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: Submit outstanding forms

Step 2: Review Health & Safety Information

Step 3: Review Policies



Step 1:  Submit any outstanding forms


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


  • Immigration: Do you need a visa for your program? Does your program collect information to help?
  • 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
  • Orientations: Does your program have a specific orientation, either online or in person?


You are required to submit your flight information 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 roundtrip ticket. Know and understand your selected airline’s costs and procedure for changing your flight.


Submit a Flight Form 




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.

Accomodations Abroad

It is important to be aware that academic accomodations that you currently 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 Support 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.

 If you require accommodations, you should be in touch with your program as soon as possible

 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.

Step 2: Health & Safety


  • Enroll in the STEP Program 
    Clark University highly recommends that 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.


  • Familiarize Yourself with Your Health Insurance
    In addition to domestic coverage, all students must be enrolled in international health insurance while abroad. Clark Study Abroad partners with HTH/GeBlue 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 HTH 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: Policies & Resources


Academic Policies for Clark-approved programs:

  • Students must take between 3.75 - 4.5 Clark units (or 15-18 US 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 will count as transfer credit
  • Grades are NOT figured into your cumulative grade point average





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.

Get involved with study abroad when you return!

  • 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.


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