Study Abroad Checklist


1.  Study abroad happens through Evergreen academic programs, individual learning and internship contracts, and approved partnering consortium programs.  Under certain conditions, students may also take a leave of absence from Evergreen and enroll directly in non-consortium, credit-bearing programs.

2.  Consider opportunities for study abroad by using these resources:

3.  Sustainable Travel:  Many of us want to plan our travels with the lightest carbon footprint possible on the planet.  There are great ideas and organizations to support sustainability.  Check out ideas and resources at Transitions Abroad.

4.  Discuss your specific study abroad plans with the Coordinator of International Programs to understand the overall process, limitations, and financial aid options.  Study abroad options, workshop, drop-in and appointment info is available at Evergreen Study Abroad.  Realistically assess your plans in regard to health matters, disabilities, and financial resources.  Enroll in language study cl asses as appropriate.

TIMELINE:  8-12 months before travel.

5.  Ensure that your destination country is not on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning List.  With limited exception, study abroad is NOT approved in these countries:  Travel Warning List.

TIMELINE:  Check periodically; countries are added and dropped.

6. Complete any required application paperwork and pay related fees and deposits by the stated deadlines.

TIMELINE: Varies. Application deadlines for academic study are often 6-9 months in advance. Language programs often remain open until filled.

7. Attend all required predeparture meetings connected to your study abroad program.

Travel Documents and Arrangements

1. Obtain a valid passport. It must be valid 6 months beyond your expected departure from the destination country. You can get passport photos cheaply on campus at Photoland in the Library. Start the application process and see fees online at Passport Application. You can turn in your application packet to the US Post Office at 900 Jefferson St, Olympia.

TIMELINE: 6 months in advance

2. Determine the kind of entry visa you will need for the country you are visiting. Either you will apply for and receive it before you leave, obtain it at the destination airport upon arrival, or you may not need one at all. However, in all cases there are limits on how long you can stay in the country. Check entry/exit requirements at the U.S. State Department’s Country Information Pages, where you can also link to embassy sites. For some countries, negative HIV tests are required as part of visa applications. Students planning to study in Europe must be aware of the limitations imposed by the Schengen Agreement described in the Country Information Pages.   Non-US citizens should consult with an advisor about their travel plans.

TIMELINE: Check the rules 6 months in advance. Apply for visas 4-6 weeks before your flight out, or per embassy rules.

3. Research air ticket costs. Use sites like Kayak, Studentuniverse or others to compare prices. Then check the airlines sites directly since they often have even cheaper offers. Airlines often set new sale prices on Tue-Wed-Thu each week. Note: You usually can not book return dates if more than one year out. Consider purchasing trip cancelation insurance and/or tickets that allow changes. This is also a good time to research Rail Pass programs.

TIMELINE: 2 weeks to 4 months in advance. Prices go up significantly if buying less than 14 days before departure.

4. Research accommodations overseas early enough to have options. Use sites like Transitions Abroad to get started on resources. Hostel Membership may be of interest to you Hostel. Sites like Craigslist or Couchsurfing may be helpful to some.

TIMELINE: 3-6 months in advance.

Financial Planning

1. Your Financial Aid Package may be re-evaluated to account for the extra costs of study abroad, and often results in additional loan monies being available. You must submit the Additional Academic Expenses Form along with a cover letter explaining your revised budget and documentation of major costs.

TIMELINE: Apply 6-8 weeks before the quarter you plan to study abroad.

2. Explore scholarship options well in advance. If you receive the Pell Grant, apply for the Gilman Scholarship. Explore other options at Study Abroad Funding or on the Evergreen study abroad site.

TIMELINE: Deadlines are usually March 1 for fall study and October 1 for winter/spring study.

Health and Insurance

1. Have medical, dental and optical exams as needed prior to leaving the country. Obtain any needed prescriptions for while you are abroad. If taking back-up paper prescriptions, ask your doctor to use generic names for medications, not brand names. Complete the Evergreen Student Health Review Form at this time. Consider enrolling in to access medical resources overseas or Medic Alert if you have a significant existing condition.

TIMELINE: 2-3 months before departure.

2. Determine well in advance if you need immunizations. For safety purposes you may need to get recommended and/or required immunizations. For return to the U.S. and entry to other countries, you may need to show proof of immunization for certain serious diseases, such as yellow fever. Check the CDC website for your destination and travel regions at CDC.  As a student, you can get most of your travel immunizations through the campus Health Center at reasonable cost, but you must plan in advance. Evergreen Health Center

TIMELINE: 4 months in advance.

