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It’s Not Too Late for Spring!

   A guide to making your spring study abroad plans I know what you’re thinking… “I put it off too long, and now I can’t possibly study abroad this spring.” It’s just like that Procrastinator’s Anonymous meeting you keep meaning to attend, right? Here’s the thing; you still have time. Even if the deadlines for your school’s spring study abroad session have passed, you still can go with CEA. View our list of remaining Spring 2009 programs. Step 1: Get Your Passport Already! If you already have one, you get a gold star and get to move on to step 2. If you don’t have a passport in hand, you’ll need to get moving. You can go to the Department of State’s website for all of the details, but here are the basics:
  • Processing time takes about 6 weeks, 14-16 days if expedited.
  • The cost for your passport is $75 for the application fee and $25 for the execution fee. To expedite, it will cost an additional $60 for each application.
  • You can apply in person, using the State Departments nifty “Passport Acceptance Facility Search”.
  • If you have questions, you can always Chat or Call your CEA Advisor (1-800-266-4441).
  Step 2: Make a Plan. If you haven’t figured out where you want to go, or what courses you want to take, start moving. There are a few things that you’ll need to figure out. Below are some of the biggest ones:
  • Choose your destination and courses so that you can get your credits pre-approved by your school. Your CEA advisor can definitely help you out with this one. If you’re interested in popular destinations, like Prague or Barcelona, be aware that they are getting very close to capacity and will most likely close early.
  • CEA’s program closure dates are largely based on visa application processing times. That said, it’s probably best not to wait until the very last day to apply. Remember, it’s the same amount of things to be completed; you’ll just have less time.
  • Make your financial arrangements (how you are going to pay for this). Most times you can use your financial aid or student loans to study abroad, but you’ll have to check with your school to see what steps you are going to take to make that happen. If your parents are going to help, make sure they know about your plans and CEA’s payment deadlines.
Step 3: Application & Pre-departure Once you’ve figured out a plan, then it’s a good idea to start the application process, since there are several things that will be dependent on your acceptance. If you haven’t already talked to a CEA advisor, do it before you apply. They will help you avoid common mistakes and provide you with valuable information you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Log in to your MyCEA Account to start your application. The online application takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and it’s cheaper and better for the environment than mailing one in.
  • After you apply, there are a few more documents that you will have to fax or mail. Some programs have additional requirements, but for sure, you’ll need to send your transcript and complete a CEA Advisor Approval form. Once CEA has everything needed for your program, you should receive a call in about 3-5 days from your advisor to let you know if you’re accepted.
  • Hooray, you’re accepted! Now your confirmation deposit is due within 30 days or by your closure date (whichever comes first). Your confirmation allows CEA to start making arrangements on your behalf, like your foreign tuition and housing.
  • Once you’re spot is confirmed, you’ll also need to start your visa application. (Summer and short term programs may not require a visa, talk to your advisor.) Getting your visa is potentially the most difficult of all the steps, but with CEA, you have people trained to walk you through the process.
  • If you’re using financial aid, you’ll want to talk to your advisor at school, your school’s financial aid office and our financial aid counselor so that you can get your funds dispersed to pay for your program.
  • You can also apply for one of CEA’s study abroad scholarships once you’re accepted to a CEA program. The deadline for the Spring scholarship applications is November 1st. To apply you’ll need to meet the GPA requirements and submit an essay along with your application. It’s important to note that these scholarships are extremely competitive, so don’t include the scholarship as part of your financial plan.
  • Check your MyCEA Account often. Your MyCEA Account changes once you’ve submitted your application for a CEA program, providing you with a to-do list, pre-departure documents and other helpful downloads, and links to contact your CEA team. It’s a good idea to stay in touch with your advisor to avoid any hiccups while you get ready for the time of your life!

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