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Setting Yourself up for a Successful Study Abroad Experience

Planning for study abroad isn’t always easy, but there are things you can do to help make the process a stress-free experience. Below are a few tips we have for ensuring you are properly prepared prior to your departure. 

1) Start speaking with your advisors right away. 
They are familiar both with the study abroad experience and with the process students from your school need to follow to ensure course transfer, etc. If you don’t know who your advisor is, contact the Umbra Institute and we will be happy to introduce you to them to get the process started.

2) Review your course options early. 
Your degree is likely to have specific course requirements which often cannot be completed off-campus. It is important to plan study abroad into your degree plan by reviewing course options with your advisor to ensure that time abroad doesn’t set you behind.

3) Plan Your Course Transfer in Advance.
Make sure to get a number of alternate courses pre-approved because you may want or need to adjust your curriculum once abroad. Know the approval and transfer process before going abroad to avoid stressful, last-minute email exchanges with your advisor or university’s Registrar. 

4) Get your study visa early.
If you plan ahead, the visa process can actually be easy. The trick is to schedule your visa appointment as soon as you can (for a date within 90 days of your departure and once you apply to the program). You can always cancel your visa appointment if you ultimately don’t go to Italy but trying to schedule your appointment when your departure is only 2-3 months away can sometimes be stressful. That said, your Umbra advisor and your advisor at your home institution will help you as much as they can so you will be well-supported throughout the visa process.

Our next blogs will highlight succeeding while abroad and what to do once you return home.

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