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Getting Started

Getting Started
Not sure where to start? Here are some steps you can take as you consider studying abroad:
Studying abroad is often described as a "life-changing experience," but what does that really mean? Many students will explain that their time abroad allowed them to immerse themselves in another culture and expand their worldview. Others may describe how studying abroad led them to discover a new passion, experience a different lifestyle, or practice a foreign language. Although the impact of studying abroad may be difficult to put into words, here are some tangible benefits:
  • Development of critical thinking, problem solving, time management, and communication skills
  • Increased employability and earnings potential
  • Personal independence and growth
  • Expanded networking and professional development opportunities
  • Lifelong interest and engagement in global affairs
  • Ability to analyze different perspectives and viewpoints
Your academic advisor can help you determine if and how your study abroad courses will fit into your degree plan.  Here are some questions you can ask during your advising appointment:
  • What courses within my degree plan can I take outside of UTD?
  • What core major requirements and/or electives can I complete abroad?
  • How will studying abroad impact my degree progress?
  • Does my degree require an internship? Can I complete an international internship and gain academic credit toward my degree?
For some people, the hardest part of studying abroad can be choosing a program. There are several factors that can help you determine the program that best fits your interests and needs. Ask yourself these questions to get started:
  • What type of credit do I want to earn?
    • Education Abroad programs allow students to earn either UTD credit or transfer credit. Faculty-led programs, internships, and independent studies offer students the opportunity to earn UTD credit while studying abroad. Students who participate in exchange, affiliated partner, or third party programs will earn transfer credit upon receipt of the final transcript. If you will not be earning credit for academic work completed abroad but will be receiving scholarships or other UTD funding, then you will apply for Academic Research (non-credit).

  • Where do I want to study?
    • Is there a particular part of the world that you've always wanted to visit? Are you hoping to practice language skills abroad? Ask yourself these questions to help pinpoint a region or country for your study abroad program. It's also important to keep in mind that regions of the world have different cultural and societal norms relating to gender roles, the LGBT+ community, and accessibility. Do some research beforehand to help narrow down your options.

  • What is my budget and what types of funding will I apply?
    • Study abroad programs vary in terms of affordability. The cost of the program will depend on many factors, including living arrangements, location (urban vs. suburban), and geographical region. Create a budget for yourself and be mindful of what's included in program costs. Additional expenses can add up for insurance, housing, meals, excursions, travel, medical needs, and personal spending. Consider your available aid and scholarships, family contributions, and other funding sources. If you plan on using aid or scholarships to offset the costs of your study abroad program, you should meet with the Office of Financial Aid or your scholarship office to ensure your funding can be applied.

  • Do I want to travel by myself or am I more comfortable traveling with a group?
    • Faculty-led programs are UTD courses that include an international learning component. These programs may be better suited for students who are more comfortable traveling in groups. Alternatively, if you're interested in achieving more independence while abroad, consider participating in an exchange, third party, or affiliated partner program.

  • How long do I want to be abroad?
    • Education Abroad programs vary in length from one week to an entire academic year of study. When deciding on program length, you should consider your degree requirements, comfort level, and home/work obligations.

  • When do I want to study abroad?
    • Education Abroad programs are offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Most exchange programs are only offered in the fall and spring, although a limited number of institutions also accept exchange students for the summer. You should also be aware of credit requirements that may impact your term and length of study abroad. Eligibility requirements for completed UTD credit hours must be met at the time of application, and students within 30 credit hours of graduation should only participate in UTD credit-bearing programs (faculty-led, internship, and independent study).  Meet with your academic advisor to review your plans to study abroad and discuss any impact on your intended graduation date.
Most financial aid and scholarships are applicable to Education Abroad programs, but you should work with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure your funding can be applied to your program. If you plan on using scholarships (i.e. Terry, National Merit, McDermott, AES), meet with your scholarship office to discuss your plans to study abroad and any steps you will need to take to secure funding for your program.  Ask your financial aid advisor and/or scholarship office the following questions:
  • Can my financial aid award or scholarship only be used toward UT Dallas tuition?
    • If yes, consider exchange programs, internships, independent study, or faculty-led programs.
  • Can I use my funding toward tuition to other institutions or program providers?
    • If yes, consider UTD tuition-based programs and also affiliated partner or third party programs.
Walk-In Advising
Meet with us to discuss program options, the application process, scholarship opportunities, and more. Education Abroad walk-in advising is offered every Tuesday-Thursday from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. in the International Center, SSB 3.600. 

Peer Advising
Peer advisors are student ambassadors who can help you explore program options and navigate the Comets Abroad Portal. They also provide a student perspective and share their own study abroad experiences. Check the Comet Calendar for upcoming peer advising sessions.

Advising Appointments
If you are unable to attend walk-in advising hours, contact us to schedule an advising appointment. Send a preferred day and time to and we will send a confirmation if a staff member is available.

Stop by an Education Abroad Information Table
Discover the opportunities that UT Dallas Education Abroad offers! Stop by an upcoming Education Abroad Information Table to learn about study abroad opportunities, scholarships, application process, and more. Find a list of our upcoming information tables here: Comet Calendar.

Contact Us
Education Abroad
International Center, SSB 3.600
(972) 883-4715