Steps to Apply

There are multiple steps to applying for a GEO program and below is a guide to help you through the process!

Applying to a study abroad program can be a long, complex process. This step-by-step is to help you plan your abroad experience from beginning to end.

Reach out to a Global Engagement Office staff member at any point with questions.

Before you submit your GEO Application:

STEP 1: Connect with the Global Engagement Office (GEO)

With 250+ programs (and even more for summer!), it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the opportunities.

Meeting with the Director of the Global Engagement Office can help you begin exploring all of the program options. You can discuss which programs may be the best fit for you - academically, financially, and personally.

Schedule an appointment with Allie Olson, the Director of the Global Engagement Office, using Bookings or send an email to [].

STEP 2: Meet with your advisor(s)

Your advisor(s) can help you figure out when is the best time to study abroad (in terms of your academic plan) and if there are any particular course(s) you will need to take abroad/off-campus.

Part of Lake Forest College's internal study abroad application (called the GEO application) process is to discuss your study abroad plans with your academic advisor(s). If you do not connect with your advisor(s) before you submit your GEO Application, you will be asked to discuss your plans to study off-campus with them before GEO can process your GEO application.

STEP 3: Review and understand the financial impact of study abroad

Financial aid may apply to Lake Forest College-approved off-campus programs. Please review our Off-Campus Study and Financial Aid page, as well as the Study Abroad Financials page.

Contact the Global Engagement Office for cost estimates for programs you are interested in exploring. 

The cost of studying off campus can be very similar to the cost of living on campus. For some programs, the program abroad is more affordable than living on campus. For other programs, the program abroad is more expensive

STEP 4: Complete the GEO Application

The GEO Application is Lake Forest College's internal study abroad application.

Students need to submit the appropriate GEO application and have their GEO approved before they can begin a program-specific application. 

GEO Applications and deadlines are located on GEO's main Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away page.

Deadlines for GEO Applications:

  • December 1 - Fall programs 
  • April 1 - Spring programs
  • March 1 - Summer programs
    • Late summer applications can be accepted on a case-by-case basis

GEO applications for semester programs will not be fully processed until after the appropriate deadline. 
(Example: Fall GEO Applications will not be fully processed until after the December 1st deadline for fall applications.)

Also, our internal deadlines are around 5-6 months before you would have to submit your program-specific application. Summer applications are the exception and can also be completed in tandem with your program's specific application.
(Example: If you were interested in studying abroad for the Fall 2023 semester, you would have to submit your GEO Application by December 1, 2022)

After your GEO Application is approved:

STEP 5: Complete the GEO Program Confirmation Form

"GEO Decision Emails" are sent to all applicants after their GEO application is fully processed. This email will detail if they are approved to study abroad and if so, which programs listed on your GEO application you are approved to apply to.

If you are approved to study abroad:
Once you decide which specific program listed in your "GEO Decision Email' that you want to apply for, you complete the GEO Program Confirmation Form. The form will be supplied within your "GEO Decision Email".

Your confirmation form informs the Global Engagement Office which specific program you are applying for, as the Global Engagement Office can then send the appropriate nominations to programs (if applicable). Also, some Donor Study Abroad Scholarships are only for certain locations and your confirmation form lets the office know if you are eligible for certain scholarships.

STEP 6: Apply to your specific program

After you complete your GEO Program Confirmation Form, you can begin your program's specific application.

Please be aware that our partners have different application deadlines and requirements.

Students applying for ISEP Exchange programs:
The ISEP application is unique and you can list up to 10 different exchange sites on ONE application. Review ISEP's Chance of Placement page before submitting your ISEP application,

STEP 7: Complete the LFC Course Pre-Approval Form & Off-Campus Waiver

After you are accepted into your program, you can complete the LFC Course Pre-Approval Form (supplied within your GEO Decision Email).

On this form, you will list courses you plan to take while on the program. It is not a registration form, and you may have to use past semester courses to complete the form. 

The purpose of this form is for you to have a plan on what courses you are going to take abroad and what those courses will transfer back to Lake Forest College as. The Registrar's Office uses this form to know if the courses will count towards your major(s), minor(s), and/or Forester Fundamental Curriculum requirements. You can get updated course approvals once you are abroad, but you are still required to submit this form as a preliminary plan for the appropriate deadline.

Also, all students studying off-campus (abroad or domestic) are required to submit Lake Forest College's Off-Campus Waiver. You are sent this waiver in your GEO Decision Email.

If you need a new copy of either form, contact the Global Engagement Office.

STEP 8: Attend your Pre-Departure Orientation

There is a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation for all LFC students participating in a GEO program. It is held the semester before you are studying abroad, and summer students participate in the Pre-Departure Orientation with Fall and Academic Year students.

If you are unable to make the scheduled orientation, you are required to schedule a make-up orientation with GEO. 

Pre-Departure Orientation goes over everything from academics abroad to updating to a new culture to health & safety abroad.

STEP 9: Participate in your program!

Have a fantastic experience on your program and know that the Global Engagement Office is still here to support you while you are abroad/off-campus!