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Participation Process

Notification Letters and Waiver

Students will receive an acceptance letter informing them that the Study Abroad Office has approved their Application to Study Abroad along with a waiver. Students are required to return their signed acceptance letter and signed waiver in order to hold their place in the study abroad program, approximately ten days after notification. Once the signed letter and waiver have been submitted to the Study Abroad Office, students become Participants. Participants who withdraw after returning their signed notification letter and waiver are responsible for fees associated with withdrawal, see the Withdrawal Policy section of this website. 

Acceptance & Confirmation Deposit

In addition to having study abroad proposals approved by SCU, students must submit their program specific application directly to their program provider and that application must be approved to participate in study abroad. Students should be aware that it may take approximately two to six weeks to receive notification from the program provider. After students receive notification of acceptance from their program provider, the provider will be the main contact for program-specific questions related to such things as: housing, immunizations, visa, class registration, and cross-cultural preparation. Most program providers require a confirmation deposit. See Fees


In order to study abroad students must have a passport that is valid for six months beyond the date of return to the US following their study abroad program. If a student does not have a passport, or needs to renew it, s/he should do so immediately following notification of acceptance from Santa Clara in order to allow ample time for a possibly lengthy visa process. Passports are issued by the US Department of State. See Passports for information on how to apply for a new passport. Passport fees are the responsibility of the student. See Fees & Expenses. 


Santa Clara provides mandatory orientation for all students studying off-campus. Attendance is a requirement for participation and students are expected to make arrangements in their schedules to attend. 

Travel Expenses 

The University does not pay travel costs to/from the academic program. Travel during breaks is not subsidized by the University. Students should plan their personal budget accordingly. For a complete description of the costs paid by the University as well as possible additional expenses see Fees and Expenses. 

Travel Arrangements 

Students must arrive by the designated start date and time for their program, including orientation. Students should remember to allow for time changes, connecting flights, possible inclement weather and in-country transportation from the airport to the program site. Be aware that in many cases travel may take one or two days to reach one's destination. Before making travel arrangements, verify program dates and arrival instructions with the program sponsor. Some study abroad programs offer an optional group flight which a student may elect to purchase him or herself. These flights leave from a designated city, so keep in mind that utilizing the group flight may require re-routing a ticket from one's hometown to the city of departure. Be aware that this can be a more expensive option than flying directly from one's hometown to one's destination. If a student chooses his/her program's group flight, s/he will be billed for this directly by the program. Because airfares fluctuate and reservations fill quickly, it is essential to make travel arrangements early. This is especially true for discount student airfares. In addition, the consulates of some countries require proof that students have purchased a round-trip ticket in the application for a visa. When booking a ticket, it may help to consider the following: 

  • Round-trip airfares are usually less expensive than one-way fares.
  • Change/cancellation fees, taxes and restrictions vary considerably between different types of ticket, such as student tickets and regular-fare tickets.
  • Make sure to include all the same taxes and fees when comparing fares.
  • Tickets involving a stopover are usually more expensive. 

While preparing to travel overseas, students should plan for high security at airports and lengthy waiting times. Most airlines advise arriving at the airport two to three hours prior to an international flight. Pack carefully. Airlines do not permit items such as utility knives and razors in carry-on bags. Students should contact airlines directly about other recommendations related to packing items like computers, cameras and electronic equipment, as well as weight restrictions for luggage. Students should confirm their reservations before departure. Airline schedules fluctuate frequently and it is important to stay in touch with travel agents or airlines about any changes that may occur.