Study Away

Information for Missouri Western Students

  1. Complete and submit the online inquiry form.
  2. Apply for a passport. Identify study away programs that interest you. You can do this on your own or you can meet with a member of the Study Away staff.
  3. Talk to your academic advisor about your plans to study abroad. This is necessary to ensure that studying abroad will not impede your progress towards your degree.
  4. Contact the Study Away Office to get started: or (816) 271-4100.

A passport is your official identification as a United States citizen. A passport is needed to enter and leave the United States and to enter and leave foreign countries.

You MUST have a valid passport to study outside of the United States. Your passport must be valid for at least six (6) months after a program's end date.

Furthermore, a passport will be needed when applying for a student visa (required for most study away programs).

Passport applications can take up to eight (8) weeks to process. Apply for your passport AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid delays caused by high demand.

What you need to get a passport:

  • Application for Passport, Form DS-11
  • Proof of Citizenship (The original or an official copy of your birth certificate – a photocopy will not be accepted)
  • Proof of Identity (Driver’s license)
  • Two (2) passport size photos
  • Application fee

For more information, instructions, and to download the application form visit the U.S. Department of State web site:

Locally, passport applications can be obtained and submitted at:
St. Joseph Post Office
201 S. 8th St.
St. Joseph, MO
(816) 364-3231
Monday – Friday. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A visa is different from a passport.

A visa grants you permission to study and live for a specific period of time in another country.

Students are responsible for obtaining a visa if required by the host country.

Consult the Study Away staff to determine if you need a visa.

What you need to get a visa

  • Acceptance letter from a host university
  • A valid passport
  • Completed application materials supplied by the host country
  • Personal financial information required by the host country
  • Any other information required by the host country

Furthermore, be advised that obtaining a visa will likely require you to travel to the nearest embassy or consulate of the host country in the United States, most often in Chicago. You will need to factor the expense of this trip into the overall cost of your study abroad experience.

There are many benefits of studying away. Here are just a few of them.

  • See new and different places
  • Meet new and different people
  • Gain a broader perspective of the world and your place in it
  • Develop international friendships
  • Improve your proficiency in other languages
  • Enhance your communication, leadership, and decision making skills
  • Enhance your resume
  • Must be enrolled as a student at Missouri Western
  • Must be in good academic standing at Missouri Western

Studying away presents numerous challenges that are different from traditional university study in the United States. Students are therefore encouraged to engage in a candid self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses before enrolling in a study abroad program.

The following questions are designed to aid you in such a self-assessment. Your answers will help you determine if you are up to the challenges of studying abroad. They can also help the Study Away staff find a program that best suits you.

  • Why do you want to study abroad?
  • Have you ever traveled outside of the United States?
  • In what country or countries would you like to study?
  • Do you speak a foreign language?
  • Would you like to learn to speak a foreign language?
  • Do you want to study abroad for a year, semester, summer, or just a few weeks?
  • How does study abroad fit into your academic plans?
  • How does study abroad fit into your personal and/or career plans?
  • What kind of living arrangements do you prefer (on-campus dormitory, off-campus apartment, host-family, etc.)?
  • Are you aware of financial aid, personal loans, and scholarships to help fund study away?
  • What scares you about studying abroad?
  • Do you believe you are emotionally stable enough to be away from home for an extended period of time?
  • Would you prefer a program in which you are mainly with other American students or would you like to completely immerse yourself in another culture?
  • Do you feel comfortable traveling on your own or do you prefer to travel with others?
  • What type of location would you prefer (small town, big city)?

In most cases, the financial aid that you receive to attend Missouri Western can be used to pay for your study abroad experience.

If you are interested in studying abroad, the Study Away staff will create a budget of total costs associated with the program. This budget will be submitted to the Financial Aid office to calculate the amount of aid available to you.

There are also external sources of financial aid available for study abroad.

See the Financial Aid link on the main menu.