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Application Process

Starting to think about studying abroad or away during your time at Davidson? Understanding the application process is key to starting your journey off on the right foot.

Review this page for a breakdown of everything you need to know about eligibility requirements, important deadlines, a step-by-step breakdown of the application process, and answers to frequently asked questions about applications.  


Students who are in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing are eligible to study abroad. This means a student must have:

  • a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • no balances on their student account
  • no current conduct sanctions 
Good standing is verified both at the time of application and again prior to the program start.  If your status changes in the semester(s) before your program so that you are no longer in good standing in terms of academics and/or conduct, or are no longer actively enrolled at Davidson, your approval will be revoked and you will no longer be eligible to study abroad.

Some programs will have additional eligibility requirements, such as a higher GPA, language pre-requisites, or previous study in a certain subject.  Check the program brochure and/or partner website carefully to ensure you meet requirements before applying.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Additional information about these important dates and requirements is communicated to students throughout the application process and on the pre-departure requirements page.  Mark your calendar now!

  Spring & Winter Break Summer, Fall, & Academic Year
Applications Open Mid/late August Mid/late October
Application Deadlines* October 1 February 1
Off-Campus Study Notification Deadline November 1 March 15
Off-Campus Financial Aid Agreement Deadline November 15 March 15
Pre-Authorization to Transfer Credit Form Deadline November 15 May 1
*For students applying to non-Davidson partner programs, please note that the partner organization application deadlines may differ from the Davidson deadline.  Students must submit all application materials by the Davidson deadline, unless the partner deadline is earlier.

Competitive Programs & Early Applications

Some partner programs have high demand and applications may be competitive.  In these cases, if the partner application opens before the Davidson application, students can begin the partner application first.  Please notify the OEAA if you are applying early; you will need to complete the Davidson application once it opens later on.

Steps to Success

The OEAA is here to guide students through the application process from start to finish.  Review these important steps for an overview of the process and what to expect as you plan your study abroad experience.



All students planning to study abroad must have a valid passport. 

If you do NOT currently have a valid passport, you must apply for or renew your passport immediately.  The OEAA encourages all students to complete this important step as soon as possible, even if you are just beginning to consider an education abroad program.  Review our passport and visa page for useful links and details on the passport requirements.

Every year, at least one or two students encounter problems with visa and/or travel arrangements because they did not apply for a passport until it was too late.  Don't be one of them!


Get started by reviewing the Choosing a Program page for useful information about program options and questions to consider.  You can also visit our office on the first floor of the Duke residence hall to browse previous student program evaluations.

Semester & Academic Year Programs

Browse the Approved Programs List and see which options might appeal to you.  Read through the Davidson brochures, and if considering partner programs, click through to the partner organization's website for more details.

Summer & Winter Break Programs

Review the recommended summer programs and see which options might appeal to you.  


All students are encouraged to make an appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor for hands-on guidance to the program options and the application process.  Students can meet with an advisor during any point of the application process.

Appointments usually work best if you have some idea of the basic program location and/or area of study that interests you, but don't hesitate to come in if you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed.  Our staff are always happy to assist!


ALL students planning to study abroad or away are required to complete a Davidson application in the OEAA portal (aka the website). 
  • Start your application(s) by clicking the "Apply Now" button on the program brochure (if you do not see this button, it means applications are not currently open.)

  • You can access your current and past applications at any time by returning to the OEAA portal and clicking the Login link in the upper right corner of the page

Semester & Academic Year Programs

  • Students applying to Davidson programs will complete one application in the Davidson portal for the program of their choice.

  • Students applying to partner programs will complete at least two applications: one in the Davidson portal, and then one directly with the partner organization.

    • If you are applying to alternate or back-up partner programs, you will still only complete one Davidson application, but you must complete a separate partner application for each back-up option.

Summer & Winter Break Programs

  • Students applying to Davidson programs will complete one application in the Davidson portal for the program of their choice.

  • Students applying to partner programs will complete at least two applications: the Summer Partner (non-Davidson) application or the Winter Break (non-Davidson) application in the Davidson portal, and then one directly with the partner organization.

    • If you are applying to alternate or back-up partner programs, you will still only complete one Davidson summer application, but you must complete a separate partner application for each back-up option.



After you complete and submit your applications, you'll wait to find out if you have been accepted the program(s) of your choice.

Davidson Program Acceptances & Commitments

  • After the February 1 application deadline passes, a faculty committee will review applications to Davidson programs and make admissions decisions, usually by early/mid-March.  The OEAA will notify students by email.

  • Once accepted to a program, students must pay a deposit to hold their spot and indicate commitment to the program.  Information about deposit amounts and payment methods will be included in the acceptance email from the OEAA.  Review the Financial Planning page for more details about how program payments work.

Partner Program Acceptances & Commitments

  • Partner program acceptance timelines vary, but are usually on a rolling basis.  The partner organization will notify you directly if you are accepted.

  • Once accepted to a program, students usually must pay a deposit to hold their spot and indicate commitment to the program.  The deposit is the student's responsibility; the OEAA cannot pay this on your behalf.  In most cases, the deposit is then applied towards the program's non-academic fees.  Review the Financial Planning page for more details about how program payment work.

Important Note: After committing to your first-choice program, if you have applied to or been accepted to alternate study abroad programs, you must contact the partner organization(s) to either withdraw your application or decline your spot.  Otherwise, you may be mistakenly billed for additional payments.



After committing to the program of your choice, you will be asked to complete additional pre-departure requirements, for both Davidson and the partner organization (if applicable).