3. As of Fall 2011, students are required to have proof of medical insurance while studying abroad.

TIMELINE: 3-4 weeks before departure. Options include, but aren’t limited to:

a. ISIC card: About $25 for one year of travel accident and illness coverage: My ISIC. Cheap, easy, decent but limited coverage. Includes emergency evacuation coverage. Benefits kick in quickly in overseas locations. Often provides student discounts when overseas. Other such ID cards are also available.

b. Study Abroad Medical Plans: Many companies sell medical insurance, price varies according to time overseas, good plans tailored to study abroad needs, usually includes emergency evacuation coverage: Transitions Abroad Health and Safety  This link connects you to resources, including offering reasonable rates.

c. Existing Medical Insurance: If you are already covered by insurance, verify that you will be covered while overseas and how the process works. If you purchased Summit America insurance through Evergreen, you are covered while studying overseas. If you have WA Basic Health, you are not covered outside WA. Domestic plans often do not include emergency evacuation from other countries, and you must often pay up front first and be reimbursed later.

Evergreen Requirements

1. Evergreen requires the following from all students enrolled for study abroad:

a. Form: Evergreen Enrollment Agreement and Travel Waiver, Evergreen Study Abroad Forms  See directions on the waiver.

b. Form: Evergreen Student Health Review Form, attach to waiver. Evergreen Study Abroad Forms

c. Document: Proof of Medical Insurance while studying abroad, attach copy to waiver.

d. Document: US State Department Country Information Pages for your destinations. US State Department Country Information Pages    Read and review this document prior to the meeting.  Be prepared to discuss it in your pre-departure meeting and the meeting with the Dean.  

e. Meeting: Attend a Pre-departure Orientation Workshop, Office of International Programs, Evergreen Advising/Study Abroad Workshops In addition, Individual Learning Contract and Internship Contract students must:

f. Form: Complete the contract process online, including all related documents, such as Human Subjects Review, if applicable, or Field Supervisor Signature pages, if an internship.

g. Meeting: Arrange a meeting with the Dean of International Studies for contract and waiver review and final approval. In addition, Faculty-led Academic Program students must:

h. Form: Complete all internal program documents as needed, including program covenants

i. Meeting: Attend all internal pre-departure meetings as required. In addition, Consortium Program students must complete:

j. Form: Evergreen Consortium Program Enrollment Agreement, and give to Study Abroad Advisor. Evergreen Study Abroad Forms

2. Optional: Complete FERPA release forms allowing Evergreen offices to discuss your student affairs with designated family members. Otherwise, Evergreen will not discuss your educational matters with outside callers.

3. Make sure you are properly registered for your mode of study abroad.

a. Contract students must present materials to and meet with the Dean of International Studies in order to obtain approval and be registered through the online process.

b. Academic Program students must submit completed materials to faculty or per their instructions.

c. Consortia students must submit completed materials to the Coordinator of International Programs before they are allowed to register online.

Final Stretch Details

During the final 4 weeks before departure:


1. Make 3 copies of all important documents. Leave one at home; put others in various places in your luggage. We highly recommend that you scan your documents and send them as attachments to your own and your parents’ e-mail accounts for safe electronic keeping. Include a scan of passports, visas, immunization records, insurance cards, bank cards, air tickets, travel itinerary, etc. Consider the need for a certified copy of your passport if going to countries where hotels are supposed to collect passports from guests. A certified copy may be acceptable.

2. Register your plans with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Program. Travel Registration and receive regular advisory updates.

3. Gather together any health insurance, travel accident and illness insurance, trip cancelation insurance cards and documents you may need.


4. If on financial aid, you can request an emergency loan 21 days before the quarter starts to buy tickets and other things, if needed.

5. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid holds being placed on your account out of fear of fraudulent use of cards overseas. Make sure you can access ATM’s overseas and understand what the fees are. Contact the 800 number on your cards to do this. Review any needed PIN numbers. Have a plan for emergency cash or credit card use in case you need to quickly depart your destination unexpectedly.

6. Make a plan for carrying money. Purchase money belts or other security systems for valuables. Have separate locations for money on your person. Sew hidden pockets in clothing. Wear light pocketed shorts under heavier clothing. Some people prepare a “mugger’s wallet” with a bit of real cash and phony cards.

