Preparing To Go

Before you go

Proper preparation can make all of the difference in a successful experience abroad. Learning all you can about your host destination before you go will help provide you a better understanding of your host country. For students on short-term, faculty-led programs, be sure to speak with your faculty and program coordinators on your program’s requirements on preparing for departure.

For students participating in long-term semester, academic year, and summer programs, including reciprocal exchange and affiliated approved programs, here are your steps to prepare for your time abroad after applying to the Study Abroad Office:

  1. Apply for a passport if you do not have one or your current passport expires within 6 months after your scheduled return to the United States.
  2. Attend outbound orientation.
    • For semester and academic year students, the outbound orientation is the semester before you go abroad. Summer programs through the Study Abroad Office have different orientation processes so check with the office for more information. For OSU faculty-led programs, contact the faculty member leading the course for the orientation date and time.
  3. Complete the online health and safety training modules. More information will be provided to you when it is time to complete the modules.
  4. Submit all required materials, including the Course Equivalency Form
  5. Apply to your host university, if needed. Please note that each institution or program provider has different requirements and deadlines!
  6. Review student visa requirements for your program and start assembling required materials. Also see item 8 below.
  7. Receive acceptance packet from your host university or program provider
  8. Apply for a student visa, if needed. NOTE: All countries require some kind of student visa but requirements vary and change frequently. It is up to you to research visa requirements for your host country on that nation’s consulate or embassy page online. Applying too late for a visa can mean having to cancel your program, so check visa requirements early!
  9. Obtain Insurance as required for your program. All OSU students are required to have basic emergency medical insurance abroad, as well as repatriation of remains and emergency medical evacuation. Individual programs may require additional coverage.
  10. Verify you are enrolled in temporary placeholder hours at OSU for the courses you are taking abroad. The Student Exchange Coordinator in the Study Abroad Office can verify your enrollment with you.
  11. Research your host culture. All OSU students participating in a study abroad program receive a one-year subscription to the New York Times to help both with planning for their time away but following news from their host country. Here is more information.