BEFORE YOU APPLY
- Visit the CUAbroad web site
- Attend a general information session to learn about how to get started
- Visit our Resource Library and pick up available program materials
- Obtain program brochures and read those brochures in detail
- Visit web sites relevant to the program
- Attend the Education Abroad Fair in September
- Attend program information sessions held throughout semester
- Check our web site for schedule of events
- Contact former participants if possible and ask lots of questions
- Meet with academic/faculty advisor and study abroad coordinator to discuss your plans
- Print your degree audit (tracking sheet) and begin to plan classes you wish to take abroad
- Work with your advisor and the Transfer Coordinator to establish possible equivalencies
- Find out how you will pay for your program. Explore all scholarships and other funding opportunities
HOW TO APPLY
- 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
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS & ARRANGEMENTS
- 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.
PAYING FOR YOUR PROGRAM
- 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.)
HEALTH INSURANCE & IMMUNIZATION
- 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.
- Learn about the country and geographic area where you are going.
- Buy a good travel book and check out materials in our Resource Library.
- Talk with former program participants and international students from the country/region.
- Check the State Department website regularly between now and your departure for information related to health & safety in the country/countries you plan to visit.
- Prepare yourself to be an ambassador of CUA, Washington, D.C., and the United States of America.
LAST MINUTE ITEMS
- 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.
AFTER YOUR RETURN
- 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