Once you've been accepted to a study abroad program, there's a lot to do before you go! Plan ahead to be sure you complete all the necessary steps.
Read the Study Abroad Handbook
You were given a handbook at a 101 or 201 study abroad workshop or you can always acess an on-line handbook (pdf) here. A detailed month-by month pre-departure checklist can be found in the handbook. Bring your handbook with you while you're abroad, and keep important information at your fingertips!
Register with the Reves Center
All students going abroad MUST register with the Global Edcuation Office at Reves Center to maintain active student status. If you are going on a W&M summer, exchange or sponsored program, your on-line application is your registration. If you are going on a non W&M program you must register by the following deadlines:
- For Summer, fall and academic year study abroad - April 14
- For Spring study abroad - November 4
The registration process includes the following:
- Completing all of the on-line questionnaries
- Paying the required fee at the Cashier Window in Blow Hall and bringing the payment receipt to the Global Education Office at Reves Center if within three days of the deadline
- Submitting all of the material documents to the Reves Center
Obtain/Renew Your Passport and Apply for a Visa, If Needed
At least four months before your departure, obtain or renew your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return to the U.S., so you will need to renew if yours is nearing expiration. Also, know the visa requirements and follow the instructions on the embassay website of your host county.
Obtain Transfer Credit Pre-Approval
Work with academic departments to ensure that you will get credit for the courses you take abroad. Plan ahead to allow 1 to 2 weeks for faculty approval. Pre-approval forms must be submitted to the Global Edcuation Office at the Reves Center before you leave campus the semester prior to studying abroad. They are NOT required by the registration or application deadline.
Clear any Holds on Your Record
Check myWM to find out if there are any holds on your record. Your account must be clear of any holds and outstanding bills before you study abroad. Holds on your record prevent you from being classified as "study away" in Banner; unclassified time away from the College can result in you losing your status as a current student.
Declare Your Major if Over 54 Credits
Students who have not yet declared a major should consider declaring before going abroad for a semester; a hold will be placed on any undeclared student's record if s/he reaches 54 credits while abroad-thereby rendering him/her unable to register for the following semester's classes. Majors cannot be declared from abroad.
Check with the Dean of Students
Check with the Dean of Students Office if you are on academic, disciplinary, or judicial probation. Students on academic, disciplinary, or judicial probation or suspension may not study abroad unless granted approval by the Dean of Students. Students are required to report any changes in academic, disciplinary, or judicial status to the Global Education Office at the Reves Center, which may impact their ability to participate in a study abroad program.
Confirm Your Health Coverage
Check with your current health insurance provider about coverage while abroad. We encourage you to retain any health insurance you currently have, even if you are required by W&M or your university abroad to register for their health insurance. If you have questions about the W&M student health coverage, contact [[trsike, Trista Sikes]], Student Insurance Coordinator at the Student Health Center at (757) 221-2978.
Supplemental health insurance is mandatory, and provided through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This cost is included in the cost or registration fee for W&M summer, La Plata, Sevilla, Oxford & Beijing semester programs. For students not on these programs, the cost will be billed directly to the student's account during the billing cycles they are abroad. CISI insurance includes coverage for medical reunion, evacuation and other emergency situations that may not be covered by your primary insurance but is necessary while abroad.
All students should make an appointment at the W&M Student Health Center BEFORE going abroad to make sure all immunizations are up-to-date.
Confirm Personal Property Insurance Coverage
The College is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage to property resulting from fire, theft, or casualty while studying abroad. It is strongly recommended that personal property insurance be obtained by each student for his or her belongings. Renter's insurance is offered by most major insurance companies; some companies actually offer the option of a rider on a homeowner's policy to cover the belongings of students away at college. We recommend that you contact your current insurance provider to examine your options and check to see if the policy covers claims made outside of the US. Below is a list of two companies that specifically cater to college students studying in the US and abroad.
CSI Insurance Agency, Inc: http://www.csiprotection.com
Worth Ave. Group: http://www.worthavegroup.com/college-plus
Attend Pre-Departure Orientation
Learn as much as you can about your destination - the more prepared you are, the better your experience will be! Pre-Departure Orientation sessions are offered each semester. For summer and fall study abroad, orientation will be held early to mid April; for spring study abroad, orientation will be held early to mid November.
Make Housing Arrangements for Your Return
Procedures for making housing arrangements vary depending on when you will be abroad. Read more about Registering for W&M Housing for information on room reservation deposits, proxies, the selection process, and storage information.
Seniors: Get Residency Requirement Waived
All seniors planning to study abroad must get their senior residency requirement waived before they leave campus. To do so, complete and submit a Petition to the Committee on Degrees: Exceptions to Degree Requirements to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. It is best not to apply for a program until the senior residency requirement has been waived. It is not possible to study abroad your last semester (2nd semester of senior year) and graduate on time.
Forward Your Mail
Provide the W&M Post Office with your forwarding address. Campus mail will only forward to domestic addresses; it is recommended that you have your mail forwarded to your permanent home address.
Request a Parking Pass Reimbursement
If you purchased a year-long parking pass and are studying abroad spring semester, you are eligible for a refund. Submit requests to Parking Services before you leave campus.