Three months before departure:
- Get your passport. If you don't already have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as possible. Your passport should be valid for at least six months past your planned date of departure from your host country. For more information about getting a passport, visit the U.S. State Department Web site.
Canadian students should visit the Canadian Passport Office Web site.
- Finalize your financial aid. Make an appointment with your financial aid officer immediately to get a contractual agreement with IFSA-Butler.
- Book your flights abroad and, if necessary, your connecting flights as well. Consult your first IFSA-Butler e-newsletter for group flight information and instructions on when to arrive overseas.
Two months before departure:
- Make sure you have sent the following to IFSA-Butler:
• Recent ID photos.
• Travel plans
• Housing preference form
• Program contract
• Program deposit
• Housing deposit
- Re-read Preparing to Study Abroad, which you received in your welcome packet from IFSA-Butler. Let your program advisor know if you have any questions. Pay special attention to the housing and health insurance sections of Preparing to Study Abroad.
- Make sure you have sufficient insurance.
One month before departure:
- Buy a travel guide and watch movies about your host country.
- Check with your home university officials to make sure they have everything they need from you.
- Read something about your host country before you leave.
- Have a medical check-up, a dental exam and any necessary shots. Some countries' visa applications require a physical and/or physician's report. Be sure to check if the Centers for Disease Control recommends any vaccinations for the areas where you plan to study and travel.
Two weeks before departure:
- Read the Packing section of Preparing to Study Abroad.
- Photocopy your passport and tickets, and give a copy to your parents.
- Give your parents the numbers of your credit cards and traveler’s checks in case they are lost or stolen. Click here for credit card traveling tips.