Once you are officially accepted into your study abroad program, there are a few more things you’ll need to do to ensure a smooth trip.
Study Abroad Checklist
- Apply for a passport, if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, make sure it is not expired. It may take a few months to receive your passport, so do this first. You’ll need your passport number to book your flights and apply for a student visa.
- Fill out the required pre-departure forms in your Billikens Abroad account
- Read through the study abroad handbook, which covers all of your questions about financial aid, fitting in around your host country, academic policies, health and safety, packing lists, making the most of your time abroad, reassimilating into American culture upon return, and more.
- Plan out a budget. In addition to reviewing the study abroad program cost, you should prioritize your additional personal expenses (including optional excursions, independent travel and other social activities). Students who have recently returned from a semester abroad have put together a list of travel resources, so be sure to check those out.
- Pack. Keep in mind that many returning students say they wished they had packed less. Take a look at our packing guidelines when thinking about what to bring.
- Make a list of emergency contact phone numbers and tuck it in your purse or wallet so they are with you at all times.
- Contact your bank and credit card company so they allow charges from a foreign country.
- Talk to your doctor about getting the required vaccines for your host country. Remember to pack enough prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine for the duration of your time overseas. Some prescribed medications in the United States. are illegal in other countries, so check with the local embassy for guidelines. Always carry a copy of your prescription and keep medications in the labeled containers in which they were dispensed.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the U.S. Department of State. This is a free online service that helps the U.S. Department of State contact U.S. citizens abroad if there is a family emergency in the United States, or if there is a crisis in your host country.
- Reach out to a study abroad peer mentor or the study abroad alumni about what to expect.
Academic and Withdrawal Policies
Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal, professional and academic development. It is important to determine how courses taken abroad will enhance your overall academic plan and enrich your academic experience.