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Getting Started

Studying abroad will be one of the highlights of your university career.  You will have wonderful and challenging experiences that will allow you to grow both academically and personally and prepare you to compete in today's globalizing world.  But we know that planning for this experience can be daunting, so we have assembled these guidelines to help get you started.  The most important thing to remember is that the PAO staff is here to help you every step of the way. 

1. Research the UT Abroad website

Spend some time browsing the links to the left.  Read through all of the information available, and learn about the many programs available for a semester, year, summer or mini-term abroad.

2. Consider Your Priorities

Choosing the study abroad experience that's right for you is always exciting and sometimes challenging.  You should consider your priorities and think about programs that fit your personal, academic and financial goals. To help you determine your priorities, we have put together the following list of questions as a guide.  Don't worry if you cannot answer them all.  The PAO staff will help you as you proceed through the decision making process.

Personal Goals:


  • How will I pay for my study abroad experience?
  • Do I need financial assistance?
  • Will I apply for study abroad scholarships?

3. Talk to a Peer Advisor

The PAO Peer Advisors are one of your most valuable resources.  Every weekday during the academic year, the Peer Advisors host general information sessions at 2 pm in the PAO Resource Room. During these info sessions, you will learn about the "nuts and bolts" of studying abroad and have the opportunity to ask questions.  If you cannot attend one of the information sessions, feel free to stop by during regular Resource Room operating hours.  A Peer Advisor will always be available to help you.

4. Academic Advising

As soon as you know you want to study abroad, you should meet with an academic advisor to determine when the best time is in your degree plan to go abroad. You should ask your advisor to list the courses you'll need to take in order to stay "on-track" for graduation. Refer to this list when researching your study abroad options.

5. Meet with a PAO Coordinator

Once you have narrowed down your program choices to three, you should schedule an appointment with one of the PAO Coordinators who will talk to you more in-depth about your options and how the application process works.

6. Apply

After you have met with a PAO Coordinator, you are ready to apply.  Follow the instructions noted in how to apply.  Be sure to pay attention to the application deadlines listed at the top of the UTabroad webpage.

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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System