Personal planning is also important before a study abroad experience. Students should know that they are not legally eligible to work while studying abroad. The conditions of student visas in almost all countries prohibit students from working. Students who hold jobs in the U.S. will also need to make arrangements with their employers for the time that they are away. Students should also be aware of the start and end dates of their programs, specifically when planning for summer internships. Students will not be permitted to leave a program early in order to begin a job or an internship. Students are expected to remain on their program through the official end date or until they have completed their final exam.

Students should also consider how they plan to communicate with their family and friends when they are abroad. This applies to when you first land, considering how long it may take you to be at a point to access technology to contact home, but also throughout the program. Students may not be able to call family or friends as much as you do while on campus and internet connections may be slower or less accessible in some locations. Some students use online calling apps such as Skype or FaceTime and chatting apps like WhatsApp or iMessage. You will also want to discuss a plan for getting in touch with your family/friends in the event of emergencies. For instance, news events may make situations abroad seem more unsafe than how you are actually experiencing them. Make sure that you know who to contact and how in the event of an emergency, but also making sure that key family or friends know who they can contact.

Your health is something else to plan for. If you are on any medications you will need to have a plan for how you are going to access them overseas. Will you plan to take a supply with you that will last the duration of your program or will you be able to get your prescriptions in country? Similarly if you have current health conditions what arrangements might you need while abroad, if any? If you believe you will need special arrangements we encourage you to be in contact with your study abroad advisor once you’ve been accepted so they can assist you.