Steps to take before you go abroad
Do you need a visa? Don’t wait to find out. The websites of these visa service companies are a good place to start: CIBT Visa and Perry International. Or look at the embassy website for your host country.
If you will need a visa, make sure you know whether in person-application at a consulate is required, and if so, budget both the funds and the time needed for this process. Some countries require in-person application appointments at a consulate or embassy
1. Return a signed copy of your Letter of Acceptance to the Office of International Education to confirm your intention to study abroad.
2. Complete and submit an application to the university or organization through which you will study abroad along with any other required documentation.
3. In the case your study abroad host university/organization will accept the recommendations submitted with your original application to Beloit, send a request to email@example.com to have the recommendation(s) forwarded on your behalf.
1. During Beloit College’s registration week for the following semester, register for 3 course units using a SAB code in the Portal. If you don’t see your university/organization listed, register for SAB 235 Individual Overseas Program. Your course units will be adjusted upon receipt of your study abroad transcript. Most study abroad students do earn the equivalent of 4 Beloit College units of credit.
2. Once abroad, make sure you take the equivalent of at least 3 Beloit College course units. As a reminder, 1 Beloit course unit = 4 U.S. semester hour credits. Courses abroad may carry fewer or more credits.
Note: You can not earn credit toward a Beloit College degree for non-academic courses, such as physical education and cooking.
3. Work with your faculty advisor(s) to determine how credits earned abroad will count toward your studies. If your course selection changes once you are abroad, check with your advisor(s) to make sure you will still be on track
4. Do you plan to do research abroad using interviews or surveys? If so, you must obtain approval from the Beloit College Institutional Review Board before beginning your project. Look for the section at the bottom of the page on International Research for guidance about conducting research abroad.
5. If you require accommodation on the Beloit College campus related to a physical disability, learning disability, or mental health concerns, a) make sure you understand what kind of supports are available through your host institution/organization, and b) discuss your situation with the Learning Enrichment and Disabilities office.
1. Stop by the financial aid office to complete a FERPA form to allow staff in the accounting and financial aid office to speak with your parents/guardians about financial matters while you are abroad.
2. Apply for an interest-free, short-term loan from Beloit College to cover start-up costs (visas, passports, etc.). Repay the loan when financial aid for your study abroad semester kicks in. To apply, stop by the financial aid office or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Use the Budget Sheet on the policies page to calculate your costs abroad, financial aid, and payments to Beloit College while abroad. The website of your host organization or host university international/study abroad office will likely have information about costs. Staff in the Office of International Education and Office of Financial Aid are also available to help.
4. Share information about billing, financial aid, and costs with parents or guardians. Make sure both you and they are familiar with policies governing study abroad.
5. Beloit College scholarships are available to students with financial need to help defray the extra costs involved in studying abroad, such as airfare, fees, passports and visas, and cost-of-living differences. Beloit College study abroad scholarships do not require a separate application. Averaging $1,000/person, the scholarships are supported by several endowed funds as well as the Weissberg Program. Weissberg Program study abroad equity scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrate in their study abroad applications commitment to human rights and social justice.
6. External scholarships include the Benjamin A. Gilman for U.S. citizens with Pell Grants and the Freeman Asia Scholarship for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have financial need and will study abroad in selected Asian Countries. Some study abroad organizations offer scholarships, such as AMIDEAST, CIEE, and SIT. Check the study abroad option lists to see which programs are offered as an option to Beloit College students.
7. Do research on accessing money abroad. Will your ATM card work? Will your credit card work? (In either case, alert your bank and/or credit card company that you may be making withdrawals or purchases abroad. Be aware of credit card fees and ATM withdrawal fees. Additionally, before obtaining a credit card that does not charge fees for international transactions, make sure it is accepted in the countries you will visit. Finally, determine if opening a bank account in your host country would be feasible and helpful.
8. Before leaving campus the semester before your study abroad, meet with a financial aid counselor to make sure your financial aid and loans are set for your study abroad semester(s).
9. Make photocopies of both sides of your bank and credit cards. Store them separately, and give a copy to someone you trust at home in case of an emergency.
1. Make sure you know when your arrival and departure dates.
2. Book your flights. The STA Travel Airfare Deposit Program allows qualified applicants to book early to lock in a fare and pay a deposit of $300 with the balance due when your financial aid hits your account. Call STA at 1-800-535-7172.
3. Secure accommodation at your host site unless your program automatically assigns this.
4. Make sure you know how to get from the airport to your study abroad site, especially if your host university or organization does not have a pick-up service.
5. Explore options for cell phone service. Is it best to purchase an inexpensive phone abroad and add credit as you go? Or would it be best to continue your current service and add an international roaming plan? Or does it make sense to suspend your service while abroad in favor of making calls via Skype, FaceTime, or Google phone/hangouts?
6. Before departing for your study abroad site, complete Beloit College’s Travel Registration Form, which collects your insurance policy and flight itinerary so the college can respond in case of an emergency. A link to the form will be sent to you in advance of the start of your semester abroad.
7. If you are a U.S. citizen, register your travel with the U.S. Department of State through its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This allows the embassy in host country to contact you in case of an emergency. Not a U.S. citizen? Most countries have a similar option for being in touch with their embassies abroad.