Getting Started

With so many options for education abroad, you should start by asking yourself what you want to learn and where. Then there are some practical considerations.

University-run programs like EuroSpring and SinoSummer are often more convenient and affordable because students pay regular tuition and fees. If a university program doesn’t fulfill your academic and travel goals, you can explore Exchange Programs, independent study or programs offered through another organization.


Students participating in education abroad programs must meet the following BSU requirements:

  • Have a least a 2.5 GPA
  • Be at least a sophomore at the time of their exchange
  • Enroll in INTL 1130 the semester prior to their exchange experience

To give yourself enough time, you should begin preparing for your exchange a year before you plan to go. Please note that some of our exchange partners may require a different GPA/academic standing than those from BSU.

Explore by Country

Several BSU departments offer programs that focus on a specific subject in a particular region. Explore our department programs to see if any of them meet your goals. You can also browse BSU Exchange Programs by country.

If you’re interested in arranging an independent study abroad, visit or to search programs by country, language or subject. Don’t rule out a country solely because the native language is not English. Some countries offer classes taught in English.


The cost of education abroad programs can vary greatly, so shop around. Don’t forget to consider extra expenses such as housing, food, insurance and transportation. One program may appear less costly than another, though it may not be once you factor in additional expenses. Try comparing the cost to what you would have spent at home. The costs of studying abroad won’t seem as overwhelming when you compare the costs to what you would normally spend at home.

Before You Go

  • Talk to your advisor about degree requirements and which classes will count toward graduation.
  • Read up on the history and culture of your future host country.
  • Research health and safety information. Some countries require inoculations such as Hepatitis A, that require multiple vaccinations.
  • Apply for scholarships available for education abroad, especially if you are going outside of Europe. However, it may take a lot of research and some have early deadlines. Check to see if on-campus financial aid and scholarships can be used towards education abroad.
  • You should start thinking about the logistics and practical considerations of international travel well before your plane takes off.

    Health and Safety

    Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important updates from the Embassy regarding your destination country.

    Review the Minnesota Department of Health’s Guidance for Travelers.

    Find more information regarding health and safety abroad, visit the Office of Higher Education’s Study Abroad Health and Safety Report.

    Passports and Visas

    Students traveling abroad for work or study must have a valid passport and possibly a student visa. Learn more about the visa application process.

    Payments and Currency

    Credit/Debit Cards

    Learn how to responsibly communicate with your bank(s) and use cards abroad.

    International Currency

    Know the exchange rates for international currency and best practices for making purchases in various countries. Here is an example of an international currency converter.

    Canada Malaysia
    China Norway
    Denmark South Korea
    Finland Sweden
    Germany Switzerland

    Learn (some of) the Language

    Chances are, you’ll pick up some of the local language and dialect once you spend some time in a different country. But it would be helpful to arrive already equipped with some basic words and conversational phrases.

    What to Pack

    Remember to pack climate- and culturally-appropriate clothing, as well as toiletries, school supplies, a few good books, and anything else you need to make you feel at home abroad. But don’t overpack! After many hours on planes and trains, the last thing you’ll want to do is deal with heavy luggage.

    When traveling, make sure you carry (and safely store) some cash, your passport and student visa, and plenty of water.