Choosing a program and applying to study abroad take a great deal of thought and effort.  Don't think, however, that once you are accepted into the program of your choice that you can sit back and relax until you depart --  or until you come home!  The acceptance letter marks your entry into the next stage, and to have a truly successful study abroad experience, you need to pay serious attention to the details of preparing for life abroad.

Photo: N. Enda, Rome 2012.

Part of your pre-departure efforts will be directed toward taking care of business: completing post-acceptance paperwork for your program, securing necessary visas or permits, and attending the mandatory IWU Pre-Departure Orientation.  But don't let attending to those requirements keep you from preparing yourself intellectually, emotionally, and in practical terms, for your time abroad.

Two important resources for you as you navigate through your preparations are IWU students who have studied abroad, (so contact them for their advice) and the IWU Study Abroad Handbook, which you can download here.

And once you arrive in your host country, settle in, start classes, and begin navigating your way around your new home, don't completely lose touch with home.  Remember to:

  • Contact the International Office and provide your study abroad mailing address.
  • Notify your advisor and the International Office about any changes to your proposed schedule and to seek approval from the appropriate department chair, school director, or General Education director for any new classes you wish to use to fulfill a degree requirement.
  • Keep in touch!  Let us know how you are doing -- tell us what's amazing, what's going well, and what's not so good.  And feel free to post photos to our Facebook page.