You're in. Now what?
Your acceptance is just the beginning and there are many to-do’s between now and when you arrive on site. It’s important to read everything that Clark and your host organization send you in a timely and thorough fashion. Please bookmark this page, your pre-departure hub, and refer back to it often.
Each step has action items you may need to take care of after you've been approved to study away:
Step 1: Confirm program participation
Print, read, sign and submit the confirmation forms that were attached to your approval email to study abroad at firstname.lastname@example.org
The university abroad or program provider reviews applications and requires participation confirmation independently. You’ll receive admission notification in a separate email. It’s your responsibility to respond to the notification in a timely, complete, and accurate manner as soon as possible. Don’t wait for deadlines.
Step 2: Confirm passport validity and secure visas
All students studying outside the United States must have a current passport (with blank pages) that is valid for six months beyond your expected date of return (does not apply for students studying away in Massachusetts or Washington, D.C.). If your host country requires it, your program will provide you with student visa application information after you are admitted. You will need supporting documents from both your host institution and Clark. Follow the directions PRECISELY and in a timely fashion. Visa timelines may be tight and it is best to schedule an appointment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Check your program to see if it collects information for any necessary visas. If you are planning to travel outside of your host country, check to see if a visa is required for your destination(s). Know whether you can re-enter your host country on your student visa if you leave.
Step 3: Health and safety
Clark recommends you register with the Smart Traveler Enrolment Program (STEP) on the U.S. State Department website, where you will find additional useful information for traveling abroad. If you are not a U.S. citizen, register with the embassy/consulate of your home country.
International health insurance
In addition to domestic coverage, all students are required to be enrolled in international health insurance while abroad. Clark Study Abroad partners with GeoBlue Worldwide Insurance for any student not already covered by a program plan. Unless attending a program with CIEE, CET, CAPA, Augsburg, Euroscholars, or in the United States, students will automatically be enrolled in insurance, which will be billed to their student accounts (approximately $50 a month).
You should also familiarize yourself with the Clark University Risk Management resources, including the Clark University International Travel Policy, emergency procedures and health insurance policies.
Step 4: Housing
Contact your program to find out if you need to fill out a housing selection form, and whether your program requires a homestay or roommate selection.
Step 5: Courses, policies and resources
You likely will not register for classes or receive a final schedule until you’re officially admitted to the program.
Academic policies for Clark-approved programs:
- Students must take between 3.75 to 4.5 Clark units (or 15 to 18 U.S. credits) per semester
- You may not take any courses pass/fail (except internships, which will be pass/fail)
- Courses taken and grades earned on your program appear on your Clark transcript as Letter grades
- Grades are figured into your cumulative grade point average
Non-Clark and summer programs:
- Courses taken and grades earned on your program appear will count as transfer credit
- Grades are NOT figured into your cumulative grade point average
If you need academic accommodations, we encourage you to register with Support Accessibility Services (SAS) if you have not already. By working with SAS, students can receive documentation to give to their abroad program to support the request for accommodations. Students should also be in touch directly with the program as soon as possible (even prior to being accepted) for information on accommodations on site.
- You will need to obtain a letter from your physician in addition to Clark’s Director of Accessibility Services outlining your accommodation needs and bring them with you overseas.
- Certain prescription medications may be illegal or unavailable in your host country. It is your responsibility to discuss this with your physician and your program health insurer early on, and to find out whether these medications can legally be brought into the country or can be prescribed locally.
Check the program's website for details regarding arrival dates, transportation to the program, housing, etc. If you cannot find the answer on a website, please contact the Study Abroad Office for assistance.
Mental health resources
Studying abroad provides participants with meaningful opportunities to get out of their comfort zone and gain a new world view. As part of your study abroad experience, you may be challenged in only physical, but also philosophical, personal, and emotional ways you didn't expect. We encourage you to be aware of the following resources for how to prepare for social-emotional issues that may arise.
Diversity Abroad publishes several guides that provide additional information and considerations for students studying abroad.
Step 6: Orientation
All students are required to attend Clark's general pre-departure orientation.
Refer to your program information for specific orientation dates and whether it’s held online prior to departure or in person when you arrive.
Step 7: Travel
Once you have your flight information, you must submit a flight form to the Study Abroad Office.
Wait to hear from your program regarding your exact arrival and departure dates before booking a flight or personal travel. The program will provide you with specific visa and arrival/departure information as soon as possible. Early departure from the program is not generally permitted and students are expected to attend all classes, excursions, and final exams. Failure to do so may result in a failing grade.
Your program may offer travel recommendations or you may choose to book your flights independently. Some visas require that you have a round-trip ticket. Know and understand your selected airline’s costs and procedure for changing your flight.
Make a plan for your arrival in the country. Secure any necessary transportation ahead of time, if possible, and decide whom to contact back home to let them know you arrived safely.
Understand that all students will experience culture shock at some point. Time abroad often begins with a honeymoon period, but that can be followed by a period of frustration and disillusionment. These feelings are normal. While staying in tune to possible problems, it is important to work through these different stages of culture shock.
Allow time and space to develop a support network abroad rather than relying totally on the one back home.
Step 8: Getting to know your city and country
Learn the basics about where you’re going.
- Government: Who is the president? What kind of government do they have?
- Language: Learn a few common phrases for your country of study.
- Food: You might be cooking for the first time abroad; learn some basic recipes and figure out measurements (they may be different abroad).
- Laws: Learn them so you can follow them!
Step 9: Returning Home
Be sure to check our Returned Students page for information, FAQ's and resources when for when you're ready to come home.