Study Abroad Application Tips and Basics

Below is a brief overview of the application process for UW Faculty-Led study abroad programs. If you have further questions please contact us or set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor.

Program Selection

The most important tip in applying for a study abroad experience is to think ahead. Planning two to three quarters in advance of when you want to go abroad will give you the best options in terms of programs and funding.

Start with these questions:

  1. What do I wish to study? How will credits earned fulfill my graduation requirements? How does it fit in my academic schedule?
  2. Where do I want to go? Is language and cultural immersion important to me?
  3. How long can I be away? How much support would I like in the host country?
  4. How much money am I realistically able to budget for this experience?
  5. Specific questions? Contact the program directors--they are there to help!

Application Process

Statement of Purpose

  • This is your chance to tell the directors why you deserve to be on this trip, not just what you will get out of it, but also what your participation will add to it
  • They want to see a genuine interest--a connection to the location or the program subject
  • Straight from a program director: “I look for evidence that the applicant is (not only personally, but) academically curious about what she/he will encounter” – Marc Miller, Professor, UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs


  • Studying abroad requires students to further expand their adaptation skills that helped them thrive as new college students. How will you adapt to a completely new environment? 

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  • You will be living, eating, and studying with this group of students. Let them know you can and will be a team player
  • Also think about what group experiences have you had, and how have you made them positive/successful?

Letter of Recommendation

  • We strongly suggest you have a UW faculty member provide you letter
  • Give your recommender enough time—minimum two weeks before the application deadline
  • It is best to notify them before you send the request so they know to look out for it, and tell them when you have sent it
  • When your letter has been received the box will be checked off
  • Make sure to send a thank you note to your recommender—they will appreciate it
When all the boxes are checked, your application is complete. If all parts are completed, your application is ready to be reviewed and no further steps are necessary.