The Catholic University of America






  • Start an Application
  • Carefully read application instructions and compile the documents you will need to submit
  • Submit completed and signed application forms
  • If you are on Financial Aid, make sure you have submitted a current FAFSA
  • Apply for the Autumn Advantage Scholarship (if you qualify)
  • Wait for notice regarding the acceptance status of your application



  • Confirm that you accept the placement offer
  • Pay your deposit 
  • Register for your program OR enroll in your course(s) as instructed by your program coordinator or director
  • Arrange for payment of your program expenses (work with Financial Aid)
  • Make housing arrangements if not included in your program
  • Make travel arrangements if not included in your program
  • Attend the Know Before You Go Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Attend your country- or program-specific orientation
  • Visit the Student Health Center - or speak with your physician - three months before departure to obtain information on immunization requirements


  • Apply for your passport immediately if you don’t already have one. The process may take up to 4-6 weeks during busy times 
  • Learn about visa requirements for the program country - and also those you plan to visit.  Follow instructions in a timely manner.  CUA administered and affiliated programs will provide you with visa instructions.  
  • Gather all documents required for the visa (if required on your program) and submit your visa application in a timely fashion.  
  • Make flight arrangements and be prepared to pay for airline ticket (it will be due before you receive your financial aid). Take out a short-term loan if you need it.
  • Get your ISIC (International Student’s Identity Card)
  • Make three sets of copies of all of your important documents (passport, visa, ISIC, letter of admission, round-trip itinerary, etc.) to give to the program coordinator, parents, and to take a set with you.


  • Prepare a realistic budget and obtain sufficient funds to cover all expenses while abroad.
  • Obtain proof that you have access to sufficient amount of funds should your visa require such proof
  • Ensure that these funds are either accessible from abroad (credit card, ATM)
  • Prepare to receive and pay a bill for your tuition and the education abroad program fee 
  • Purchase any textbooks or materials needed before departure.
  • Decide how you will access your funds overseas (ATM card, Credit Card, Travelers’ Checks, etc.)


  • Make an appointment with a physician and dentist to receive a thorough physical and dental check-up.
  • Update your immunizations record with all necessary inoculations.


  • Inform your family or friends of where and how you can be reached while abroad
  • Make arrangements to have your mail forwarded to a responsible party
  • Make arrangements for the direct deposit or forwarding of your checks if necessary
  • Consider preparing a power of attorney
  • Learn how to access your CUA e-mail account from overseas 
  • Change your official CUA password (email and Cardinal Station) you will be away longer than a few weeks
  • Either establish an international calling plan or plan on purchasing a new cell phone overseas 
  • Prepare a list of important contacts (persons and offices) both here at home and overseas
  • Get photos of home, family and of campus to take with you
  • Purchase small items to give as presents


  • Participate  fully and in all portions of the program
  • Take advantage of opportunities to learn as much as you can about the host culture
  • Enhance your experience with a career- or major-related project, volunteer opportunity, or an internship.  Usually, these experiences are unpaid so don't expect money for it. 
  • Remember that you represent the United States and your home institution while abroad
  • Stay in touch with those at home - but leave time to explore the host culture and meet locals 
  • Keep a journal - or blog - to help you remember what you did and to reflect on what all this means
  • Make plans for your return. Anticipate reverse-culture shock as you adjust to life back at home. 


  • Submit your program evaluation, final reflection paper, and let us know if you want to work for us
  • Attend the Re-entry Reunion (check calendar for date)
  • Consider all the ways to continue your international experience.  Study a foreign language,  join international clubs/ organizations, add a minor in International Relations, International Business, or an interdisciplinary minor with a focus in asian studies.
  • Consider pursuing internationally-related certificate programs such as European Studies or Islamic World Studies.
  • Write an article or a guest column and submit it to the Tower and your departmental newsletter.
  • Volunteer:  develop materials to showcase your experience to others, make presentations, post flyers, start a discussion group, staff informational tables, etc. 
  • Revise your resume. Include the education abroad experience as part of your "Education" and/or "Experience" if you interned abroad