For all you OCD, omg-I’m-gonna-miss-something kind of folks…here’s a wee timeline to help you through the next year or so. Today was Fairfield U’s Study Abroad Fair and I met some awesome sophomores and juniors who either a) Had never heard of Edinburgh b) Were thinking of heading to the U.K. or c) Had practically already bought their flight. I was simultaneously excited for their potential semesters and insanely jealous.

Since I went to Edinburgh in the Spring, I don’t know much about applying for the Fall semester. I’ve added some concrete dates I found on the Uni’s website but otherwise, the timeline can be easily adapted to fit the Fall semester (you are slightly tighter on time than the Spring kiddies so make sure you stay up to date).

Anything that applies strictly for Fairfield U students will be in italics.  



*If you are NOT planning on direct enrollment and instead want to use a Study Abroad Program, you have two options: Butler University’s program and Arcadia University’s program. If this is the case for you, visit their websites to find out more about deadlines and such. Fall Semester. All the information below pertains more to direct enrollment students. THESE PROGRAMS WILL HAVE DIFFERENT DEADLINES THAT YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION TO. 

Most universities ask for their applications in the Spring of the year before you will go abroad. Pay specific attention to due dates and such if you are going abroad in the Fall because, depending on your school, they might ask for your application sooner than the Spring kiddies.

Fairfield U’s application date is February 1 and you must give your decision by March 1; this is regardless of whether you study the following Fall or the following Spring. 

One of the hardest goodbyes.

Fall Semester

July: The University of Edinburgh’s application opens. Look online for deadlines on housing applications and such.

Spring Semester

February: Fairfield U’s study abroad application due on the 1st. 

March: Fairfield U’s decision required by March 1st.

  • Save time and apply for your passport now. Trust me, this can take a while and is not something you want to leave to the last-minute.

Spring semester on campus:

  • Meet with your advisor to make your schedule for the following Fall on campus. Decide which core classes you want to “save” to take when you are abroad.
  • Poke around on the University of Edinburgh Study Abroad to get yourself familiar with the language, vocabulary, and comfortable with navigating the site. You will spend a lot of time here in the next few months.



September: Begin putting together your application to make November easier for you. Draft your personal statement, ask professors for recommendations, and talk with financial aid if you have any questions.

  • Decide what type of Visa you want/need. Are you only staying for less than six months? You will bring the documentation for a student visa to the airport. Want to stay longer or work while in the UK? You will need a Tier 4. There are many online resources about what type of Visa you will actually need.
  • Personally, figuring out the Visa I needed/if I needed one at ALL was a headache for me because I kept getting a lot of different answers. This is where it’s important to make sure any correspondence with the Student Abroad Office is in writing. 
  • Browse the uni’s course offerings for the spring; at this point, Fairfield U should have also released the list of pre-appoved classes (meaning that they will transfer to you for credit). If none of the classes work for you (ie. you don’t need history or religion credit and that’s all they are offering), then pick several options from the uni course offerings and get permission for them to transfer credit from the right Deans and office. Get EVERYTHING in writing. 



November: The University of Edinburgh’s application opens.

  • Once you are accepted to study abroad by University of Edinburgh, you will buy your flight and contact University of Edinburgh to arrange for your housing accommodation .
  • You should have your classes and back-ups picked out; this includes having written permission from the Deans on your home campus (Fairfield) f you have chosen to take a class not on the pre-approved list.

November/December: Check out the Uni’s housing options (remember that exchange students are almost guaranteed housing) and start perusing your options.


  • You should be in the process of securing housing and have a flight booked.

January: It’s go time. Make a million packing lists, kiss your dog a lot, and make a WordPress.com account for the awesome blog you will keep once you hit the highlands.

Always think positively.

Always think positively.