The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC) is happy to help you start planning for Study Abroad and/or Study USA during your time at Elon. The following steps outline the advising process and provide you the framework for researching and finding the best program for your specific goals and graduation plan.

First Steps Towards Global Engagement With Elon

Before you begin: apply for a passport

Do you have a passport? Is it valid (will not expire) until AT LEAST six months after your intended program end date?

If you answered “no” to either question, apply for or renew your passport now.

Start with YOU: complete the Who Are You questionnaire

Complete the Who Are You questionnaire before meeting with a GEC advisor so they can know how to best support you in terms of advising sessions, additional resources, and other questions to think about. You’ll first be prompted for background information such as emergency contact and mobile number, and then be asked questions related to your academic, cultural, personal, and professional goals. Take as much or as little time as you want with this — the questionnaire is a snapshot of where you are right now.

As you think about your goals, here are additional questions to consider:

What are my academic goals for the term abroad?

  • Do I want to take classes in my major(s)? For my minor(s)? For Elon Core Curriculum requirements?
  • Do I want to begin or continue to study a language?
  • Do I want to complete an internship while abroad?

What are some of my cultural interests?

  • Do I want to study in a specific country or region?
  • Do I want to study with local students? Elon students? International students?
  • Do I want to live in a large city? In a small town? In a rural area?
  • Do I want to live with other students in a residence hall? With a local family? In an apartment?

Are there other features I would like on a study abroad program?

  • Do I want to participate in service learning or volunteer work while abroad?
  • Do I want to have the support of an Elon faculty while abroad?
  • Do I want to be on a program with a very high level of support services? Or a more independent program?

Are there any special needs to consider when selecting a program and planning to study abroad?

  • Do I have a medical, psychological or medical condition for which I will need treatment or medication while abroad?
  • Do I have special dietary needs?
  • Will I be able to get adequate accommodations for my disability(ies) abroad?

Some helpful information for planning for health and diet needs can be found on the Health and Safety page.

At this step, you should have a good sense of who YOU are — you’re reframing the question of “Where should I go” to “Who am I.” That’s where we start.

Connect with Global Ambassadors

Connect with a Global Ambassador to learn from students that have been in your shoes. Global Ambassadors are Study Abroad and Study USA alumni trained in how to help you prepare for your own global engagement and excited to assist!

It is often helpful to speak with a Global Ambassador that has the same major as you. Even if you are not interested in the specific Study Abroad or Study USA program in which the Global Ambassador participated, you may find it helpful to discuss how he or she planned to complete courses before, during, and after the term away.

At this step, you should have a better sense of how your peers in your fields of interest have integrated global engagement into their own plans.

Research your options and course planning

Put your planning tools to work to do some initial research into programs that might work for you.

Use the search parameters on MyElonGlobal to search for programs that support your goals. Search by program parameters such as “disciplines of classes available” and “internship available” to find programs that support your graduation plan.

Use the Course Planning webpage to see where you can earn credit toward your graduation requirements.  Specifically, use the Transfer Articulation Table to start to get a sense of which programs offer specific courses.

At this step, you should be able to make a short list of programs that support your goals, interests, and academic needs.

Assemble your Global Engagement Advising Team

This team comprises all of the advisors that support your at Elon, including your GEC advisor, your academic advisor, and any additional applicable resources such as Financial Planning, your internship advisor, and Global Ambassadors.

Any time you are discussing your major(s) or minor(s), planning courses, or mapping out a graduation plan, make sure that you are keeping your study away plans in mind. This is especially important if you plan to spend a semester or academic year away. Create a plan that allows for flexibility and changes in course offerings. It is important to note that some semester programs’ calendars will conflict with the Winter Term at Elon. You may not be able to take a Winter Term class right before going away for the spring and should plan accordingly when creating a graduation plan.

Some important questions to consider as you discuss your plans with your advisor(s):

What requirements do I plan to complete while away in order to graduate on time? How much flexibility do I have with my course selection?

  • Think about what courses you would like to, or need to complete while away. This can include courses in your major(s), in your minor(s), and Elon Core Curriculum requirements. Determine whether there are any specific Elon course(s) or requirement(s) that only fit into your schedule the term you plan to study away. Consider whether you have room to take any free electives during the term away.

What prerequisites will I need to take at Elon before my program?

  • If you plan to take upper-level courses in your major while away, be sure that you will be able to complete the necessary prerequisites at Elon beforehand.

