This is crunch time for students who are hoping to study abroad in the summer or following semester. Applications are due and that means asking for letters of recommendation and writing a personal statement that makes you stand out. Fret not! If you stay organized and on-top of the process, you'll be packing your bags in no time.
1. Start by asking professors if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. The trick is to ask about twice as many as you need. For my application, I needed to submit two letters so I contacted four professors asking if they would be willing. This saves you anxiety when you inevitably don't hear back from some. When you're asking, it also helps to include the vital information they need such as due date, how to submit, and what type of information the letter should include. And never forget to thank them! They are taking time out of their hectic few weeks back in school to help you - let them know their time is appreciated!
2. Make an appointment with a study abroad advisor. Whether you have or have not turned in your application, they can tell you what you should be doing while you wait to hear back. Meeting face-to-face is also much easier to get all your questions answered instead of a never-ending e-mail string. It also doesn't hurt for the advisor to have a face to go with a name!
3. Start looking at flights after your application is completed and turned in. Flights get expensive fast, and you might not find out about your acceptance until very close to your departure date. Be ready to spring to action! Check airlines for student discounts so when you meet your fellow travelers, you have an idea which flight to book. You will likely have students in the same program on your flight, and it's an advantage to know a familiar face when traversing the world.
4. Be patient! I remember being so nervous the week I was due to find out if I was accepted into my program I could barely focus in class. Just remain calm - when that e-mail comes, all the hard work of applying will be worth it!