7. Obtain about $100 in the local currency to be prepared in case of a late night arrival. Check out currency exchange rates at and familiarize yourself with local bills and coins.

8. Consider your need for Travelers Checks, though they are much less popular these days. Learn about wiring money through or


9. Purchase air tickets and rail passes at least 14 days before your departure date to get better prices.

10. Make final arrangements for accommodations overseas as needed, especially for your first night of arrival. Get youth hostel cards as needed Hihostels or check out Couch Surfing.

11. Assess your packing list according to needs, weather, local dress customs, health, etc. Plan your luggage or backpack needs, keeping domestic and international airline limits in mind. Travel as lightly as you can, but take what you need. Load and practice carrying your luggage for a reality check!

12. Research your need for an International Driver’s License at: Driver's License

13. Assess communication needs. Add international chips to existing phones, plan to buy phones or phone cards overseas, set up Skype accounts, social networking sites, prepare laptops, research electrical current and purchase plug adapters and converters as needed. Take a listing of emergency contacts with you.


14. Pack any needed medications or prescriptions. Consider your need for extra or back-up supplies for the time you will be overseas. Research overseas customs and drug restrictions for your meds. Assess needs for birth control, condoms, etc, if you plan to be sexually active. Such items are often expensive or unavailable overseas. Plan for feminine hygiene products. Plan for contact lenses, cleaning solutions, eye glasses, sunglasses.

15. Pack a Medical Travel Kit that includes: band-aids, sun block, sun burn ointment, anti-diarrheal medication, anti-bacterial medication, pain relievers, allergy medications, herbal supplements, insect repellent, moisturizing cream, and maybe water purification tablets and salt tablets.

16. Consider your need for Medic Alert identifiers if you have serious existing health conditions, and make any final arrangements with regard to any disabilities that need accommodation. Evergreen

17. Request a waiver of Health Center, Transit and WSHPRG fees for any entire quarter you will not be on campus. Submit a letter of explanation to the Enrollment Services Office, next to Financial Aid, Library 1245. This can save you about $65 per quarter.

18. If you live on campus, contact the Residential and Dining Services Office to inform them of your plans and seek a release from dormitory contracts.

19. Regularly review your account. Make sure mailing and e-mail addresses are accurate. Check your Registration Status report to see if you have any “holds” on your account which will prevent you from registering for future classes. Check your Evergreen e-mail account regularly for important messages from the college.

20. Take care of any final administrative needs: pre-departure meetings, travel waivers, health forms, consortium enrollment forms, financial aid steps, FERPA releases, student account bills, etc.

21. Make sure you are properly registered for your mode of study abroad: program, contract or consortium.

22. Will you graduate from Evergreen while away or when you return? Here’s the procedure: Evergreen Graduation

Being Away from the US

23. Determine your need for a Limited Power of Attorney. While away, you may need to assign a parent or other representative to sign legal documents or certain Alternative Loan checks on your behalf. The longer you are away, the more this is advisable. The UW Gallagher Law Library offers information at UW Gallagher Law Library

24. Register to vote absentee if you’ll be abroad during elections at: Vote.

25. Plan for any tax filing obligations you may have for federal and state taxes.

26. Plan for any FAFSA applications you need to submit in January or February.

Being Culturally Attuned and Informed

27. Assess need for small gifts to share with host families, children, or friends.

28. Pack a guide book for your destinations, such as Rough Guides, Let’s Go, or Lonely Planet guides. Also plan for any language resources you will need: dictionaries, books, translators, etc.

29. Inform yourself as thoroughly as you can about your destination countries and cultures. Reflect on your role as an ambassador and good global citizen. Prepare to leave your comfort zone, surrender assumptions and embrace differences. Check out resources listed at Transitions Abroad at Transitions Abroad Living Resources

30. “Ethical Traveler” Ethical Traveler is a grassroots organization based out of Berkeley. They believe today’s travelers are freelance ambassadors and have the ability to use their economic power to strengthen human rights and protect the environment. If you share similar values, check out their suggestions.

31. Prepare yourself for cultural adjustment issues by checking out a great interactive website on the topic, prepared by the University of the Pacific. It offers great scenarios around cultural misunderstandings, faux pas, cultural advice and interactive self tests: Pacific Culture