Steps to Study Abroad
Overseas study is the result of a process that takes time and energy. You will need to make numerous decisions about location, type of program, courses and more. Each student has different requirements, needs, budgets and preferences. Throughout the whole process, remember—it is worth it!
You should start researching your options well in advance. At the latest, start at the beginning of the semester prior to the term you want to go abroad. Earlier planning can help make sure you get the courses you need while off campus.
1. Do a self-evaluation
What kind of person are you? Are you adventurous? How far outside your comfort zone are you willing to step? Do you look forward to the challenges of something new and different? While most programs won’t cost much more than staying on campus, how much money will you need to travel to all the other places you want to see while you are away? What about the language factor?
2. Choose your language
Decide whether you want to learn another language, improve a language you already know, or study in English. Keep in mind, you do not have to go to the UK, Canada or Australia to study in English—in many parts of the world it is possible to take coursework in English, even if it isn’t the language they speak in the street. Some options include Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Japan, and more!
3. Research your options
Get more information about the Hartwick affiliated programs. Through this web page and the Director of Global Education you can go through all of the programs available. Use your own criteria to narrow down your choices. Only YOU can determine which is the program best suited to your needs.
4. Schedule a session with the study abroad advisor
When you are ready to talk over your options, call the Director of Global Education to make an appointment. (607) 431-4062. The director will go over all your choices and give you the necessary documents you will need to fill out. You can also email Mansir Petrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Contact your academic advisor
As you go through the process of choosing a program, it is important to make sure your credits will transfer back. You also have to consider prerequisites for courses you will need to take when you get back. Go over the academic aspect of your proposed program with your advisor to make sure you are on the right track. Your advisor will actually sign your Hartwick application to study abroad to show involvement in course selection.
6. Get a passport NOW!
A passport is your official identification while abroad. It takes 2 months or more to get a passport, so don’t leave this until the end. Often you must have a passport to get a student visa, the permission to enter the country. The visa process can also take weeks or months. You can apply for a passport at any post office. For more information, go to http://travel.state.gov/. You can get passport photos at Rite Aid, WalMart and places like that.
7. Explore ways to finance your program
If you go on a Hartwick affiliated program, Hartwick will bill you the same tuition and fees, taking into account your need-based scholarships and financial aid, as if you were here on campus. You will also be billed for Hartwick room and board, if those are included in your overseas program. However, if your program costs more than the cost of staying here, you will have to pay the remainder. The College is affiliated with many programs and only a handful cost more than staying here. However, there will be additional costs to consider, such as airfare, additional travel, and such. It is a good idea to talk over your financial situation with the financial aid office. Be sure to research scholarships and other opportunities for assistance. There are competitive national scholarships that some students can win. Some of our affiliates also offer scholarships. Your family may belong to clubs and organizations in the community that can help. For more information about scholarships, click here.
8. Turn in your study abroad applications
Each student must turn in a Hartwick Study Abroad Application as well as send in an application to the desired program abroad. Normally students should plan to do this by October 1 for spring and March 15 for fall. Each program is different, however, so check program deadlines and with the study abroad advisor for program availability.
9. Go to the predeparture orientation session
Once you have accepted placement into your program, you will be invited to attend the end-of-semester pre-departure orientation at Hartwick. The staff discusses cultural adaptation, health and safety issues, study abroad insurance and answers questions about travel, packing and such. You will receive a study abroad handbook with additional advice.
10. Make your travel plans
Once you receive your acceptance letter from your program abroad, you can book your airplane ticket. Be sure you know the start and end dates of your program before you make your purchase. It is a good idea to buy a ticket you can change for a reasonable fee. This type of ticket could cost a little more, but you will be able to change your dates, if you need to, without much difficulty. Some places feature special student rates. Check out STA, Student Universe and Travel Cuts.
11. Make an appointment with the Perrella Wellness Center
The health center can help you interpret advice about immunization and health issues for travelers. They can also administer any vaccinations you will need.
12. Get a visa
Most study abroad programs require a student visa. You will need your passport, acceptance letters and perhaps additional documents to apply for the visa. Go to the website of the nearest consulate, usually in New York. Some countries require students to apply for a visa in person, while others let you apply by mail. The visa process can take weeks or months, depending upon the country. Do not wait until it is too late. Get visa information right away.
13. Research your destination
Many sources of information are available online. You should find out what the weather is going to be like, how students dress at the university you will attend, what kind of electricity or outlets do they have, and other important information.
14. Get ready to go!