Go back

Getting Started

There are many steps to complete before studying abroad. The information below will get you started in the process. If you have any questions at any time please do not hesitate to contact our office. 

Plan Early! Even though there are not study abroad programs available for all majors at APSU, there are many options that students can use as elective or general education courses. Discuss the courses with your academic advisor to identify courses you could take abroad. Additionally, talk to the program coordinator for the program in which you are interested for more specific information. 

Students interested in studying abroad should attend APSU’s Study Abroad Fairs and Study-Abroad 101 information sessions during both fall and spring semesters.  You will learn about study abroad in general and all programs offered at APSU at these events. You can also start researching study abroad and exchange programs available under programs.

Apply early! It will take between four to eight weeks for your passport application to be processed. 


Who needs a passport?

Any U.S. citizen that travels beyond the borders of the United States, including to Mexico and Canada must possess a valid U.S. passport to depart and re-enter the country.

If you are a student who is not a U.S. citizen, you will also need a valid passport and all of your valid immigration documents (DS-2019, I-20, I-94, visa, green card, EAD, etc) to travel; however, the following passport application process will not be the process you will follow. Please contact the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange for more information.


When do I need to apply for my passport?

You should apply for your passport ASAP. Passport processing times vary depending on the volume of applications. You should apply at least three months in advance of the date of travel. Keep in mind that if the country you are traveling to requires a visa, you will need your passport ready in order to apply for that visa. Visa processing times also vary depending on the country. 


How do I apply for my passport for the first time?


First-time applicants must apply in person at a passport acceptance facility or passport agency. In Clarksville you can choose from two acceptance facilities:

Main Post Office, 2031 Wilma Rudolph Blvd Clarksville, TN 37040 (931) 905-0927
Montgomery County Clerk, 350 Pageant Lane Clarksville, TN 37040 (931) 648-5711

You must bring the following documents with you to apply:

Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (select one of the following: certified birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship)

Identification (select one of the following: naturalization certificate, valid Driver’s License, current Government ID, current military ID).


You must pay the processing fee for the passport, please visit the following passport fees website for the current fees or call the contact numbers above. 


You must also provide two passport sized photos. Check online for the photo requirements if you plan to take the photos yourself as some photos will not be acceptable. You can have passport photos taken at many locations including the post-office and at any Walgreen's store.


Although the passport application is available online for you to complete prior to visiting an acceptance facility, you should not sign the application until you are asked to do so at the acceptance facility.


How do I renew my passport?

If you are not a first-time applicant, you should consult the U.S. Department of State website for more information on how to renew your passport.


U.S. Permanent Residents must possess a valid passport from their home country to travel and also their permanent residency card (green card) to re-enter the United States. Additionally, they must check if their country of citizenship needs a visa in order to enter the country they chose to study abroad.


Go online to travel.state.gov for more information.

Your current scholarships and financial aid may apply toward the cost of the program. If you plan on using financial aid you need to call the Office of Student Financial Aid at (931) 221-7907 to schedule an appointment with a study abroad financial aid counselor. Additional scholarships and travel grants are available. Click here to view more information on scholarships.

Students have been able to pay for study abroad programs through a variety of means. Below are some suggestions that have been utilized by study abroad alumni to pay for their programs:

  • Save money from working over summer and/or during school terms.
  • Ask for money instead of gifts during the holidays or birthdays.
  • Organize individual or group fundraisers such as bake sales, gofundme.com accounts, yard sales, etc.
  • Visit local businesses and request sponsorship.
  • Consult community groups, churches, civic groups from your hometown for sponsorship. If you opt to use this option, they might require you to present about your experience.
  • Sell used items such as clothes, books, CDs, etc. online or at consignment businesses.
  • If you are responsible for purchasing your own airfare, you can ask family members to donate their frequent flyer miles.
  • If you are artistic, sell some of your art pieces.

Students wanting to participate in an APSU-affiliated study abroad program are required to meet with the Study Abroad Advising Coordinator in the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange. Request a study abroad advising session.

Study abroad faculty coordinators can provide specific information about courses, excursions, lodging, meals, and more. You can find the faculty coordinator's information on the program online brochures.

Go online at studentsabroad.state.gov to find out more about the country(s) where you are interested in studying abroad. Learning about the different locations will assist you with making your decision. 

Explore Your World magazine Volume 1