Before You Depart

Congratulations, you are getting ready to embark on a journey that will broaden your perspective, inspire personal growth and challenge you mentally. Use the resources below as you prepare for your study abroad program. Remember to check with your International Student Adviser for program-specific items.

Health and Safety

The biggest priority is to our students, their health and safety is of the upmost importance. Use the resources below for recommendations on how to prepare for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have never studied abroad before, it is helpful to prepare yourself by asking questions to students that have past experience. Below are student responses to some frequently asked questions.

“First, research the weather. My program was during the winter to China and I learned that I needed to pack warm. It was best to pack long sleeves, puffer jackets because the wind is strong and cold. It is better to be warm and comfortable than to be cold and fashionable. Second, I recommend only packing what you will need. Most hotels had laundry rooms, so there is no need to take extra clothes. I was able to re-wear my clothes throughout my program.” – Briana Escobar, China, Winter 2019 .
You can study abroad if you only know English. In fact, your academic courses will be taught in English unless you are taking a language course. “If you study abroad in a non-English speaking country, I recommend knowing basics. I would have liked to practice some Mandarin. At times, it was difficult to get directions or order food when I was not with the professor.” – Briana Escobar, China, Winter 2019
For the most part – yes! Traveling to other areas in the region may be allowed, depending on your program. It can be an opportunity for you to further immerse yourself in the local culture. “I would recommend students to explore during their study abroad program. I participated in the day-to-day activities, but did not explore beyond that. Explore, explore, explore! Meet new people, engage in conversation and practice your leadership skills. Who knows, you might discover a new asset while you are studying abroad” – Alyssa Robles, Argentina, Winter 2019
Program staff or student volunteers may greet you at the airport. In some cases, you will be taken directly to a welcome orientation that may last the rest of the day. The trip to your next destination could be by car, train or bus. This varies depending on your study abroad program. We recommend speaking with an International Student Adviser before booking a flight to ensure that pick-up is arranged upon your arrival.
“Yes, I recommend becoming familiar with the exchange rate between dollars and the currency in the country you will be studying in. I ended up getting more for my money by exchanging it in China. If I knew more about the exchange rate beforehand, I would have gotten more out my dollars. This is not related to exchanging currency, but managing your money. Know how to bargain, in China everyone wants to bargain. Do not end up overpaying; I learned later on that the prices I was paying were too high.” – Briana Escobar, China, Winter 2019
Your study abroad experience will be more than sites and photos taken. You will leave with a deeper understanding and knowledge of your host country. Every student will process cultural differences differently; this will depend on your attitude and behavior. “Language was not something that I thought would be a major difference. I consider myself bilingual (English/Spanish) and during my study abroad program in Argentina I learned that they use the informal (vosotros) verb. I had to remind myself to address my host family with vosotros instead of usted. It took me time to adjust using the informal verbs. I often felt that it was improper to address them as such.” Alyssa Robles, Argentina, Winter 2019

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