What Should Your Student do Before They Leave?
With the excitement of your student’s upcoming experience abroad, it can be hard to remember everything that must be done! This list will help you help them get ready to go. Print out our list of pre-departure “To Do’s,” remind them to do the same, and see how quickly they can check off all of the requirements:
Obtain a Passport
If the student is not currently a passport holder, they should submit the application immediately! If they already have a passport, verify that it remains valid a minimum of six months beyond the program’s end date.
Submit the Visa Application and/or Collect Necessary Immigration Paperwork
The acceptance packet from API details the documents that the student must present to Customs officials upon arrival in the host country. Please make sure that the student promptly submits the visa application to the appropriate consulate (when applicable) or have all immigration paperwork ready and in the student’s carry-on bag.
Complete all API Forms and Pay any Remaining Balance on the Account
Students who are missing information will be contacted frequently by their Program Managers or Program Coordinators, so please encourage them to check e-mail daily!
Complete all Necessary Requirements for Study Abroad Approval with the Student’s Home University
The home university is likely to have a very specific approval and study abroad registration process. The student should be sure to complete all home university requirements before departing.
Make Arrangements for Spending Money On-Site
API Orientation Packets include recommendations on how much money past participants have spent while abroad, but work with the student to create a personalized budget to prepare for the experience. Make sure the student has enough funds until the end of the program. Most students bring a combination of credit cards, ATM cards, traveler’s checks and cash.
Schedule a Plan of Communication with Friends and Loved Ones
Students often forget just how expensive international calling can be, even with widespread cell phone usage. Students should set up international calling plans at home.
API students can also take advantage of excellent international calling, text, and data plans through our international telecom partner CellHire. We have negotiated discounted rates and packages, including available features such as international SIM cards, mobile hotspots, and mobile phone options that work across Europe and many of our other international sites. For more information on these options, contact your API Program Manager / Coordinator. Additional information is also provided post-acceptance.
Students are often overwhelmed by just how much they want to pack in two suitcases. For suggestions on smart packing, students should read the API orientation materials carefully. Remind your students to place a copy of the API instructions regarding where to meet the API group and what to do in case of a delayed flight in the carry-on bag!
Be Prepared for a New Culture and Living Environment
Students choose to go overseas to be challenged, to grow personally and academically, and to explore new ideas and lifestyles. Confronting a new environment can be exhilarating and tiring at the same time. Students should read as much as possible about the host country to know what to expect before arrival. The API on-line toolbox is the first place to start!