Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

You're in.  Now what? 

Welcome to the pre-departure hub page for accepted students.  The acceptance is just the beginning! There are many "to-do" items that will need to be completed in a timely fashion.  It is important to read everything that Clark and your host organization sends to you in a timely and thorough fashion. Please bookmark this page and refer back to it often and early for important information and action items.


Step 1: Review policies and submit confirmation forms

Step 2: Review Health & Safety information

Step 3: Review additional resources



Step 1: Review Policies & Submit forms 


1. Confirmation Forms


Review your confirmation forms with your family and understand the policies of your program, as well as the information below.  Once you submit these forms, it is expected that you are attending your chosen program. 


Your Confirmation of Participation and Waiver of liability are due on : Friday, October 13th in the Study Abroad & Away Office.


2. The following are just some of the action items you may need to take care of after you've been approved to study away:


  • Immigration: Do you need a visa for your program? Does your program collect information to help? Do you need additional documentation such as bank statements, passport copies, flight itineraries, or health insurance confirmation?
  • Housing selection:  Do you need to fill out a selection form? Does your program require a homestay or roommate selection?
  • Arrival Protocol:  How and where will you arrive? Who will you contact?
  • Course Registration: Many times final course schedule and registration will not be until you are officially in the program. However, it is important that you've filled out any pre-approval applications!
  • Orientations: Does your program have a specific orientation, either online or in person?


2. Immigration


All students studying outside of the US 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 in MA or DC). 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.

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.

Visa information for

  1. Italy
  2. Spain
  3. United Kingdom: Tier 4 Visa



3. Academic Policies


It is important that you understand how and when your grades will transfer back to Clark.  The office of Study Abroad and Away programs has devised the following chart to help give rough estimates of credit transfer guidelines. You must speak with the Director of Study Abroad and Away in order to receive exact advice about your particular credit situation.




ECTS Credits

UK Credits


.75 Units 3 US credits 5-7 ECTS    

1 Clark Unit

4 US credits

7-9 ECTS

20 UK credits

3-4 credits

4 Clark units

16 US credits

25-32 ECTS

60 British credits

12 credits

.25 Clark Units

1 US credit


4 British Credits

1.25 credits

No credit

.5 US credits


2 British Credits




Academic Policies for Clark-approved programs:

  • Students must take between 3.75 - 4.5 Clark units (or 15-18 US credits) per semester.  Overloads must be approved by the Dean of Academic Advising.
  • Students 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 will count as transfer credit
  • Grades are NOT figured into your cumulative grade point average
  • Credit will only be awarded for courses receiving a C or higher


Accomodations Abroad

It is important to be aware that academic accomodations that you curently receive or have received in the past may not be widely available at your program location.  If you have a disability that impacts your educational learning, we encourage you to register with Student Accessability 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 accomodations.  Students should also be in touch directly with the program for information on accomodations on site.

 You will need to obtain a letter from your physician and 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.


4. Travel & Arrival


  1. 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.
  2. You are expected not to make any personal travel plans until you have arrived on site and confirmed the dates of your class schedule and vacation time.
  3. Check with your program to see if they offer transportation to and from the airport.  If so, you should book your flight so you arrive during those times.  Check your flight information carefully and be mindful of time and date changes!

Your program may offer travel recommendations or you may choose to book your flights independently. Some visas require that you have a roundtrip ticket. Know and understand your selected airline’s costs and procedure for changing your flight.

Once you have your flight, you are required to submit it to the Study Abroad office.


Submit a Flight Form 


Step 2: Health & Safety


  • Familiarize Yourself with Your Health Insurance
    In addition to domestic coverage, all students studying overseas must be enrolled in international health insurance while abroad. Clark Study Abroad partners with HTH/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 GeoBlue insurance, which will be billed to their student accounts (approx $50/month abroad).



  • 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 only physical, but also philosophical, personal and emotional ways that 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.



Step 3: Additional Resources


Study Abroad Ambassadors are available to answer your questions. Check the program's website for details regarding arrival dates, transportation to the program, housing, etc. If your program does not have an ambassador or you cannot find the answer on a website, please contact the Study Abroad Office for assistance.


Diversity Abroad publishes several guides that provide additional information and considerations for students studying abroad.


  • Get to know your program, your city, your country.  Who is the president? What kind of government do they have?
  • Language: Can you speak any of the local language?
  • Food: Will what you want to eat be available?
  • Recipes: 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!
  • 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.
  • Typically, U.S. universities offer a high amount of advisory, academic, counseling and medical services compared to those of other countries. This change is often a cultural one as well. Students in other countries are expected to be more independent than in the U.S.
  • Try new activities, classes and travel. A Study Abroad program is often a great opportunity to take some courses that you never thought of taking before, or to explore the local culture and history.

Returning from Away


1. Transcripts and credit transfer

Note that your transcripts may take some time to be sent and grades may not be posted until February or March.  Be sure that you are requesting having your transcripts sent to the following address:


Alissa Kramer c/o Clark Study Abroad

950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610


If you have questions about your transcript, please contact the Study Abroad office direcdtly.



2. "Reverse" Culture Shock

  • Be prepared to experience some degree of "reverse culture shock" upon returning home. Some researchers say that this stage of cultural development can be even more intense than the original cultural shock abroad. In some cases, you may even experience a period of depression or longing to return abroad. Again, these feelings are not unusual, but they do require monitoring.
  • Some students may need to talk a lot. Others may seem withdrawn or unwilling to communicate about their experiences. This is also part of the re-entry process.

3. Getting Involved


NAFSA: Association of International Educators
CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
Middlebury College
Colleges of the Fenway Global Education Opportunities Center