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Preparing to Leave

You’ve filled out all the forms, gotten all the signatures you needed, your program has been approved by Dominican, and you’ve received your acceptance letter from your study abroad program. Now all you need to do is prepare for your voyage.

Greetings from Egypt

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


Departure day

  • 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.

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