How many semester hours do I have to complete while abroad in order to graduate on time?

  • Students are able to earn between four and twenty semester hours of Elon credit while away. The minimum amount of hours required and the maximum number of hours allowed will vary.  Determine the minimum number of semester hours of coursework you would need to complete while away to be able to stay on track for your progression toward graduation.

What courses are being offered on the programs in which I am interested? Which ones seem, based on the course descriptions, to be a good fit for the course(s) I need to take?

At this step, you should know how your resources at Elon can support your Study Abroad or Study USA program and should have a clear academic roadmap with your advisor.

Narrow your options

Once you have identified your interests, set some goals, and discussed your plans with your academic advisor, you are ready to determine which program best supports your graduation plan. As you review the information for each program from both MyElonGlobal and from the host brochure directly, consider all aspects of the program: courses, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, language of instruction, geographical location, setting (urban, rural, etc.), housing, cost, GPA, and other requirements. Keep in mind you can search by these various criteria in the Advanced Search.

Read all the information on the program page and click on the various links to explore host institutions, course listings, and other resources. Many of the programs have links to Facebook groups for the programs. This is a great way to connect with other students who have been or are currently on the program. Getting in touch with these students is a helpful first step in taking an inside look at the program.

You may find it helpful to meet with your GEC advisor at this stage. You are welcome to schedule an appointment by calling 336-278-6700 — the GEC front desk can help determine which advisor makes sense for you.

In order to make the most of your appointment, it is recommended that you complete the steps outlined above before scheduling your appointment. In preparation for your appointment, write down questions you have and gather any planning forms (graduation plans, major check sheets, degree audit, etc.) that may help clarify and provide context for your study abroad and undergraduate goals. Your GEC Advisor will also reference your Who Are You Questionnaire to make the most of your session.

At this step, you should be well informed of the details of your top programs and confident in how those programs support your goals.

Select your program

After learning from your peers, utilizing your advising team, and thoroughly researching your options, you’re ready to select the program that best supports your goals!  Check the Deadlines webpage for information on when the application will become available and to note important deadlines.

Review the Policies webpage to make sure you’re informed on final details, such as payment information and cancellation policy deadlines.

At this step, you’re ready to apply for a program and aware of deadlines.

Apply for your program

When it’s time to apply, click “apply now” from the MyElonGlobal brochure page to begin the process. While application elements vary based on program and term, here is generally what is required:

  • Request a recommendation from your academic advisor. Some programs require additional faculty or language recommendations. Your recommendations need to be REQUESTED rather than RECEIVED by the deadline in order to be completed on time.
  • Submit the $400 Application Deposit. This is paid directly through the E-Bill system and takes up to two business days to be processed in your application. Your deposit must be PAID rather than PROCESSED by the deadline in order to be completed on time.
  • Complete your Course Review Form DRAFT (not applicable to short-term or faculty-led programs). For details on this form, please see the Course Planning page. Your Course Review Form DRAFT must be SUBMITTED rather than APPROVED by the deadline in order to be completed on time.
  • Read and sign the Acknowledgement of Assumption of Risk.
  • Read and sign the Payment and Cancellation Policies.
  • Read and sign the Student Responsibilities.
    Complete the GEC Access Scholarship questionnaire.
  • Write your essay questions.
  • Complete the Student Conduct questionnaire.

Once all of the requirements of your application are marked as completed, your application is complete! There is no final “submit” button. If you have any questions on application processes, please see our FAQs.

At this step, you’ve completed your GEC application and are awaiting acceptance or approval.

Next Steps

Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by your GEC Advisor either by the decision date posted on the brochure (if submitted during the Open Period), or within two weeks of completion (if submitted during the Rolling Period).

Once your status has changed to “accepted” or “approved,” you will have a new set of post-decision application requirements, including in most cases an application to be completed directly with the host institution, visa processing, and course registration.  You also will begin other pre-departure processes, such as attending mandatory orientations, acquiring recommended vaccinations, managing your housing arrangements at Elon, and planning financially to make the most of your program.

At this step, you’ve completed the advising phase and move into the pre-departure phase.



“Studying abroad has allowed me to defy any preconceived limits I had. Going abroad has helped strengthen my confidence and I now feel more assured in making independent decisions”

– Erin Leonard, ’21


“By studying abroad, I learned how to step outside of my comfort zone. I have always considered myself very outgoing and independent, but studying and learning in a different country allows you to test your limits to what you think you are comfortable with!”

– Sam Chessen, ’21