Getting Started

Preview of the Study Abroad Application Process

Landing on this page probably means that you are pretty serious about applying to study abroad? Well, if that is the case - you are at the right place!

The study abroad application requires time for you to reflect on your academic, personal and professional goals and objectives, and to gather some documentation that might be located in the top-left drawer of a desk, or some old shoebox in a closet -  at home!  In short, you need some lead time to get things articulated and ready before the application deadline.  

There are (2) distinct phases of the study abroad application process, and we will guide you through them at the appropriate times:  1) application to MICA and 2)  application to your study abroad or exchange program provider.  All students must apply to MICA first, then if your application is approved, you are granted permission to apply directly to your study abroad or exchange program provider after we nominate you.  The Office of International Programs usually returns application decisions within 1-week of the stated deadline, so you can begin the application with your chosen program without delay.  

You will be expected to begin the application with your chosen program provider once you receive the notification of acceptance from our office, so please check your email on a regular basis throughout the semester.  Many of our international program partners have a rolling admissions process, which means they are approving applicants as they receive applications.  In order to keep up with the admissions process, we will send you a detailed email on how to proceed with the next steps.  The Office of International Programs at MICA cannot guarantee that you will be accepted by the program provider.  However, if you apply directly after our office approves your application, and you prepare a well-crafted application to the provider, the likelihood of acceptance is very favorable.

Read below on what to expect regarding the MICA study abroad application process - good luck!


Do You Have a Passport?

If you wish to study abroad, you will need to obtain a student visa. In order to begin the application process for obtaining a student visa, you will need to know the exact expiration date of your passport. Some students still have their original passports when they were minors - these passports have a 5-year expiration date, and generally expire on one's 20th birthday.

If you have a passport, open it to the biographical information page now and check the expiration date. Next, visit the "dates and deadlines", or "academic calendar" page of your prospective study abroad program. As a general rule of thumb, if your passport is set to expire less than 6 months AFTER you return from studying abroad, the passport will need to be renewed. This rule also applies to MICA F1 international students. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Example: You wish to study abroad during the fall semester, and your study abroad program starts on September 1 and ends on December 21. Based on the 6-month rule, your passport will expire on June 21.

While the 6-month rule is common amongst most countries in the MICA portfolio of programs, we encourage you to do further research to make sure you are well-aware of what constitutes a valid passport. For some countries, it is less than 6 months. Regardless, students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are up-to-date.

The Study Abroad Application at-a-Glance

Like all departmental applications, you will need to provide basic information that identifies you as a MICA student, then additional information to support your purpose for studying abroad.

The information below was excerpted directly from the study abroad application. Please use this information as a way to strategize and pace yourself to the deadline.

• Your passport name - indicate your name as it appears on the passport biographical information page. The Office of International Education needs this information to complete nomination forms and other documents with our international partners. Many times, we nominate you for study abroad with your legal, given name, so all other paperwork issued will be consistent with the name found on your passport.

• MICA student id

• MICA student email - do not indicate a personal email. All correspondence from our office must be made through a email account. Once you initiate the process, we recommend making a regular habit of checking your email for important communication from our office regarding your application.

• Upload a PDF version of your passport biological information page - If your passport needs to be renewed, simply leave this section blank and email Mike Rini, Assistant Director of Education Abroad ( In the subject title, indicate "Passport Renewal". If your passport needs renewal at the time of application, please select expedited renewal service. There is a $60 expedite fee associated with this service.

• Indicate your major, minor, and/or concentration

• Indicate the name of the faculty chair associated with your major department and the name of your academic adviser.

• Indicate the semester you wish to study abroad

• Be sure to attend (1) Group Advising Session - If you did, it will be acknowledged here with a large, green checkmark indicated in the upper-right hand corner of the section. If you have attended a group advising session, simply email Mike Rini, Assistant Director, Education Abroad (, to request the link to the study abroad application portal.

• Indicate (2) forms of emergency contact and your permanent address - Think of (2) individuals that you want the MICA OIE to contact in the event of an emergency while you are abroad. Once you have identified them, make sure to communicate and discuss emergency panning while you are abroad.

• Read and acknowledge the Study Abroad Agreement Form - yes, there are some legal terms here, but still very important that you understand and agree to certain policies and expectations.

• Prepare a well-written Statement of Purpose Essay - here, you will need to explain your motivation for applying to the program you have selected, what you hope to achieve by participating in it, and how you expect to integrate your study abroad experience into your undergraduate, academic experience once you return to MICA.

The study abroad review committee requires that you think through your responses, and craft your essay using a minimum of 500 words. Your Statement of Purpose should outline specific reasons why this program is the best fit for your academic pursuits. You can use this statement when you apply directly to your selected program after MICA approves you to do so.

• (2) faculty letters of recommendation - think of (2) faculty members that you have taken a class or two with and know your work well. We do not accept letters of recommendation from employers, MICA administrators, or faculty who you know, but have not taken a class with. Letters of recommendation can either be sent by the instructor to Mike Rini ( or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope by the instructor or student to the Office of International Education.

• Complete the Course Approval Form - click the link below to view the form. Aside from faculty letters of recommendation, and a well-crafted Statement of Purpose Essay, the Course Approval Form is one of the most important documents you will need to complete. This exercise will help you become adept at selecting foreign courses. Please, take the time to read the instructions very carefully. Signatures are required on this document.

• Proof of health insurance - whether you have the MICA SHIP (Student Health Insurance Program), or you are a dependent on your parent or guardian's health insurance program, all students are required to show proof of health insurance at the time of application.

You will need to obtain a physical copy of the actual health insurance membership card or plan declarations page. Once you have this information, it must be uploaded to the study abroad portal.

MICA requires that all students studying abroad maintain health insurance for the duration of their study abroad experience and when they return to campus.

• Cost of Attendance Worksheet - this worksheet will allow you to develop a budget for your program by researching all of the costs associated with your proposed overseas experience. The Office of International Education requires that you meet with your financial aid advisor to discuss the budget items and to request a signature on the form. Click the link below to view the form.