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Accepted & Current Student Abroad Resources

Students who have committed to a program should take steps necessary to start learning about your program location, and ensuring proper preparations are made prior to departure.  Use the following tabs below to access resources and information that will be helpful before and during your trip abroad.

Passport

Making sure you obtain and have a valid passport book for the duration of your trip is an important first step.  If you do not yet have a passport but are committed to a program, make sure to apply for a passport immediately.  If you already have a passport – regardless of your country of citizenship – review the expiration date to ensure you do not need to renew.  Your passport must be valid at least six months after the end date of your program.  All passport application forms and information about required documents for U.S. Citizens can be obtained from the U.S. Department of State website.  Standard processing for all passport applications is 6-8 weeks.  Therefore, getting started earlier is to your advantage.

New Applicants
Please note that you may fill out the application form in advance, but do not sign until you are submitting the form in the presence of an authorized official.  First-time passport applicants will also need to submit evident of their U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate.  Additionally, all applicants for a passport will need to submit up-to-date standard passport photo.  Typically these can be taken at the Walgreens or UPS Store in Statesboro.  New passport applicants must submit their application at a Passport Acceptance Facility.  In Statesboro, this is the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts.  You should bring your passport application, passport photo, required documents, drivers license or government issued ID, necessary photocopies, and method of payment.  A notary public will review your application and provide you with permission to sign the application form.

Renewals
If you are still in possession of your most recent U.S. passport, you may renew by mail.  Students should complete and sign the proper application form, and send the signed application, new passport photo, method of payment, and your most recent U.S. passport to the National Passport Processing Center.

For questions and assistance, please visit the Office of International Programs & Services.

Already abroad and need passport help?  Lost or stolen passports should be reported immediately.  Contact the Consular Section your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for U.S. Citizen Services, and notify the Office of International Programs & Services.

Visas

Your passport is your proof  of citizenship and an internationally recognized form of identification.  The visa is your “ticket” into the country where you are traveling.  For short-term travel, U.S. citizens often do not need to apply for a visa in advance.  You may simply arrive and, if necessary, pay a small fee before having your passport stamped.  Some short-term programs do require a visa to be obtained in advance of arrival.  When this is the case, your program director will work with you and provide specific directions about how to apply for the necessary visa.  Often this is done as a group.  It is important to act quickly and meet any deadlines set by your program director.

With the exception of the those studying in a few select locations, all U.S. passport holders studying on exchange for a full semester will need to apply for a visa in advance of arrival.  Typically your host institution will send you the paperwork necessary to facilitate the visa application process.

Non-U.S. passport holders may need to meet very different visa requirements.  It is important to check with the embassy of your country of travel located in your home country for more specific information and regulations.  For example, if you hold a Nigerian passport and want to travel to France, you will need to check with the French embassy in Lagos to understand your requirements.

Please see the Office of International Programs & Services for more information or assistance.

Embassies Abroad & STEP

Embassies abroad play a crucial role in providing important services and protections for their citizens traveling, working, or residing in another country.  All U.S. citizen students are strongly encouraged to acquaint themselves with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate to their program location.  Citizens of other countries are encouraged to do the same.  Writing down the phone number and address of the U.S. Citizen Services section is also recommended.  This section is here to assist if you have your passport lost or stolen, provide support with legal or criminal matters, medical or weather-related emergencies, and many other services.  If an emergency number is provided for U.S. citizens, be sure to write that down, as well.

To facilitate the use of these services, U.S. students should sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) offered by the Department of State.  This will allow the DoS to keep track of its citizens abroad and contact you or your designated person in a time of emergency or crisis.

Course Registration and Grades

All students participating in a Georgia Southern sponsored program abroad are enrolled for course credit through Georgia Southern.  Students participating on a short-term summer or break program will be registered for their selected classes at the time of application.  Your registration in WINGS will match the courses selected on your application form.  You’ll be able to tell which courses apply to your study abroad program, as they will have the letter “s” at the end of the course number.  For example, ENGL 2112s is World Literature II completed while abroad.  Students will continue to pay their tuition directly to Georgia Southern – and not their program – based on this registration.  At the completion of your program, the final grades earned will be submitted to the Office of International Programs & Services to be posted on the student’s record.  The time this takes can vary depending on how quickly final grades are provided to the OIPS.

Students participating on an exchange program through Georgia Southern will be registered for a placeholder course that allows them to continue to pay their tuition and related fees and program charges to Georgia Southern.  The course will appear on your record as ABRD 3195s – Exchange Semester Abroad, and the credit hours listed will correspond to the equivalent number of hours you plan to earn while abroad.  The amount of tuition and fees due will depend on how many credit hours the student intends to earn while abroad, as well as the program charges that are paid to Georgia Southern.  Once the final transcript is received, all credits and grades earned will be applied to your Georgia Southern transcript as transfer credit.  Students should refer to the estimated expenses listed on the webpage for their selected exchange program, as well the available grade conversion tables.

All students should note that unpaid charges or late fees will result in final grades being withheld until the balance due is paid.

Orientation

Much of the information provided on this page, as well as other topics, will be provided in further detail at the mandatory study abroad orientations held for students attending a Georgia Southern sponsored program.  At this orientation, students will be provided with additional information, required forms to be completed before departure, and additional clarification about the expectation and responsibilities of Georgia Southern students representing this institution abroad.

Separate orientations are held for short-term program and exchange program students.  The orientation for Summer 2017 Programs will be held Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 6:00pm in Nesmith-Lane 1915.  The orientation for Fall 2017 exchange programs will be held Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 5:30pm in Forest Drive 1218.