These requirements may include but are not limited to:
  • Visa application

  • Emergency contact information

  • Health and medical information

  • Course registration

  • Flight information

  • Signing participant agreements and/or waivers

  • Davidson-specific requirements

    • Pre-Authorization to Transfer Credit Form

    • Off-Campus Study Notification

    • Financial Aid Agreement

All pre-departure requirements must be completed according to their assigned deadlines. Many of these items will be time-sensitive, so this part of the process requires careful planning and attention to detail.

Pre-Departure Orientations

As part of the pre-departure process, all students are required to take part in at least one orientation session held by the OEAA.  Students on partner programs may also be asked to attend an orientation with the partner organization.

Additional Resources

In addition to your Davidson and program requirements, you should review the Pre-Departure pages on the OEAA website for useful planning tips and resources.  


It's time!  Once you've committed to your program and completed all pre-departure requirements, you'll be ready to go abroad.

The OEAA encourages you to focus on adapting to your program and immersing yourself into your new environment.  However, you are still a Davidson student, and the OEAA is still here to support you!
  • Remember to check your Davidson email on a regular basis for important announcements from the OEAA, as well as information about course registration and housing once you return.

  • Share your experience!  Use the hashtag #CatsAbroad if you post on Instagram, or tag us @davidsonedabroad.  You can also email photos to

  • If you are interested in doing an Instagram takeover to share a day in your life abroad, please email the OEAA Assistant Director, Lauren Stikeleather (

  • Your on-site support staff (whether a Davidson faculty member or partner organization staff) will be available to assist you with questions, concerns, or issues while you are abroad or away, but you can always reach out to the OEAA if needed.

The education abroad and away experience doesn't end once you return to Davidson.

First, you'll be asked to complete an OEAA program evaluation.  These questionnaires are a vital resource for our office, and we value your honest insights about your experience abroad or away. 

All returnees are invited to take part in OEAA programming, including a Welcome Back Bubble Tea, Reentry Career workshop, and more!  If you have ideas about how to share your experience with the campus community, don't hesitate to reach out to our office. 



Frequently Asked Questions

Review these common questions and answers about the application process.  If you do not see your question listed, please contact an OEAA advisor or email us at



Start an application by following these instructions:

  1. Go to the approved programs list

  2. Open the brochure for your first-choice program

  3. On the Overview tab, click the "Start Application" button (if you don't see this button, it means we are not currently accepting applications)

The system will launch your new application!  You can also request that an advisor open an application for your during a meeting.


You can have one active Davidson application open per term.  Your Davidson application should always be for your first-choice program.  There is a space in the Davidson application where you can list any alternate or back-up programs.

You will only have multiple Davidson applications open if you are applying for programs in different terms, e.g. you plan to study abroad for both the summer and the fall semester, or both winter break and the spring semester.


If you have opened an application but need to switch to a different program, please email or contact an OEAA advisor.  Our staff will be able to switch your application for you.  Do not try to open a second application because you are only allowed one application per term.



Most error messages occur because the student already has an application open for that term or program.  If you encounter this issue, please email for assistance.


We hope that it doesn't happen, but sometimes students determine that they can no longer go abroad and need to withdraw their application.  Withdrawals work differently according to the stage of the application process.

Before Submitting Your Application

If you have not yet submitted your application, you can simply withdraw it yourself by clicking the button in your application.  You can also ask an OEAA advisor to withdraw it for you.

After Submitting Your Application But BEFORE Commitment

If your application has already been submitted when you decide to withdraw, you will need to have an OEAA advisor withdraw your application for you.  Send an email to

After Commitment

If you decide to withdraw after officially committing to your program, you will need to reach out to the OEAA to let our staff know your decision and discuss next steps.  The official Davidson withdrawal policy will apply.  


Follow these tips for requesting recommendations for study abroad applications.

  • Plan ahead! Give recommenders at least three weeks advance notice before the deadline.

  • Make a polite request.  Ask your recommenders (preferably in person) if they believe they know you well enough to write a positive recommendation.

  • Jog their memory.  Remind the recommender of the course(s) you have taken with them, if applicable, including the semester or final grade, and any notable assignments you completed for them.

  • Explain the type of recommendation requested by the program.  Is there a prompt?  Are there any specific types of information that should be included?

    • The following Davidson programs require a short form: Cadiz, Ghana, France, Madrid, Northern Ireland, Peru, and Zambia.

    • Davidson in Cambridge requires a formal letter of recommendation that the recommender can copy and paste into the form.

  • Mark your calendar.  Share the deadline with your recommender, and set a reminder to follow up with them a few days before the deadline if you see within your application that it is still incomplete.


Most education abroad or away partner programs require an approval form of some sort to be completed by the student's home institution.  Additional forms may be required if the student plans to take part in an internship or other program activities.

Approval forms may be called by various names depending on the program.  Common names include: study abroad approval form, home school authorization form, home institution nomination form, approval of participation, advisor approval form, etc.

These forms should only be completed by the OEAA.  Please do not send them to your academic or holistic advisors, the Registrar, etc.  If our staff require additional information to complete the form, we will reach out to other campus offices as needed.

  • Some partner applications have an online system for approvals.  In this case, list the name of whichever OEAA advisor you have met with previously.  If you have not met with one of our advisors, you can select either one.

  • If the approval form is a separate PDF, please send it to our general address.

Finally, please be mindful of your deadlines!  When applications are open, we receive a lot of inquiries and cannot guarantee an immediate turnaround on completing documents.  You should allow at least 1-2 business days to receive the completed form.