Timeline and Checklist

Here's a helpful timeline & checklist before you go abroad!

Four Months Prior to Departure:

  • Get a passport
  • Get extra passport photos
  • Get a Visa (if applicable)
  • Understand your health insurance policy for international coverage including repatriation, medical evacuation (both insurance that's included with your program and your private insurance you're enrolled in)
  • Complete SMC online application, supplemental application (when necessary) and all related forms
  • Make sure you have met with your academic advisors and/or Department Chairs to approve your courses (see Academic Planning Worksheet)
  • Review Health, Safety & Security information
  • Determine if you need to visit a doctor and/or receive inoculations

Two Months Prior to Departure:

  • Check to with the Center for International Programs to ensure you are receiving proper communication from the host university/abroad partners
  • Read all communications provided by the CIP office and host instituitons as they list important deadlines pertaining but not limited to course registration, housing, orientation dates ect.
  • Begin researching flight tickets through various companies
  • Look for a Holiday/Summer job to have a spare budget for souvenirs
  • Schedule your Visa appointment (if applicable) and bring all required documents

One Month Prior to Departure:

  • Review Packing & Traveling information
  • Purchase your airline ticket and send the itinerary to the Center for International Programs through your Online Application
  • Talk to your bank and credit card companies about managing your finances abroad/Set Travel Alerts
  • Review Study Abroad Handbook and host-country culture specific information
  • Purchase a travel guide book related to your destination/Do research on credible sites (TripAdvisor ect.)
  • Visit SMC post office to forward your mail while you are abroad
  • Think about how you are going to document / record your memories and experience while abroad (Blog? Photo journals? Diary?)

Two Weeks Prior to Departure:

  • Make two sets of copies of important documents (ie. passport, visas, insurance card). Leave one set of copies with a trusted person in the US and bring one set abroad with you
  • Check US Department of State travel advisories to check for destination status changes
  • Fill any necessary prescriptions
  • Remember to pack your study abroad journal, the study abroad handbook, and emergency contact information
  • Check with Center for International Programs to make sure you have submitted all the necessary forms
  • Reconfirm flight with airline at least 48 hours in advance and check baggage weight limits
  • Agree upon communication schedule with family, especially for arrival

While Abroad:

  • Email your local address and phone number to studyabroad@stmarys-ca.edu
  • Tag @smccip or #gaelsgoglobal on Social Media to share your adventures with us
  • Review Health, Safety, and Security information again
  • Travel safely
  • Review What to do in an Emergency information and learn local emergency plans
  • Review Culture Shock information

Upon Returning to the US:

  • Complete your Program Evaluations
  • Review Reverse Culture Shock information
  • Participate in the study abroad Welcome Back Dinner
  • Get involved with the Center for International Programs by serving as a study abroad ambassador, joining the International Club, living in the Global Living & Learning Community, encouraging your friends to study abroad as well!