How to Apply

Study in Shanghai with IFSA

How to Apply

Your Journey Starts Here

With so much to think about and do, the prospect of studying abroad can feel overwhelming. But with IFSA, it’s not as hard as it might seem.

We’ve broken down the process into a few simple steps. And if you ever have a question or run into an obstacle, we’re here to help!

Begin by learning about our programs and the study abroad experience. We have lots of resources to guide you and help you find the best fit.

  • Find out what it’s like. Check out some IFSA student stories here, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or, talk one-on-one with IFSA alumni.
  • Browse our website. Use our program search or browse to learn more about locations, areas of study, upcoming programs for spring, summer, and midwinter, and special programs such as internships and our Career Accelerator.
  • Maximize your academic credit. Search our CHART database to find courses that align with your degree program to keep you on track for graduation.
  • Get advice. Talk to your school’s study abroad advisor, and connect with an IFSA Student Engagement Representative. You can also sign up for one of our webinars, and if your school hosts a study-abroad fair, be sure to pay us a visit.
Things you should know
  • When you reach out to us, you can expect a response within 24-48 hours.
  • Your IFSA Student Engagement Representative will connect you with a dedicated IFSA Admissions Counselor, who will advise you and help guide you through the application and admissions process.
  • We can help you with any questions you may have regarding our programs, the application process, financial aid, and next steps.
  • We aim to be as inclusive as possible. For information on eligibility requirements to study abroad with IFSA, click here.
¿Hablas español?

Some IFSA courses are taught in Spanish. If you’re a native speaker, you’re all set! If you’ve studied Spanish, find out more about language requirements here.

Get the ball rolling by completing and submitting your application. Don’t forget to talk to both your school and IFSA advisors!

Choose your program. Take advantage of all the tools and resources we offer. Use our program finder and CHART database, and make sure to talk to us – our appreciative advising approach is a great way to help you zero in on your ideal program.

Connect with your advisors. Before you apply, you’ll want to talk to two people. One is your school’s study abroad advisor, to make sure you meet all deadlines and requirements, especially academic credit transfer. The other is your dedicated IFSA Admissions Counselor, who can help to individualize your program and guide you to financial assistance if needed.

Complete and submit your application.

  1. Create an account on the IFSA Student Portal.
  2. Indicate your study abroad program, term, and year.
  3. Enter personal information as requested, including emergency contacts.
  4. Provide your educational details (your home university or college, transcripts, academic statement, class interest form, photos, etc.).
  5. Complete any additional steps required by your program.
Things you should know
  • Your IFSA Admissions Counselor is your key resource, there to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
  • Timing and details vary by program. Generally, it takes about five weeks to go through the process, but could be as short as a few days or as long as seven weeks.
  • It’s a good idea to get ahead of the game by applying for your passport early.

You’re in! Complete the process.

  • Check your email. The amount of time it takes for an acceptance decision varies by program. Typically, you can expect an answer after submitting your application within 2-3 weeks. For some programs, acceptance may come much sooner.
  • Complete any outstanding items. Your acceptance email will let you know about any next steps required by your program.
  • Sign the contract. Do this as soon as you can, to help with planning for housing.
  • Keep everyone in the loop. Follow up with your school, extended family, and friends to let them know you’ll be studying abroad with IFSA.
Things you should know
  • The IFSA Student Portal is your go-to resource for completing the process. And don’t forget: you can always call us for help.

Just weeks to go! Time to get everything in order.

  • Check in with your advisors. Connect with your IFSA Prearrival Counselor and your school’s study abroad advisor to make sure that you fully understand next steps and haven’t forgotten anything.
  • Run down the prearrival checklist. There’s a lot to do, from getting your passport and visas sorted to arranging for your deposit and billing, housing, completing medical forms, enrolling in courses, and signing up for your prearrival webinar. Oh, and shopping, too. Don’t worry: we’ll guide you.
Things you should know
  • Get the important and potentially time-consuming things out of the way first so you don’t get caught short. That means visas, medical compliance, and travel arrangements come before buying luggage and clothes!
  • It doesn’t hurt to double-check everything with your advisors. That’s what they’re there for.
  • Make sure you’ve worked with your advisor to set learning goals for your program and have a clear understanding of how they connect with your degree program.

You’ve arrived! Now make the most of your program.

  • Attend orientation and get to know the on-site team. Our resident staff is there to make sure you’re well supported throughout your program. They’ll help orient you and are your go-to resource for any and all concerns and questions you may have about your program, and your time abroad.
  • Take advantage of all the program has to offer. There’s a lot to do, both in and out of the classroom. The curated excursions and activities available to you are an essential part of the experience.
  • Keep everyone informed. Make sure to communicate any travel plans, concerns, or difficulties to the on-site IFSA staff as quickly as possible, for your own safety and to make your time abroad rewarding and trouble-free.
Things you should know
  • Phone home! Your family and friends are thinking about you and how you’re doing.
  • You have a lot of independence, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. We’re here to help you with anything you might need, so don’t hesitate to ask.

For more on IFSA policies, terms, and conditions, click here.