Important resources to help with preparation for students who have been accepted into a study abroad program. Getting prepared requires organization, attention to deadlines and thoughtfulness. We and our program partners are here to support you.
There are two MANDATORY Study Abroad Orientations:
- Online Orientation
- In-Person Orientation
Other Recommended Orientation events:
- Bronco Abroad Ambassador led events
- Visits from Partners
Your program will likely also have a mandatory orientation. Their orientation may be online, it may be on-site when you arrive in country. This is a great opportunity to ensure that you understand grading policies, housing rules, and to connect with other program participants.
Visas & Passports
Our tips for the Visa Process:
- If your program offers to process your visa for you via mailing, do this!
- Consulate appointments fill early, work to schedule your appointment in the timeframe provided by your program.
Your program will be the best resource. If you're having trouble getting a response, let us know.
Most programs will provide extensive information regarding the Visa application process and timeline with advisors who can guide you when confused.
Ensure you are academically prepared for Study Abroad:
- Know your registration process and when you register for classes with your program
- Prepare your Course Approval Form
- Review the Database of SCU Course Equivalencies
- Request any needed back-up Course Evaluations
Questions to ask:
- How will I be assessed and graded in my host country?
- Who will I be studying with in my classes?
- What resources are available to me?
During your term abroad, SCU will register you in "UNIV 199" as a placeholder for courses taken abroad. To ensure that your courses come back quickly, review our section on Grades & Transcripts.
Language and Culture Readiness
Past Student Recommendations:
Review Your Goals
Once abroad, time flies. Reviewing your goals and turning them into SMART goals will help you ensure that you are able to achieve your goals.
Questions to reflect on:
- What academic goals do I have for my Study Abroad experience?
- What professional goals do I have for my Study Abroad experience?
- What personal goals do I have for my Study Abroad experience?
- What actions will I take abroad to ensure these goals are met? List two actions.
- What actions can I take now to prepare myself to have the time to complete those goals abroad?
- What goals do my peers have for Study Abroad? Do I want to add any of their goals to my goals?
- What actions are my peers taking to prepare or are they planning to take abroad to ensure their goals are met? Can I take or prepare to take any of those same actions?
As part of Study Abroad, you board a plane and go somewhere, however, Study Abroad is more of an internal journey, than an external one. There are many resources available to help you as you explore your identities abroad.
My experience as a young black woman in a Latin American country differed from that of my white classmates. I did not experience much in the way of harassment and I did not draw too much attention. Many locals were surprised to learn that I was from the United States because they assumed I was from an African country. It was an interesting experience, to say the least.
Many of our partners have resources on and off-site for you to utilize as you process your identity growth. Our partners have worked to help LGBTQ students find host families that are LGBTQ or are allies. Our partners are committed to creating a safe space for our diverse group of students. The best partner on-site is going to be your program staff. However, while abroad, you are also an SCU student, if you encounter something that you want additional help processing, please contact us.
Promoting Wellness Abroad
The best way to prepare for wellness abroad is to plan early. Do you have all medications that you will need? Have you shared any health concerns, allergies, or needs with your program? If you should receive accommodations, have you met with Disability Resources to ensure that your needs are on file and that these are conveyed to your program?
Parents & Family
Your relationships with parents, family, friends, and significant others will change during your time abroad. It may not be possible for you to maintain regular contact when abroad. Setting up a communication plan is a great way to ensure that you are taking advantage of all engagement opportunities and can still share your abroad experience with others.
"Every opportunity in El Salvador is an opportunity to learn. The only important tool necessary is cultural humility and respect. My suggestion for students who are going on this program is to be open to any experiences, not to try to analyze and attempt to fix, but solely to listen and be present."
"The best advice is to just put yourself out there. Everyone is trying to make friends and it is easy to find a group of people you enjoy hanging out with. There will be a lot of diversity among your friends, but I encourage you to embrace it. This is one of the few times you will be able to be completely immersed in a different culture."