Better Prepare Yourself for Studying Abroad

If you’re looking to study abroad in spring 2017, here are some tips to put together your best application and increase your chances of studying abroad, courtesy of Sabrina Chong, Director of USC Annenberg International Programs.

Where to start…

Plan in advance.  Are you living or plan to live in non-USC housing?  You will want to seriously consider this if you’re planning to study abroad, particularly if it’ll be the spring semester.  Getting out of a year-long lease or looking for someone to sublet can be hard.  Make sure this is doable when you’re applying to go abroad, or plan to move into USC housing (or stay in it if these are your current living accommodations) as the year-long housing contract is more flexible through the university.  (There have been some admitted students in the past who had to turn down studying abroad because they could not get out of their lease or find subletters.)

Time management.  This is a super important part of the application process.  In preparing to study abroad, you should make sure you have read through the application and all its instructions.  You should make sure that you get each piece of the application in on time.  You can’t have late pieces of information coming in after the deadline, otherwise your application will be deemed incomplete.  You will want to get started on your application as soon as they are made available so you don’t miss a deadline!  Don’t wait on letters of recommendation.  You will want to consider wisely who you want to write your recommendation letters.  The study abroad application process is very competitive, especially for the spring semester. 

Stay up to date.  A way to ensure that you can do all of these necessary tips for your application success is to follow USC Annenberg International Programs on Facebook and Twitter to get updates on when to look for the application, and deadlines to make note of. 

Figure out your payment plan.  The payments for studying abroad vary depending on your program of choice.  When considering European options, like London or Rome, the housing fees are due within one month of your admission to the program.  A good applicant will have already planned for this.  Make sure you talk with your parents as you begin to apply so you are all aware of what will be ahead throughout the process.  Other overseas options, like New Zealand, amongst others, have housing fees that are due during the semester you apply.  So if you apply in fall 2016 for a spring 2017 program, you’ll have to have paid the housing fee by the end of the fall 2016 semester. 

Keep in mind these factors that could negatively impact your study abroad application.  Be sure to look over the Annenberg Study Abroad Application Review Process carefully.  You don’t want to neglect something that could negatively impact your chances of studying abroad. 

Do your best in your classes and finish strong.  By finishing your semester strong, you improve your chances when applying.  Once you’ve reached the 3.0 threshold, make sure your GPA stays there!  Every applicant is on equal ground in terms of GPA if they’ve met the 3.0 requirement.

Insure that you’ve done all you can to make your study abroad application a good one by considering these tips!  They will help you in the long run.  Stay updated, think ahead, and don’t do anything that might lead to your disqualification.

-Abbie Stellar