Checklist: Preparing for Departure

These checklists provide general pre-departure steps for all programs. Check with your program and/or directors for other program-specific things to do.

  • Get a Passport. Estimated processing time is 6-8 weeks, but may be longer.
    • Or renew your passport. Check your passport expiration date. Passports must be valid for 6 months past your date of return.
    • Expedited passport information can be found here. Extra fees apply. In some cases it may be possible to get same day, or overnight processing. 
  • Check with your program for visa requirements. Some countries require visas for entry, others only require visas for stay over a specified time period. 
    • Are you an international student? Check in with International Student Services and Study Abroad for requirements. 
  • Mark your calendar for all pre-departure meetings and orientation. These meetings are required; dates can be found in your approval letter. 
  • Know your program’s cost: > Search for a Program; or program provider’s website. 
  • Note your program’s cancellation policy and dates. 
  • Review our pages for Health and Safety information for information on travel visits, insurance, and staying safe and healthy while abroad. 
  • Review Study Abroad Student Policies
  • Make a travel appointment and review Health Services Travel Clinic page. 
  • Get courses approved! Any courses you take abroad will automatically count as elective credit for graduation. In order for a course to fulfill a major, minor or core requirement, a signature from the appropriate department chair is required. This requirement only applies to Other Approved Programs, not St Thomas or UMAIE programs. 
  • Make copies of your passport and visa to carry with you, and to leave at home. 
  • Prepare a list of emergency contact information you may need: onsite program, St Thomas, your parents, and anything else that applies to you. 

Location specific preparation

  • Register with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • Know currency and exchange rate of your destination. is a good resource. 
  • Advise bank and credit cards of your travels; ensure cards are accepted at destination. 
  • Have at least two methods of accessing money. 
  • Research, research, research. Your time abroad will fly by. Make the most of it by learning as much as possible before getting on the plane. 

While Abroad and After Return 

  • Upon arrival your program will hold an orientation covering many items including safety and emergency procedures. Attend and pay close attention. 
  • Know emergency contact information for your program staff/directors, the address and contact information for your housing. 
  • Know the in-country equivalent of 911. 
  • Review Health and Safety pages for information on staying safe and healthy while abroad.
  • Review S-D-R grading policy (pass/fail). Form must be submitted to the Office of Study Abroad by required deadlines. 
  • Authorize program to send your transcript to the St Thomas Admissions Office. 
  • Monitor your St Thomas degree evaluation to ensure courses match your course approval form. Transcripts usually arrive at St Thomas 6-8 weeks after program ends.