You’ve talked to your academic advisor and confirmed studying abroad will fit into your degree plan, you met with your study abroad office and the financial aid office to gather necessary paperwork…and now, you’re ready to apply to study abroad!
We know a lot of planning and preparation goes into your application and sometimes the study abroad process can be a bit overwhelming. Let’s walk through the next steps together so you know what to expect!
Getting Started on Your API Application
When you submit your application on our website, you’ll have access to our Learning Experience Application. In APIConnect, you’ll see which onboarding forms you’ll need to submit, when they are due, and where you can make payments. Before we jump into the specifics, let’s zoom out.
It’s important to note the difference between your home university and your host university. Your home university refers to the institution that you are enrolled in, and will receive your degree from. The host institution is the college or university that you’ll attend while abroad. When completing your forms, keep a close eye on the instructions.
When you start applying to study abroad and completing your forms in APIConnect, you’ll notice they’re divided by due date into Onboarding 1 and Onboarding 2 forms. The difference between these forms and their due dates depend on your program. Before diving in, we recommend exploring all material in your APIConnect account. That way, you can appropriately pace yourself! Some materials might involve multiple steps depending on where you’re at in the study abroad process. Let’s start there!
Time-Sensitive Forms To Keep in Mind
The University Approval Form
The University Approval Form notifies your home university that you’re participating in an API program. When we notify your university, we may contact your study abroad office or the appropriate advisor. This form helps ensure everyone is on the same page, and that your home university approves the program you’re applying to. Pro-tip: Some programs might require university approval before we can accept you.
Your Passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your program’s end date. For example, if your program ends on January 1st, your passport needs to be valid until at least July 1st of the same year. If you don’t have a passport yet, or it’s in the process of being renewed, let your program coordinator know. (And check out this helpful blog post!) In this case, your program coordinator might ask for a state ID as a placeholder until your valid passport comes in.
Some programs might need a Student Visa in order to participate. It is your responsibility, as a participant, to obtain a student visa prior to departure. We recommend starting this process ASAP. Check out our Student Visa Resource for detailed instructions on the visa process for each of our locations!
Once you have scheduled an appointment with your local consulate, add the details to your APIConnect account so that your program coordinator can mail you any required materials before your visa appointment!
Pro tip: If you are participating in a Spain or Italy program that requires a visa, API offers a Group Visa Service for those that qualify. (This includes the jurisdictions of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco consulates). Opting into this service gives you the option to pay a $185 visa processing fee to API. Then, you’ll send us your visa application and supporting documentation. An API representative will appear in person at the consulate on your behalf to submit your application!
Next Steps to Apply to Study Abroad
Now you’ve gotten the ball rolling on the forms that might require multiple steps, you can start dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s! The forms below require careful attention. Don’t just sign and submit, make sure you fully understand these documents.
Your transcript does not have to be the original sealed copy, but it must be an official copy. You can conveniently request an official e-transcript be emailed to API via your APIConnect account.
Code of Conduct Form
The Code of Conduct Form outlines expectations and disciplinary procedures if those expectations aren’t met. This form ensures the safety, wellbeing and success of all participants in an API program.
Participant Agreement Form
The Participant Agreement Form outlines various terms and conditions. Make sure to review each page, so you don’t miss anything important (like adding your parental and emergency contact)!
Network of Support Form
The Network of Support Form should include the people that you are counting on during this adventure. This includes university support and at least one emergency contact (or in the case of our underage participants, a legal guardian).
Health & Wellness Form
The Health & Wellness Form needs to include true and accurate information so we can make sure to accurately meet your needs and ensure your wellbeing while abroad!
Arrival Plans should be added to your APIconnect account. That way, if there’s a delay or issue in your travel, our onsite team can plan accordingly. You should arrive on the program’s start date.
Your headshot will be used for things like knowing who you are at airport pick up, university registration, immigration documents, ID cards, etc. When you take your headshot, it’s important to closely follow the guidelines in your APIConnect account. Otherwise, we’ll need to ask you to retake and resubmit.
Last Steps in Your API Application
Completing everything on your To Do List in your APIConnect account and making your final payment are the last two steps in this process. Once you’ve done this, your program coordinator will send you the Final Packet a few weeks before your program start date!
The Final Packet includes information about orientation, housing, excursions and more! It’s imperative you complete the forms and make the final payment in a timely manner.
We know the application process can feel like a lot! We recommend taking it step-by-step and using the guide above. Remember, if you still have questions, we are happy to help you apply to study abroad! You can email your program coordinator, use the Chat Box on the lower left-hand side of our website, or send us an email at [email protected]. We promise a real, live human is there to answer any questions!