Before Going Abroad

You’re getting ready to go!

But there are a few more steps, and a few more things to consider. The Office of International Programs holds a pre-departure orientation session each semester for students going abroad. You will be notified of the date by email (usually near the end of the semester).

The following items will help prepare you further for your journey:

  • Enrollment Forms

    • Complete all of your assigned Enrollment forms in your online account.
    • Remember that you can access these forms before and after you depart.
  • Passport

    • IF you do not already have a Passport, CLICK HERE and apply for one immediately.
    • IF you already have a Passport, be sure to check the “expiration date” and make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your program term ends. If you need to renew your Passport, do so now.
  • Visa

    • Most countries (not all) will require you to register as a visitor and/or student before you arrive in that country.
    • The process to obtain a visa is different for every country, thus it is important to determine what are the visa requirements for the country/-ies to you will travel during your tim abroad. CLICK HERE for a list of foreign Embassies.
    • Follow the visa application process carefully and thoroughly. This process can take anywhere from one day to several months.
  • Insurance

    • Presbyterian College requires that all PC students participating in an international program carry medical and emergency insurance that will cover you in another country.
    • Once you are approved and admitted to your program, OIP staff will enroll you in an international medical and emergency insurance plan with CISI.
    • Understand what this policy will cover and NOT cover.
  • Learn more about your Host Country

    • Basic Facts   (location, size, history, language, religion, cultural values, etc.)
    • Current Events  (economic, political, social movements, athletics and entertainment, etc.)
    • Tourist Information  (important things to see and do, weather, transportation systems)
    • Health and Safety  (U.S. State Dept. Information, CDC, etc.)
  • Pre-Departure Orientation at PC

    • All PC students are required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation meeting offered by OIP staff.
  • Packing

    • You will likely over-pack for your journey, but try very hard not to.
    • You can find American and American-style products in most countries throughout the world, so it isn’t necessary to take everything you think you might need to live for the entire term abroad.
    • Make sure that you take prescription medications in their original bottles with original labels and take extra copy of the written prescription from your physician. Some prescription medications allowed in the USA are not legal in some other countries. Thus, it’s important that you ask your physician to check and see if your specific medication is legal and refillable in your host country.
    • Extra baggage and too-heavy luggage can add very expensive costs to you at the airport (and not allowed on some airlines).  Be sure you know the luggage requirements for the airline(s) you will be traveling with.
  • Airport Departure

    • Check your flight status before leaving home to see if you can tell if your flight is delayed or canceled.
    • ARRIVE EARLY! Processing for International flights takes longer than domestic flights. Especially if you are a first-time traveler, you will need extra time to navigate the airport check-in process and getting to your gate. Most airlines recommend that international travelers arrive at least three hours prior to boarding.
    • Carry the contact information for the person expected to meet you at the airport at your destination, and take it in your carry-on luggage. In case your flight is delayed or cancelled you should contact the arrival staff.