The Office of International Studies recommends that students interested in studying overseas begin to plan their adventure AT LEAST 6-9 months prior to departure. The amount of time required to obtain necessary approval, compile required documents, and complete the application process varies from student to student but a philosophy of "sooner" rather than “later” is suggested.
The following checklist is also found on the back of your OIS student folder of important information
- ____ Sign up Online and attend your mandatory group information session to learn about Villanova’s policy for overseas study and gather program options. Complete the Student Information Form and bring it with you for your group meeting. Students planning to attend a Villanova Summer Program do not need to attend the group information session, but just apply directly to the Villanova Faculty Program Coordinator who leads the program.
- ____ If you do not already have one, apply for a passport. Application instructions can be found on the US Department of State. Passports must be valid at least SIX MONTHS after your intended return from your abroad program. If you got your passport before you were 16, you will likely need to apply for an adult passport.
- ____ Please clear all holds on your account. Students who have any financial, disciplinary or academic holds may not begin the process of studying abroad. If a hold is placed on your account during your application process, you will not be able to study abroad while that hold is in place.
- ____ If you are a language major or minor, please meet with your department’s faculty to discuss your program options (610-519-4680).
- ____ After researching your program options, call the OIS (610-519-6412) for an individual appointment. Be prepared to articulate your academic needs and the skills you hope to develop overseas. Our staff will work with you to find a quality program that fits these needs and interests.
- ____ Once you have decided on a specific program, you will work with an OIS staff member to fill out your Prior Approval Form. One of the most important documents in the OIS, this form lists all the courses you plan to take while abroad, and ensures appropriate transfer of credit.
- ____ Take your PRIOR APPROVAL FORM, along with course descriptions to the appropriate department chairs or faculty members for approval. Your OIS staff member will indicate the individuals to contact during your advising session.
- ____ After all your courses have been approved, your Prior Approval Form must be signed by the Chair of your department and the Dean of your college to signify approval of your overseas study plan.
- ____ Return completed prior approval form to OIS prior to the deadline - fall break for going abroad in the spring semester, spring break for going abroad in the fall or summer!
- ____ Once you have chosen a program provider or host institution, please complete and submit your program application (different from your Prior Approval Form). In most cases, you are responsible for sending your application directly to the program. Be sure to note all deadlines, read all materials sent by your program provider or host institution, and stay in constant contact with them throughout your application and pre-departure process. Most programs accept students based on a rolling admissions policy, so all qualified students should apply as soon as possible to prevent disappointment. In some cases, programs will fill prior to stated deadlines. The OIS cannot guarantee acceptance into any program or institution.
- ____Discuss financial matters with your family. Talk about how the tuition policy will work and create a budget for your study abroad experience. If you receive Financial Aid, contact the Office of Financial Assistance to determine any changes to your aid package while abroad. Research scholarship opportunites.
- ____ Obtain a visa if one is required for students in your program country. Information on applying for a student visa will be provided by your program. Please also refer to the consulate website of the country in which you are planning your studies. A list of foreign consular offices in the United States can be found at US Department of State. Keep in mind that visa applications may take over two months to process, so plan accordingly.
- ____ Schedule an appointment to meet with your physician before studying abroad. Some programs may require medical reports to be completed by a doctor, but it is also good to have a check-up prior to leaving the country.
- ____ Before you leave the country, please submit the following paperwork to our office via email unless otherwise noted:
* Copy of your acceptance letter
* Copy of the picture page of your passport
* Copy of your visa (if one is required for your host country)
* Flight itinerary - enter in online form.
* Signed copy of the Release Form - must be submitted in hard copy
- ____ Contact the Office of Residence Life (610-519-4154) to cancel your housing for the semester you will be away, and to inquire about placements for your return to campus.
- ____ Attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation meeting. Dates and times will be provided by the OIS shortly after the mid-semester break.
- ____ Call your bank and let them know that you will be living abroad. Discuss international ATM fees and research exchange rates in your host country. Plan out how you will access your money and create a budget for your time abroad.
- ____ Meet with your Academic Advisor or Department Chair to discuss the courses you will take the semester following your overseas study.
- ____ Once you arrive overseas, email your overseas mailing address, cell phone number and any other contact information to your OIS Adviser.
- ____ After you have completely registered for all classes overseas, please send us a copy of your course schedule. If you enroll in a course that was not listed on your Prior Approval Form, you must email the Department Chair to have the course properly approved. Please use the Email Course Approval Template.
- ____ Prior to returning home, request that your program sends your official transcripts to the Office of International Studies, Middleton Hall, Villanova, PA 19085.
- ____ Attend the Welcome Back reception, held at the beginning of each semester for all study abroad alumni.
To avoid any problems with transfer of credit, course registration, and on-time graduation please contact the Office of International Studies immediately with any changes to your overseas plans!