Preparing to Study Abroad

Your decision to study abroad will be one of the best decisions you make in your college career. Your experiences abroad will shape you in more ways than you anticipate. However, before you leave it is important to prepare for your experience. Use the resources below to answer many of those lingering questions in order to help you maximize your study abroad experience.

  • UNC Study Abroad Pre-Departure Student Handbook: Read through this handbook for important issues regarding living and studying in another country. Find information on financial aid, passports, visas, banking abroad, health & insurance, safety, communication from abroadcityd, packing tips, legal requirements, and international travel.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation:
    All students participating in an education abroad program will attend two MANDATORY pre-departure orientation in which many important administrative, safety, health, and cultural adjustment information will be covered. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with other UNC students who studied at their host school as well as with visiting exchange students from their international host institutions. These sessions occur in October (spring semester abroad) and March (summer, fall, and academic year abroad). Failure to attend will result in automatic withdrawal from your program abroad by the CIE-Study Abroad Office.
  • Visa Requirements: Though CIE doesn't provide visa advice, we can help guide you through the process and review application materials if you are unsure of required documentation. We do not have the capacity to stay up-to-date of country to country visa regulations. We encourage you to review the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
  • Registration with the U.S. Embassy: UNC's Center for International Education strongly recommends that you register your travel plans with the U.S. Department of State before you leave. This may seem unnecessary, but in cases of emergency is critical to your health and safety.
  • Country Specific Information:: Learning about your host country before you arrive will help your foster meaningful relationships through more informed dialogue. Research the history and current events of your host country to better understand your new cultural environment.
  • Safety and Security Reports: The U.S. State Department occasionally issues travel advisories for travel to certain countries. We will inform you if there is an advisory which is specific to your site. We advise against traveling to any locations which the State Department has issued specific warnings, so stay aware!
  • Health and Vaccinations: We recommend that you consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about health issues for international travel. Be sure to look for information specific to your region(s) where you will travel.


Connect with others who have been where you are going!

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