Prepare for your interview

At your interview, you will be asked to explain why you have chosen this program and demonstrate familiarity with your host country’s history, current events, political/social/economic situation and culture. Prepare by researching online, reading newspapers, speaking to professors, watching movies, etc. Also, read the student evaluation binder in Overseas Studies.


Wait for admissions decisions

You must be accepted by BOTH Overseas Studies AND your host institution/program provider to be considered fully accepted.

  • Admissions decisions are usually announced by Overseas Studies 3-4 weeks after the application deadline
  • Most host institutions and program providers notify students of acceptance within 2-8 weeks
  • Admissions decisions for USC Madrid and USC Paris are made by Overseas Studies

Overseas Studies checks with the USC Student Judicial and Community Standards (SJACS), Title IX Office, and USC Housing Office to verify if study abroad applicants have any record of student conduct violations. All cases on file, regardless of the nature of the case, will be reported to the Office of Overseas Studies and may affect a student’s eligibility to study abroad.


Attend orientations

Overseas Studies will host a General Orientation and program-specific Pre-Departure Orientation before you depart. Attendance at both orientations is mandatory.


Research the visa process for your country

Most students will apply for a visa or residence permit to study in their host country. Requirements and timelines vary by program and country, and processing can sometimes take up to 4 months. Overseas Studies will provide guidance, but it is the student’s responsibility to apply for and obtain proper authorization to study in their host country.

Important Notes:

  • While processing your visa, the consulate may hold your passport for 2-4 weeks. That will prevent you from travelling internationally until your passport is returned. Plan accordingly.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to research the visa process for their host country. Procedures differ from country to country as well as consulate to consulate.
  • To receive a visa is a privilege, not a right. Consulates reserve the right to issue or deny visas, which is beyond USC’s control.
  • Students should compile required visa documentation well in advance of their visa appointment to ensure enough processing time. Students who apply late put their ability to study abroad at risk and may incur financial penalties in the form of lost deposits, late-withdrawal fees and/or non-refundable flight purchases.