Follow these steps to make sure you are prepared to leave for your study abroad program.
Before you leave SAU
- Complete all post-acceptance steps from the SAU Study Abroad Portal.
- Complete all post-acceptance steps from your program provider (if applicable).
- Read all post-acceptance materials, the Study Abroad Handbook (pdf) and the Study Abroad website thoroughly.
- Submit your Course Approval Form to the Center for International Education. Work with your academic advisor to choose your classes abroad.
- Work with Financial Aid to arrange funding (if applicable).
- Contact Residence Life to make arrangements for on-campus housing when you return (if applicable).
- Complete the online Enrollment Verification Form - indicate that you will be an Ambrose student during your study abroad term even though you will not be on campus (for semester and year-long study abroad students only).
- Verify your health insurance through Health Services (for semester and year-long study abroad students only).
- Pay your SAU bill. NOTE: Payment plans cannot be used for study abroad costs.
- Attend a study abroad pre-departure meeting.
- Apply for a passport.
- Current passport holders: make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you return.
- Make two copies of your passport photo page. Take one with you. Leave one copy at home.
- Review the US State Department website or your acceptance materials to find out if you need a visa. (If you are working with a program provider, they will help you through the visa application process.)
- Check the CDC website or contact Passport Health to see if you need any vaccinations for your destination.
- Many program providers will require a physical or health clearance form from your doctor. Schedule this appointment as soon as you are accepted in order to meet deadlines.
- Schedule appointments for all your routine medical appointments (eye doctor, dentist, etc.)
- Make sure all your prescription medications are legal and available in your study abroad destination.
- Obtain a full supply of all prescription medications to last the entire duration of your program.
- Contact your insurance company to make sure you will be covered while abroad if you need to see a medical professional.
- If not, consider purchasing supplemental international health insurance. Do not cancel your current coverage; supplemental insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.
- Contact your insurance company to see if your belongings will be covered while you are abroad. If not, consider purchasing an International Student ID card which offers insurance and travel discounts.
- Consider purchasing a travel cancellation insurance policy. There are many companies that offer policies. Travel Guard is one provider, but feel free to shop around.
- Contact your bank to notify them that you will be abroad. Give them a list of your dates and destinations.
- Apply for a credit card to use in case of emergency (if you don't have one).
- Contact your credit card company to notify them that you will be abroad. Give them a list of your dates and destinations.
- Be aware of all fees and extra charges associated with your credit and debit cards.
- Make copies (front and back) of all credit and debit cards along with phone numbers for your bank and credit card company. Take one copy with you. Leave one copy at home.
- Consider buying a neck wallet or money belt to keep your passport and money safe while traveling.
- Consider obtaining some foreign currency prior to departure. Your bank may have to order currency so plan ahead.
- Consider bringing some extra US dollars to exchange in case of emergency.
- Think about purchasing a prepaid travel credit card.
- Check the current currency exchange rates.
Research what plug adapters/converters you will need in your study abroad destination. If you plan to travel to other countries, you may want to consider purchasing a universal adapter.
- Contact your cell phone provider to find out if bringing your own phone is a viable option.
- Consider contacting recent study abroad alumni to buy a used phone.
- Consider buying an international phone card.
- Develop a plan on how you will stay in touch with family (SKYPE, email, phone calls, etc.)
- Continue to check your SAU email before you leave and for the duration of your program for important announcements.
- Stay informed. Get up-to-date world news. Read international newspapers online.