advising phase; 3-6 months, application phase; 0 -3 months, commited phase, abroad, return, repeat?