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Start Planning

Start planning your adventure abroad today! On this page, you can read an overview of the study abroad planning process.

Ideally, you should begin to plan for your study abroad experience 6 – 9 months before you go overseas...but we work with students on a much shorter timeline every semester!

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Rams Abroad 101: Your first step to study abroad!

We encourage all students to participate in Rams Abroad 101 as your first step to study abroad. 

Check out a study abroad fair

The Global Education Office hosts a fair each fall and spring to spread the word about the numerous study abroad opportunities available through VCU. Students from all disciplines are invited to come learn about study abroad options, funding, and resources.

Students who visit the fall fair will have the chance to meet study abroad program providers, students who have studied abroad, Education Abroad staff, and travel agencies. The fair will also offer students the opportunity to connect with VCU offices that assist with the study abroad process.

The spring fair primarily features VCU's summer programs. At the fair, students are able to engage with faculty program directors, previous student participants, and Education Abroad staff.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer, please email

Research program options

After completing Rams Abroad 101, you should have the skills to begin researching programs that you're interested in applying to. You can learn more about different types of opportunities under the programs tab.

Meet with an Education Abroad advisor

After you've completed Rams Abroad 101 and done some preliminary reflection on programs that you're interested in, schedule an appointment with an advisor. We will help you finalize your program selection, and give you more in-depth information about the application process. And of course, we can also help you if you need additional support in identifying programs that work with your individual goals for study abroad!

It is your responsibility to verify that your program is recognized by VCU and that your program will issue a transcript from an accredited university.

If you are participating in a VCU faculty-led summer program, you do not need to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Meet with your academic advisor

Be sure to meet with your VCU academic advisor to ensure that your proposed study abroad program and coursework fit with your degree plan. It is best to discuss these things before you apply, as some programs have nonrefundable registration fees.

Get your courses approved

Before you finalize your program selection, you should verify that the individual courses that you plan to take will fit with your academic goals for study abroad, and request that they be assigned VCU equivalencies. You can find an overview of the course approval process on the credit transfer process page. Contact your Education Abroad advisor for more detailed information about getting your courses approved.

Apply to your program

After meeting with your study abroad and academic advisors, it's time to apply!

Register your program with VCU

After you've been accepted into your program, it's time to complete VCU's registration process. Registering your program with VCU is necessary to maintain your enrollment, allow you to use financial aid, and transfer your credits when you get back. Your Education Abroad advisor can give you more information on VCU's registration requirements.

Attend the pre-departure orientation

All accepted students must complete VCU's pre-departure orientation process. PDO will familiarize you with ways to have a healthy, safe, and successful time abroad. Topics include money, support services, academics, health and safety, and more. These are invaluable sessions that will give you insight into living and studying overseas.