Skip to Content

Steps to Studying Abroad

The following steps will make the process of obtaining an international education as simple as possible.

1. Attend "Study Abroad 101" or visit the Study Abroad office

Study abroad information sessions are held on campus during the fall and spring semesters. Find out about opportunities to study abroad, costs of study abroad, academic considerations, financial aid and scholarships, and how to choose a program that is best for you. This is the perfect opportunity to have all of your questions answered.

2. Think about the Experience You Want to Have

Create the experience you wish by considering the following: What countries appeal to you? Would you like to learn or practice a foreign language or study in English? What would you like to study? Do you want to go abroad for a few weeks, a semester or an academic year? Would you like to interact more with local people or with other American students? Are you interested in a program that offers a lot of support or would you like to be independent while abroad?

3. Research Program Options

Talk with your friends and professors who have study abroad knowledge. Also, browse the Internet by searching for "study abroad" and the topic and/or region you're interested in exploring.

4. Discuss Your Plan with an Academic Adviser and the Academic Study Abroad Programs Manager

Once you have narrowed down your choices to two or three programs, plan to meet with your academic adviser and your major adviser to identify the courses offered by the programs that will fit with your personal and academic goals. Along with your adviser, map out your course work to stay on track to graduate. You should also visit the Academic Study Abroad Programs Manager to discuss your options for study abroad.

5. Choose a Program and Apply

Once you find a program that is a good fit for your interests, you will need to complete your application: the application for the study abroad program in which you have chosen to participate. Remember, popular programs fill up quickly, so make sure to apply early! If you are participating in a study abroad program offered by a CUNY college other than BMCC, you will need to file an e-permit. Upon acceptance to your CUNY study abroad program, you will be given clear instructions on how and when to file your e-permit.

6. Confirm Your Financial Aid

Most financial aid and scholarships can be applied to study abroad. Check with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm what aid is available to you based on your individual package. Make sure to complete your FAFSA by the April deadline to qualify for assistance. Apply for study abroad scholarships if applicable.  See scholarship & fellowship handout for more information.

7. Pay Program Fees and Tuition

If you are participating in a CUNY study abroad program at your home college or any other CUNY institution, you will pay tuition through your home college bursar. You will pay your program fees to your study abroad host college as directed by your specific program. For non-CUNY study abroad, make sure you follow the payment instructions and deadlines for your specific program. The Academic Study Abroad Programs Manager can assist with this process.

8. Pack, Prepare and Enjoy!

Your time abroad will be the experience of a lifetime. Your program will provide you with orientation materials, a packing list and checklist to help you prepare for your trip. Remember to take a lot of photos to share with family, friends and classmates. If you are participating in a BMCC program you will be expected to participate in mandatory orientation sessions prior going abroad. All student programs organize orientations that help you prepare for any study abroad program.

9. Countdown to Studying Abroad

  • 6 -12 months: Attend a study abroad information session.
  • 6-12 months: Research program options and talk with the Academic Study Abroad Program manager and your academic adviser.
  • 4-6 months: Choose and apply to a program.
  • 3 months: Complete and submit the post-acceptance packet.
  • 4-6months: Check in with the Office of Financial Aid to see what Financial Aid options you have to assist with paying for the study abroad program
  • 4-6 months: Apply for national and/or local study abroad scholarship opportunities if applicable
  • 2-4 months: pay program tuition and fees.
  • 1-2 months: Attend orientation sessions
  • 2 weeks-1 month: Pack, prepare and enjoy!