Study Abroad

Pre-departure Checklist

Please follow this step-by-step checklist as you prepare for your semester abroad.  This is a general timeline for all students-- be sure to also adhere to any different or additional deadlines set by your advisor or specific study abroad program.

Immediately Following Post-decision Status Notification

These are the tasks you will need to begin to address immediately and in the upcoming weeks and months before departure.

  • Log into your Elon Abroad account and review all materials and complete any required elements, including your Personal Information Form.
  • Verify that your passport is valid for six months beyond the date you will return to the US.  Apply for a new passport immediately if your current passport expires prior to that date.
  • Inform yourself of the visa process for your country, if required.
  • Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information on travel health, including requirements for your host country.
  • Schedule any necessary medical and dental appointments, taking into consideration recommended vaccinations for your program's region(s).
  • Complete the course request process (Affiliate and Exchange programs).
  • Review information about housing at Elon upon return.
  • Prepare yourself by researching your host country(ies) and culture(s).
  • Attend all mandatory orientation(s) and any other program meetings or events.
  • Develop a budget.
  • Contact the Disability Services for any necessary accommodations for your time abroad
  • Begin researching flights and planning your travel.
  • Look for an e-mail from iNext regarding your health insurance.
  • Share program information with your family.
  • Plan how you will handle money abroad and call your bank to discuss your options-- does your bank have an international option?  Do you need to order an emergency credit card?  Should you set up an account abroad?

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One Month Prior to Departure

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One Week Prior to Departure

  • Begin packing.
  • Register with the US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Reconfirm your flight(s) to your destination.
  • Make copies of the following and place one set in your carry-on luggage, and leave a second set at home with your family. Consider scanning copies and saving them as Google Docs for easy access anywhere.
    • Passport/visa
    • Acceptance letters from Elon/program abroad
    • Airline tickets
    • Credit card/traveler’s checks
    • ID cards such as ISIC or iNext
    • Health insurance information/card (iNext and your personal insurance)
    • Any prescriptions or doctor's notes from your physician
  • Contact your credit card company and bank to inform them of the exact dates of your time abroad.
  • Back-up all your data from your computer, phone, etc in case your computer crashes or is lost or stolen.
  • Make a list of all contact information in your host country and the Isabella Global Education Center (GEC).  Carry a copy with you and leave one with your family.
  • Establish an arrival plan and a communication plan with your family. 
  • Inform family/friends of important program dates.
  • Stay rested and hydrated in the days ahead of your departure.

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Day of Departure

  • Review this entire checklist.
  • Review your arrival plan with your family.
  • Finish packing your carry-on bag.
  • Confirm that you have your passport, visa/entry documents, plane tickets, and contact information for program abroad accessible in your carry-on bag.
  • Arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to your international flight.

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Upon Arrival

  • Check in at housing/host institution according to instructions provided by the program.
  • Contact your family as soon as possible and let them know you have arrived safely.
  • Stay awake during the day and do your best to accustom yourself to the local schedule.
  • Stay hydrated following your long flight(s).
  • Be prepared to experience culture shock as you adjust to your surroundings.

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