Additionally, your faculty members will lead program-specific pre-departure meetings for students signed up to attend that program.  All meetings set by the OIPS and faculty leading or teaching on a program are considered a part of the program content.  Attendance is expected and mandatory.

Study Abroad Insurance

All students participating on a Georgia Southern sponsored program abroad will be automatically enrolled for a medical insurance plan sponsored by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  The fee for this plan is included in the program cost for short-term program participants, and added to the term invoice billing charges for exchange and special program participants.  Students participating in a program abroad through ISEP will pay for their insurance plan directly to ISEP.  The plan provides coverage for a variety of needs beyond sickness or illness, and is a requirement.  Basic health insurance or other types of plans are not a substitute for this CISI insurance plan.

Once a student is enrolled, they will be sent an email containing instructions regarding how to log-in and obtain their coverage materials from CISI.  It is the responsibility of the student to make sure they have printed and keep of copy of these materials with them while traveling abroad.

Students should have no trouble using the CISI coverage in most locations for basic needs and small costs.  For major expenses or emergencies, students should work with the OIPS and there program director, who can assist the student with contacting CISI when necessary to facilitate direct billing or other necessary arrangements.

CDC and Health Information

Does your study abroad destination require special vaccinations or prescriptions?  Most locations students travel to require the regular vaccinations most students have already received.  But using the CDC’s website for travelers is great way to find out.  Your program director may have also have some advice based on their own knowledge and experience in the country.  Remember, though that these resources are not a substitute for speaking with a licensed physician who specializes in knowledge about travel medicine.  If early research or information shows you may need to seek our vaccinations or prescriptions for your trip, set up an appointment to speak with a doctor sooner rather than later.  Some vaccinations or medications must be given or started a certain amount of time prior to your departure.

If you require particular medications or accommodations, be sure to have early discussions with your program director and treating physician, counselor, or other medical professional prior to departing the country, as well.

Calling While Abroad

Making phone calls has changed quite a bit as cell phones are now the standard for communication in most places worldwide.  While the majority of students abroad use Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, Face Time, or other messaging services to keep in touch via wi-fi service, there may be a time that you need to make a phone to a local number in your country of study.  To call a number from your U.S. cell phone while abroad, you’ll first need to make sure you have international calling enabled by your cell phone carrier.  This is even the case to dial another U.S. number.

To dial an international number from a U.S. number, you’ll need know the country destination code of the location you are calling.  To dial, press the “+” sign on the dial pad, then enter the country destination code, and finally the phone number.  So, for example, if you want to dial someone in the UK from U.S. number you would enter + 44 7911 123456.  As a note, sometimes your friends might give you a phone number that starts with “0” (in this example your friend might write “07911-123456”).  This zero is called a trunk code.  If you are dialing them from a U.S. number, you would omit that first zero in order to place the call.

To dial an U.S. number from an international number, you’ll simply need to add a “+1” at the beginning of the number.  For example, if you need to dial the Office of International Programs & Services from an international phone number, you would dial +1-912-478-0332.

Exchange Student Requirements

Students accepted to or already abroad on exchange have a variety of requirements to meet during the course of their program.  Use the resources listed here to make sure you are submitting all required information to the Office of International Programs & Services at each stage of your program.

Course of Study Approval Form – Used to ensure departmental approval of intended courses at your host university.  Must be completed upon acceptance to an exchange program.

Insurance Coverage Requirements Form – Used by the OIPS to register outgoing exchange students for the appropriate coverage period.  Must be completed prior to departure.

Contact Information Submission Form – Used to obtain physical address and contact information of exchange students while on location abroad.  Must be submitted upon arrival.

Host Institution Enrollment Form – Used to verify you final course schedule for the term abroad.  Must be submitted upon finalizing registration at the host institution.

Travel Plan Submission Form – Used to update your location to the OIPS when you plan to travel.  Must be submitted each time you travel away from the site of your host institution.

Country Guides

The country guides listed here are primarily designed for use by exchange students participating on a semester program abroad, though all students are welcome to read them.  If you don’t see your country listed, check with your program director or the OIPS for advice and resources specific to your destination.

China Country Guide

Brand new country guides coming soon!

Financial Aid

Since students earn course credit while studying abroad, tuition and applicable fees are paid in addition to the program cost.  Students who pay in-state tuition rate with continue to do so.  Students that pay out-of-state tuition will pay the in-state rate plus a $250 fee.  Because students remain enrolled at Georgia Southern they can continue to access any financial aid they are eligible for.  This includes HOPE, loans, grants, scholarships, PELL, or other forms of aid.

Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to speak with their financial aid counselor early in the year to ensure they understand how their financial aid award may apply to their projected study abroad course tuition and any funds that may be available to apply to travel and living expenses while abroad.  Additionally, students may use the cost of their program as part of their estimated cost for the year.

To find your counselor, visit the Office of Financial Aid page.

Scholarships

There are scholarship opportunities through the Office of International Programs & Services, through the University Honors Programand through national and international organizations (see below).  Applications are judged based on GPA, a statement of intent essay, financial need, program costs, program location, program duration, and a letter of recommendation (if required).

Each program (summer or semester) has different costs.  These costs usually depend on where you’re going, how long you’ll be away, and what amenities are included in the program fee.  It is important to note that not all scholarships are released prior to the date that program payments or fees are due.  Students should plan to possibly plan the program fee out of pocket, and then receive the scholarship or stipend award.

Scholarships

Last updated: 5/15/2017