What to Do If You Want to Study Abroad

  1. 1.Start learning about Study Abroad by exploring this website. You should also take a look at the Study Abroad books in Murrell Library (on the second floor, to the right of the stairs). Catalogs and brochures for Study Abroad are in the library and the Study Abroad office, room 214, Ferguson Center.
  2. 2. Meet with the Coordinator of Study Abroad for guidance in finding the right program for you and making it happen.
  3. 3. When you’ve narrowed your search to a couple of programs, meet with your academic advisor to see how the classes you’ll take abroad will fit into your four-year plan. Meet with the Registrar to be sure that Valley can grant you credit for the courses you plan to take.
  4. 4. Make sure you are eligible for the program you have selected. What are the deadlines for application and payment? Write those on your calendar. Do you need letters of recommendation? Transcripts? A passport? Write a list of the documents you will need, and write the dates you need them on your calendar.
  5. 5. Calculate the cost of attendance for your Study Abroad experience. Add up airfare, tuition, housing, meals, textbooks, passport, local transportation, and personal expenses. Some of these expenses may be included in your program fee. How will you pay for going abroad? If you will need financial aid and believe that you qualify for it, meet with Mr. Mayfield in the Financial Aid office after you have figured your cost of attendance. Bring him the documents you used to calculate your cost of attendance.
  6. 6. Find out how much money you will have for your trip, and write out a budget that includes not only the major items, but also a weekly spending plan for meals, sightseeing, local transportation, and personal items like shampoo and deodorant.
  7. 7. If you are sure that you are eligible, that you can afford the program, and that you know what academic credit you will get for your courses abroad, gather the necessary documents and submit your application before the due date. Before you pay, make sure you know what happens if you do not go as planned. This is especially important in the case of airline tickets to either your destination abroad or the city where you will get that flight. In most cases, non-refundable airline tickets and deposits really are non-refundable.
  8. 8. What medical coverage will you have while you are abroad? If medical insurance is not included in your package, find out if the insurance you presently have will cover you while you are abroad. If not, make arrangements to get medical insurance. The Coordinator of Study Abroad will be glad to assist you.
  9. 9. Research the country you will visit. Know its history, culture, and customs so that you can be a considerate guest while you are there. You will find a wealth of travel information on the United States Department of State website:travel.state.gov/.
  10. 10. Consider getting an International Student Identity Card before you leave the United States. The card provides an emergency help number, access to medical and travel insurance, and many, many discounts abroad: www.isic.org. If you are going to Europe and hope to travel around during your stay, consider buying a Eurail Pass, www.eurail.com/. As you research the country you will visit, be alert for bargains on regional travel.