Before You Leave

Here are some tips on things to take care of or think about when you're preparing to move abroad for a semester or academic year. 

 
Registration & Fee Payment

All students will be registered for 12-15 hours of placeholder credit and charged tuition and fees accordingly, plus Study Abroad Health Insurance ($180 per semester).  All students should regularly check Webstar and pay their UNO fees according to the UNO fee payment schedule and notify the ISEP office if anything is not correct. All of these fees must be paid by the UNO fee payment schedule.

 
Financial Aid & Scholarships

If you are using any kind of financial aid to pay for your study abroad program, be sure to contact your assigned financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid office in the Privateer Enrollment Center (PEC). Scholarship/TOPS recipients MUST notify financial aid about their study abroad plans and STAY IN TOUCH with them regarding your credits and TOPS certification. If you do not identify yourself as a study abroad student to Financial Aid, they cannot help process your financial aid appropriately. We send them a memo detailing each outgoing exchange student’s financial breakdown per semester and the dates of their program, or we can give it to you to bring to them. 

 
Legal Issues

You are advised to give someone that you trust power of attorney (POA) to handle personal, financial, and school matters for you in the United States while you are overseas. Attorneys and notaries perform this service regularly and usually have the necessary forms on hand. You do not have to submit any documentation to the UNO ISEP office, but it is helpful for you to tell us who your POA is. The person you have designated as your POA should keep the original notarized form in order to show proof that they have POA for you and can act on your behalf.

 
Medical Services

Some countries may require a medical certificate in order to apply for a student visa. We advise that you check with Student Health Services in the University Center (UC) 238 for these types of services.  

If you haven't already, read our page on Health & Safety Abroad.

And if you haven't already, you must fill out the Medical History Form prior to departure. This information is kept on file in our office and used only in case of an emergency.

 
Health Insurance

UNO requires that all students carry health insurance while studying abroad. All students must be covered by the insurance policy chosen by the UNO Division of International Education. The cost of this policy is $180 per semester, and payment in full is due prior to departure.  The brochure outlining this policy is available online at http://inst.uno.edu/insurance.cfm. You are required to have coverage during your program of study. If you wish to have additional coverage for travel before and/or after your program, you may request that coverage directly from the insurance company for $1 per additional day.

 
Course Selection and Credit Transfer

Each student should give careful consideration to the kinds of courses he or she would like to take before departing. Information about course offerings and the conditions of study in your host institution can be obtained from the host institution -- either on their website or from their International Office. 

It is advised that you consult with Dr. John Hazlett, the academic advisor for exchanges abroad.  He is located in IC 117 and may also be reached at 280-1136 and jhazlett@uno.edu.  

In addition, make sure that you have completed a degree audit or program checklist with your academic department.  A copy of this should be given to Dr. Hazlett.

You will also need to fill out our Enrollment Verification Form with a proposed list of classes you will take at the host institution before you leave. This list should be filled out in consultation with Ms. Hicks and/or Dr. Hazlett as well as your academic counselor. It should then be validated by the host university upon your arrival. 

Then once you complete the enrollment process, send us the Enrollment Verification Change Form to have your new classes reviewed. 

Students are also responsible to confirm that they will return with the equivalent of 12 UNO credit hours per semester (or more).

 
Visa Application

All students planning to live and study in a given country as a registered student will have to get a student visa.  It is your responsibility to find out how to do so, and to submit all necessary documents in order to obtain the visa.  

 
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

It is recommended that American citizens traveling abroad register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This is a free service provided by the U.S. Government and is designed to better assist you in case of an emergency in a foreign country. Please visit the STEP webpage at https://step.state.gov/step/ for additional information and guidelines.

 
Money

One important factor to living abroad is managing your money. You should think ahead about how you want to manage your money, which includes not only purchasing things but also access to cash, being able to pay for larger items (such as housing fees, rent, mobile phone bills, etc.), and being able to track your spending and stay in control of your finances.

Often the best way to carry money overseas is with a VISA/MC or ATM debit card. Withdrawing money from an ATM using these cards is rarely a problem overseas. However, if you are able to order cash from your bank prior to leaving the U.S., this is often helpful. Keep in mind that ATMs overseas (as well as your bank here in the U.S.) may sometimes charge fees for withdrawals, so it is best to keep the number of withdrawals to a minimum or find your favorite ATM that charges less.  It is also always useful to notify your bank or creditor of when and where you will be travelling to avoid any complications to the access of your funds.

 
What to Leave Behind

One good idea is to make copies of your passport, credit cards (both sides), and all important documents (insurance cards, etc.) and leave the copies with your POA (power of attorney). That way if your wallet or purse is stolen, someone you trust has all of your important numbers. Some people also like to carry a photocopy of their passport and leave the original in a safe place in the room or locker once overseas. That is a personal decision, but might be a good idea if you are just walking about the city where you are living. Of course, any time you travel any kind of distance, you should have your passport with you.

 Some students also like to leave a package of winter (or summer) clothes ready to be sent by their family member or friend when it is a good time to have that clothing.

 
Be Aware

Keep up with news, both in your home country and overseas. You are responsible for keeping up-to-date on problems which may arise such as possible transit strikes, travel advisories or other situations. To keep up with our health and safety information, go to http://studenthealth.uno.edu/.  Also, to keep up with U.S. Department of State travel advisories, go to http://travel.state.gov.  

 
Stay in Touch!

Please stay in touch with the International Student Exchange Programs Office to let us know what is happening with you overseas. We will need your contact information in your host country as soon as you are able to send it to us. Be sure to give your contact address and phone number overseas to your family and friends as well. And join the group on Facebook (search for “UNO International Exchange Programs”)! Don’t forget to also send us your class schedule and updated enrollment verification form after arriving at your host institution.