What should I do before I leave campus?
- Have your courses preapproved
If you are going on a non-Hamilton program, prior to your departure you MUST complete the petition for transferred credit form. You are responsible for getting your department chair’s signature for courses you want approved for your concentration or minor. Most courses taken as electives can be approved by the Registrar. Decisions for granting credit are based on the course material you provide, so submit complete information about a given course (description, reading list, academic expectations, etc.). All completed form(s) and additional materials go to the Registrar’s Office.
- Get your immunizations
AS SOON AS you apply, see Diann Lynch (315-859-4111) in the Student Health Center to receive immunizations and other important health information.
- Get a physical
Contact the Student Health Center (315-859-4111) for an appointment AS SOON AS you receive the health forms from your program. Lab tests, if needed, can take time!
- Check your financial aid
Stop by the Financial Aid Office and see Diane Barrett (315-859-4395). Tell her that you are going abroad and ask if your financial aid is in order, both for the semester(s) you are abroad and for the semester you return to Hamilton.
- Prepare your immigration documents
If you are not a U.S. citizen, check with the Dean of Students Office to make sure that your visa and other immigration papers are in order. U.S. citizens and noncitizens should also see passport and visa recommendations in section II.
- Let us know where you will be
Be sure that the Dean of Students Office and the Registrar’s Office have an address, phone, fax and email where you can be reached abroad. If you do not have this information by the time you leave Hamilton, be sure to send it as soon as possible once you arrive in your host country.
- Visit the Career Center
We encourage you to make an appointment at the Career Center to discuss how study abroad fits with your career plans. Also, begin planning for a summer internship or your fall job search BEFORE you leave campus, particularly if you will be away in the spring.
- Secure your housing for your return
Complete a housing proxy form and turn it in to the Office of Residential Life.
What should I do before I leave the U.S.?
- Learn about your host country
Get informed about its history, customs, important cities, places and politics. The more you know about your host country, the easier your transition will be.
- Have a valid passport
If you already have a passport, make sure it is valid for at least six months beyond the date of return. More information about passports can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.
- Secure a student visa if necessary
More information about visas and phone numbers for the embassies or consulates can be found on the U.S. Department of State website. Your study-abroad provider may also help facilitate this process.
- Consider an international student identity card
You may be going to a country where this is useful (ask your program provider). For more information visit www.isic.org.
- Plan ahead for travel while abroad
You may find a Eurail pass helpful. For more information, visit www.counciltravel.com or www.eurorail.com. There are similar rail passes available outside Europe. Consult travel books and search the web for more information.
- Be prepared for medical prescription needs
See your doctor and obtain enough medication to last for your stay abroad. Take a copy of vision prescriptions and an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- Keep all of your documents in a safe place for travel
Make sure that you collect any documents you need to take with you, such as medical records, entry documents, etc. and keep them together in a folder, Ziploc bag or whatever works for you.
- Be sure you have medical insurance that works overseas
Consult your insurance agent to make sure that you have appropriate medical insurance and any other travel insurance you wish to purchase. Be sure that you have coverage for medical evacuation, in the rare case that you would have to be flown back to the U.S. (or to a different country) for medical treatment. Also, check to make sure that your policy covers any continuing treatment you may need for newly acquired medical conditions after you return home.
- Talk to your family about potential safety issues and make sure they know how to contact you in case of emergency
Have a discussion with your family about these and other issues that may come up while you are away.
- Learn how to vote from overseas
Arrange to vote absentee ballot for any elections you will miss while abroad.