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4 Study Abroad Pre-Departure Tips

Some of you may have just returned home from your adventure abroad this Spring. Others of you may have recently arrived for a life-changing summer on another continent, and quite a few of you reading this are eagerly anticipating the start of the Fall semester when you’ll embark on your own long-awaited study abroad experience.
Since the process can be both lengthy and daunting, we polled some of your CEA Site Specialists here in Phoenix on how you can make the most of the long months leading up to your CEA study abroad departure, including tips on making the preparatory period easier—for them and you!

  • Approve Everything
    “The more courses you get approved by your home university now, the more options you will have for courses abroad. Be sure to get twice as many courses approved by your university than you actually plan on taking while studying abroad. Similar to your university here, classes can be scheduled at the same time and canceled due to low enrollment. The more course options you have, the smoother the course registration process will be.” - Michelle Esche, Site Specialist for Spain


  • Keep Calm, and Trust Your Checklist
    “Having gone through the visa process myself twice, I know how stressful it is to book an appointment, compile your mountain of documents (and copies!), go in person to the consulate, and then ultimately leave your American passport in the hands of a foreign government. At the end of the day, as long as you have done your due diligence, you can rest reasonably assured that all will be well and you will have your visa safely in hand by the time of your departure. Rather than driving yourself crazy worrying about the status of the visa, savor your last few months at home. You’ll be back before you know it.” – Ed Carlin, Site Specialist for France & Spain


  • Don’t Put Off What You Can Do Today
    “My advice would be to start planning early! You have made it into the program, but that is only the beginning. Log on to your MyCEA account, and start completing the easy tasks now! This way you don’t have to do them when you’re busy with school and applying for a visa, selecting courses, and deciding on housing. There’s a lot to do before going abroad and it can seem overwhelming, so take a few minutes to knock out some of the small items right away! Send us your digital photo, enter in your passport information, fill out your medical questionnaire, let us know who your emergency contact is, etc. All this information is important for your preparation and very useful to the international staff.” – Tara Kilkenny, Site Specialist for Ireland, China, Spain, & Italy


  • Stay Tuned
    “We are here to help you be successful in your study abroad planning! Be sure to keep an eye out for information, updates, and bulletins we send out via email and Facebook. They are stocked full of important tips and dates to help make your pre-departure process as successful and stress-free as possible!” – Melissa Morris, Site Specialist for Italy and the Czech Republic

There you have it. Most of studying abroad entails planning far ahead, so get out there, check off those to-do lists, and enjoy the rest of your summer--we’re here if you need anything!

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