Pre-Departure

After you have been approved to study abroad by the SUNY Geneseo  Office of International Programs , there is still much to do!  The tasks below must all be done before studying abroad.  The tasks below are not listed as steps because likely you will be doing many at once.  Read carefully, and be sure to complete all tasks listed.

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Pre-Departure

Currently Abroad

 

Supplemental application (If applicable)

For some programs, after your application has been approved by SUNY Geneseo's Study Abroad Office, you will have to fill out the host university's visiting international or exchange student application.  Acceptance by SUNY Geneseo does not guarantee acceptance by hosting institutions.

Supplemental applications materials will be provided to you by Geneseo's Study Abroad Office, either as an attachment to your acceptance email to as part of the Post-Acceptance Information you have to complete on your Horizons account.  Some of our host partners also have online applications - in that case, you will be provided with the link to their website.  In all cases, our office will work with you to complete the supplemental application and gather the supporting documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.).  Our office will collect your supplemental application and mail it to the host instution on your behalf. 


Complete Post-Acceptance Information

Once your application status has been set to "Approved", you will be able to see a series of steps on your Horizons account labeled "Post-Acceptance Information".  This is all of the "paperwork" that our office needs to collect from you.  Please make sure you fill everything in by the assigned deadline.

Complete Your FAFSA and Meet with Financial Aid (if applicable)

If you intend to use financial aid to pay for your study abroad program, you must complete the FAFSA before scheduling an appointment with the Financial Aid Office.

Megan Kennerknecht is the a Senior Financial Aid Counselor and she handles the financial aid for students studying abroad.  Visit the Financial Aid Office Contact page for information on how to arrange a meeting with Megan.

There will be details in the Post Acceptance Information on your Horizons Account about what materials you will need to bring to your meeting with Financial Aid.  Please note that if you intend to use your financial aid for a summer study abroad program, you must be taking at least six(6) credit hours during that summer.

 

Apply for Available Scholarships

The Office of International Programs administers scholarships available to Geneseo students participating in Geneseo study abroad programs.  Some of these scholarships are available to any Geneseo student on a Geneseo study abroad program (by term), while others are program specific.  There are also many nationally competitive sholarships administered by agencies around the United States.  An abbreviated list of these available scholarhips as well as all Geneseo-administered scholarships can be found on the Scholarships page.

Applications for scholarships administered by SUNY Geneseo are completed online using Horizons.  Once you have submitted an application for a Geneseo Study Abroad program, you will be able to use the "Search Scholarships" and "My Scholarships" tabs in the upper navigation bar of Horizons to search and apply for Geneseo study abroad scholarships.The scholarships listed on the Search Scholarships tab are only those scholarships that are offered for Geneseo students on Geneseo study abroad programs.

To apply for the scholarships, you need to complete the scholarship application and submit two letters of recemmendation.  The letters or recommendation for scholarships are NOT electronic.  You need to request letters and submit them to our office in paper format.  You cannot apply for a scholarship until you have completed and submitted an application for a study abroad program.  If you have not submitted an application for a study abroad program you will be able to view available scholarships, but you will not be able to apply for one. 


Complete your Course Approval Form (if applicable)

This step only needs to be completed by students who will be studying abroad for a semester, host-instution, or other SUNY program.  Students on SUNY Geneseo faculty-led programs do not need to complete at Course Approval Form.

The Course Approval Form will be included as part of the Post Acceptance Information on your Horizons Account.  If you want credit within your major or minor for the courses you will take abroad, you have to have those courses approved by your major or minor department.  You should meet with your advisor or the chair of your department to discuss which courses you will take while abroad.  In the end, the chair of your department will be the one to approve your courses for major credit.

 

Attend Orientation 

Students on semester programs will be required to attend two separate orientations.  The first will be a program specific orientation, where we'll discuss the specifics of your program, and you'll meet other students on the program (or who have been on the program in the past) and will have a chance to ask questions.  The second is a general pre-departure orientation that will be held at the end of the semester prior to your going abroad.  The orientation will cover topics that are relevant to all study abroad students, such as health, safety, security, and cultural adjustment.

Students on summer or intersession programs will be required to attend all pre-departure orientation and information meetings held by the faculty instructor and administrator of their program.  You will also be required to attend a pre-departure orientation session held by the Study Abroad Office, that will cover topics that are relevant to all study abroad students, such as health, safety, security, and cultural adjustment. 

In all cases, you will be provided with written and electronic information about your program.  You will also be provided with guidance on administrative issues, such as using your financial aid to pay for study abroad, applying for a visa, or submitting a flight deviation request.  It is important to note that orientation information is provided in a very general format - it's still your responsibility to do the specific research to prepare you for your program (we just make sure that you get pointed in the right direction).

 

Apply for your visa (If applicable)

For semester programs: most students studying abroad on a semester program will need to obtain a visa or some other permit to stay in their destination country.  Visa information will be provided to you when you are accepted into a program. 

For most Geneseo summer and winter programs, students who are US citizens will not need to obtain a visa if they are staying in the country for less than 90 days (most of our summer programs are less than 90 days.  There are exceptions to this, so you will have to check with the Study Abroad Office and the faculty instructor before departure.

Students who are NOT US citizens may need a visa, even if they are participating on a summer or winter program and even if US students do not. 

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain your visa.  The Study Abroad Office is legally prohibited from telling you how to fill out your visa application or from applying for the visa for you.  Our office will, however, provide you with guidance and resources so that you can successfully obtain your visa.

Do Your Research!

At the end of the day, it's your responsibility to make sure you are prepared for your departure.  Here are a list of resources you may want to look at, things you should be thinking about, etc.  If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the Study Abroad Office. 

  • Review the information that the host university has on their website for visiting international or exchange students.  Most websites will include pre-departure handbooks and other information.
  • Buy some guidebooks.  We recommend the Blue Guides.  You can also use websites like wikitravel.
  • Network with students who have studied abroad in the past - use facebook, email, or ask them if they kept a blog or journal you can read.
  • Pay careful attention to any emails you receive from the host university.
  • Research the historical, political, demographic, and geographic background of the country you will be visiting.
  • Check out international or host-country news sources to keep up with current events in your host country. 
  • Read books and poetry, or watch movies by authors, writers, and directors from your host country.
  • Use Google Maps to check out the location of the host university buildings.
  • Research health issues - use information for travellers provided on the CDC website, the WHO website, or travel health clinics like Passport Health.
  • Make sure you know the practical stuff - electricity requirements, weather, etc.
  • If you need practice with a language, and you are a Geneseo student, you can talk to Milne Library about setting up a student account on Rosetta Stone (Milne library now has a Rosetta Stone subscription for a limited number of languages).
  • Use resources that the US Government provides - such as the State Department's website for students travelling abroad or the website of the US Embassy in the country you will be visiting.  The CIA World Factbook can also give some basic statistics about the country you will be visiting.  Also, don't forget to sign up for the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) (formerly referred to as "registering with the embassy").