We have created a study abroad pre-departure checklist to help you prepare on time and start your study abroad adventure without a glitch. If you download, print out and use our checklist, you will be ready to dive right into your life-changing study abroad experience.
6 - 12 months ahead
- Get official copies of your birth certificate and other documentation needed to obtain a passport and a visa
3 - 6 months ahead
1 - 2 months ahead
- Obtain an international student card to qualify for student discounts around the world
- Have a complete physical health exam with your doctor
- Arrange to receive any vaccinations needed to go abroad
- Request a copy of your medical history record to keep with you overseas
- Arrange for medical insurance while abroad
- Purchase travel insurance for personal possessions, lost or stolen money, airline and rail tickets, etc.
- Attend any program-sponsored information or orientation sessions
1 week ahead
- Refill any prescriptions and collect any over-the-counter products that may not be available in your host country (check with your program to make sure that your medication is legal)
- Get a doctor's note authorizing your use of prescription medications that you will be taking with you
- Make photocopies of all important documents, tickets, and travel passes
- Prepare a folder to hold all insurance papers, school registration papers, medical records and copies of documents such as birth certificates and make a copy of all documents to leave at home
- Order travelers cheques
- Exchange a small amount of currency to carry with you
1 - 3 days ahead
- Pack, keeping in mind airline regulations on what you can and cannot put in your luggage and carry-ons
- Place your documents folder in your carry-on bag, but keep your airline tickets and passport separate from your copies, perhaps in a small purse, a wallet or a "fanny pack"
- Confirm airline and other travel arrangements
- Compile a phone/address directory or list to take with you, including contact information for your family, friends, program sponsor, school at home and abroad, home country embassy or consulate
- Make a list of credit card and travelers cheques numbers and keep one in your document folder and leave the other with a parent or a family member in case of emergency
- Take two forms of ID—at least one should have a photo—to the airport
- Make sure to leave an emergency contact phone number with your family
- Place luggage ID tags with your destination address on each piece of your luggage
- Arrive at the airport several hours in advance if you have an international flight
Download this study abroad pre-departure checklist.