This post is dedicated to answering a common question: “What do I do after I’m accepted to go abroad through UFV’s Study Abroad program?” Keep in mind that every institution is different and the process will vary from one case to the next.
1. Introduce yourself to your contact person
Once you are accepted to Study Abroad, you will be given a formal nomination letter which introduces you to the contact staff at the host university. Feel free to utilize this person as a resource to help you during your preparations to live and study abroad. Make sure to cc firstname.lastname@example.org on these e-mails so your UFV Study Abroad Coordinator can provide further information and assistance if necessary.
2. Fill out additional applications if applicable
In most cases, your host contact will send you or your UFV Study Abroad Coordinator an application to fill out. If you are going to a fine art school you may have to send a digital portfolio. Once your UFV Study Abroad Coordinator sends in your application you will receive a formal acceptance letter which you will either use to apply for a student visa if your host country requires a student visa to study in their country or you will be required to show your acceptance letter once you arrive at immigration at your host country. Additional information on item 7 regarding a student visa.
3. Select courses and apply for credit transfer
Depending on how the system works at your host institution, you may be able to choose classes several months in advance and get them approved for credit transfer even before you leave by filling out a Letter of Permission form with your UFV Study Abroad Coordinator where you list your courses and attach your course outlines which are then submitted in order for you to find out what your transfer credits will be for the courses you take abroad. Keep in mind that every university runs differently, especially in other countries. Some institutions will help you select courses upon your arrival. In that case, keep in touch with your UFV Study Abroad Coordinator and you will likely apply for credit transfer once you get back.
4. Research the school, city, county, and surrounding areas
If you haven’t already, check out your host institution’s website through the links on the partnership page. Ask your host university’s contact staff questions you may have. Consult the internet and ask around. Try to find others who have been there and can give you advice.
5. Arrange accommodations
Communicate with your host institution contact staff to begin arranging accommodations. Sometimes you will be given the option of staying in dormitories or sharing an off-campus flat. Other times, you will need to find accommodations independently. Whatever the case may be, it is important to know in advance.
6. Buy a plane ticket
Make sure you find out from your host university’s contact staff your entire semester dates, including orientation days and final exam dates. Either on your own or through a travel agent, check prices and possible flights to your destination. Kayak is one of many useful sites that can help you view the prices of multiple airlines and various times of arrival.
7. Apply for a visa
Many countries will require you to obtain a student visa during your time abroad. Consult the country’s embassy website. Consider the questions: When will I need to apply by? What is the procedure? What documents will I need to provide?
8. Check your medical insurance
Make sure you are covered while abroad. If you paid UFV Fall Semester fees and did not opt out of medical insurance, you may be covered if you follow several steps on the website.
For further advice about travel and planning ahead from a past Study Abroad student, check out the post Be prepared: pre-planning travel advice for outbound students.