Preparing to study abroad can be a daunting process and there are numerous moving pieces that need to be considered. Below are general timelines of the logistics of studying abroad and what needs to be done when, in order to stay on track.

TOEFL
IELTS(A)
IELTS(A & G)
SAT
SAT/IELTS - A & G
ACT
TOEFL/ACT
ACT/IELTS - A & G

STUDY ABROAD CHECKLIST AND PLANNING: OVERVIEW

ACTION ITEM DUE DATE TIPS/NOTES
Research universities All throughout high school Create a college comparison chart
Register and take the SAT/ACT 15-22 months before application Write registration and test dates on an agenda
Remember that that the SAT score is valid only for 2 years
Re-take the SAT/ACT 2-6 months before application Plan to take the exams 3-4 times
Take the SAT subject test At the end of the relevant subject’s course (depending on university deadline) Take as required, or to enhance your profile
Take the TOEFL/IELTS 2-6 months before application Check each school′s requirements
Get letters of recommendation Request 8-12 weeks before application Usually 1 to 3 are required: one counselor/director/administrator and 2 teachers
Write essays Begin 2-6 months before application 1 essay may be used for several universities, many require extra writing (supplements) – keep each essay unique and do not repeat the same essay
Transcripts Request from your school before deadlines Uploaded by the school administrator or official copies sent to the university directly
Deposit and enroll May 1st deadline (except for wait- listed students) Congratulations!

STUDY ABROAD PLANNING SCHEDULE: TIMELINE BY MONTH

PLANNED START SEMESTER APPEAR FOR THE TEST (SAT/ACT) ALTNERNATE TEST DATE(S) RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES, APPEAR FOR TOEFL GET DOCUMENTATION (essays, transcripts, etc.) MAIL APPLICATIONS APPLY FOR U.S. VISA PRE-DEPARTURE PLANNING
Fall: August 2017 Dec 2015 May/June 2016 July 2016 Aug/Sept 2016 Oct/Nov 2016 May/June 2017 July 2017
Spring: January 2018 June/July 2016 Jan/Feb 2017 Feb/Mar 2017 April/May 2017 Aug/Sept 2017 Oct/Nov 2017 Dec 2017
Fall: August 2018 Dec 2016 May/June 2017 July 2017 Aug/Sept 2017 Oct/Nov 2017 May/June 2018 July 2018
Spring: January 2019 June/July 2017 Jan/Feb 2018 Feb/Mar 2018 April/May 2018 Aug/Sept 2018 Oct/Nov 2018 Dec 2018
PLANNED START SEMESTER APPEAR FOR TEST (SAT/ACT)
Fall: August 2017 Dec 2015
Spring: January 2018 June/July 2016
Fall: August 2018 Dec 2016
Spring: January 2019 June/July 2017

PLANNED START SEMESTER ALTNERNATE TEST DATE(S)
Fall: August 2017 May/June 2016
Spring: January 2018 Jan/Feb 2017
Fall: August 2018 May/June 2017
Spring: January 2019 Jan/Feb 2018

PLANNED START SEMESTER RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES, APPEAR FOR TOEFL
Fall: August 2017 July 2016
Spring: January 2018 Feb/Mar 2017
Fall: August 2018 July 2017
Spring: January 2019 Feb/Mar 2018

PLANNED START SEMESTER GET DOCUMENTATION (essays, transcripts, etc.)
Fall: August 2017 Aug/Sept 2016
Spring: January 2018 April/May 2017
Fall: August 2018 Aug/Sept 2017
Spring: January 2019 April/May 2018

PLANNED START SEMESTER MAIL APPLICATIONS
Fall: August 2017 Oct/Nov 2016
Spring: January 2018 Aug/Sept 2017
Fall: August 2018 Oct/Nov 2017
Spring: January 2019 Aug/Sept 2018

PLANNED START SEMESTER APPLY FOR U.S. VISA
Fall: August 2017 May/June 2017
Spring: January 2018 Oct/Nov 2017
Fall: August 2018 May/June 2018
Spring: January 2019 Oct/Nov 2018

PRE-DEPARTURE PLANNING PRE-DEPARTURE PLANNING
Fall: August 2017 July 2017
Spring: January 2018 Dec 2017
Fall: August 2018 July 2018
Spring: January 2019 Dec 2018

SAT AND ACT EXAMS

Most universities require students to submit scores from either the SAT or the ACT as part of their application. These tests measure critical skills developed by students over a period of time.

INFORMATION ACT SAT SAT SUBJECT TEST
WEBSITE www.actstudent.org sat.collegeboard.org sat.collegeboard.org
CONTENT English, Reading, Math, Science & (optional) Writing Critical Reading, Math, Writing 20+ subjects offered
REQUIRED Check university requirements Most likely – check university requirements For many STEM majors
NOTES Includes trigonometry & science proficiency. Writing section is recommended Test-optional schools: www.fairtest.org Offered, but cannot be taken the same day as the SAT
INFORMATION ACT
WEBSITE www.actstudent.org
CONTENT English, Reading, Math, Science & (optional) Writing
REQUIRED Check university requirements
NOTES Includes trigonometry & science proficiency. Writing section is recommended

INFORMATION SAT
WEBSITE sat.collegeboard.org
CONTENT Critical Reading, Math, Writing
REQUIRED Most likely-check university requirements
NOTES Test-optional schools: www.fairtest.org

INFORMATION SAT SUBJECT TEST
WEBSITE sat.collegeboard.org
CONTENT 20+ subjects offered
REQUIRED For many STEM majors
NOTES Offered, but cannot be taken the same day as the SAT