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  • Study Abroad Checklist

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    If you're going abroad, don't leave everything until the last minute! It's a major headache to expedite the passport application process. And you don't want to board the plane to Cameroon without those vital anti–malaria pills.

    Here are some important pre–departure steps to keep in mind…

    • If you need a new or renewed passport, apply early. Same goes for a student visa. These documents can take a long time to work their way through the bureaucracy and into your hands.
    • Have a comprehensive physical, get any immunizations you might need, and if necessary, arrange for any relevant medical records to be sent to your study–abroad program.
    • Fill any prescriptions you'll need before you go! Make sure anything you transport isn't considered a controlled substance by your host country. (For example, allergy medicines which contain pseudoephedrine are illegal in Japan.)
    • Schedule a pre–departure meeting with your academic counselor to take care of present and potential academic matters.
    • Complete necessary financial aid documents (including scholarship applications, loan applications and FAFSA renewal).
    • If you'll be gone from January to April, don't overlook your taxes.
    • Make copies in triplicate of any important documents (passport, credit cards, etc): One set for you, one for your parents and one for your study–abroad leaders.
    • Convert enough currency to sustain you until you're settled in your new surroundings.
    • Compile a list of important phone numbers and contact information. Make sure your address book is up–to–date. Research international phone cards and cell phones.

    Planning ahead–as anyone who's ever spent two excruciating days camped out next to a Western Union will tell you–means less time worrying about logistical details once you're abroad and more time exploring your new surroundings.

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