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Information for Accepted Students

Congratulations on being accepted! You are well on your way to having a life-changing experience abroad. As you can imagine, there are many details that you need to carefully plan before you leave. Many students head straight to the internet to book airfare after accepting a placement. We advise you to wait to do this until you have confirmed the start and end dates of your program and the availability of any housing that you may arrange. The most important thing you can do is log back in to your online application and start filling out the necessary forms, such as the Study Abroad Student Health Form and the Study Away Course Approval Form. We also recommend that you consult the Health and Safety section while you fill out the health form and contact us if you have any questions. 

Here are several other things you can do to help you prepare for your trip:

Complete the Course Approval Form
Whether you will be participating on a Plattsburgh program or another SUNY program, you will need to fill out the study away course approval form located in your application. On it, you will make a list of courses that you want to take at your host institution. Take this list of courses and course descriptions from your host institution's website to your advisor. Your advisor will indicate on the form how these course will meet your requirements here. Next, the chair of your department must also sign the form. Finally, the Financial Aid and Global Education Office must also sign the form. Helpful Tip: Have more courses evaluated than you can take. We suggest having a minimum of eight courses evaluated in case you are not able to get into a course or want to drop one and add another. If you are abroad and your final schedule differs in any way from the courses on this form, tell your advisor and department chair immediately. Inform them of the new courses you will be taking and ask that they evaluate them on a new course approval form and then send the form to the Global Education Office for signing. We will then send it to the registrar for you. 

Check the Credit and Grade Conversion Information for the Host Campus
Some study away programs may utilize a different academic system. Credits and/or grades for these programs will be converted to the equivalent at SUNY Plattsburgh upon receipt of the academic transcript.  All study away students must earn the equivalent of a C or above to earn credit. Students participating on a non-Plattsburgh program should contact the administering SUNY campus for conversion information. 

Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation
The Global Education Office holds a mandatory pre-departure orientation at the end of each semester for students who will go abroad during the following term. It is very important that you make time to attend one of these sessions in order to ensure the best possible experience while abroad, and to make your re-entry back to campus happen smoothly.  Date, location and time information will be posted on the homepage a few weeks prior to the orientation.

Read Travel Resources
One of the biggest non-academic expenses of study abroad is airfare and travel to and from your host country. It is highly likely that you will want to travel around your host region to experience all that it has to offer, so start looking at public transportation options now. You can apply for an international student identity card from our office as part of your acceptance. This card will be your key to getting discounted student rates while you are abroad.

Information about the International Student Identity Card.
Research your host country on Lonelyplanet.com
 
Once you find out the start and end dates of your program, you can arrange the booking for your plane ticket. Buying the airline tickets to your host country is perhaps the most exciting event leading up to departure. It can also be a confusing one and something that you should not take lightly. There are thousands of websites and travel agencies, so picking one and searching them can be overwhelming. 

Questions To Ask Yourself
What are my main priorities? The cheapest ticket? Or, flexibility and/or assistance under an emergency situation? If you have a problem, is there somebody at that website where you bought that ticket to help you? The cheapest tickets are often non-refundable and cannot be changed. When you need to make a change or travel in a hurry, having a travel agent that you can call for help can make a lot of difference. There are tickets available where you can have an open-ended return or change the return date for a set fee. Make sure you know the conditions of your ticket before you buy it.

Suggestions for Transportation Tickets
AESU - An agency in Baltimore that specializes in student and educational travel.
Student Travel Association - STA has a website and offices around the world. They give access to student fares and can help you find tickets with flexible return dates.
Student Universe - Commercial website specializing in student travel.
AAA - You must be a member, and they may have a local office close to you in the U.S.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel - SUNY Plattsburgh uses this travel agency for its employees.

Travel Guides and Directories
Let's Go Travel Guides
Lonely Planet Travel Guides
Student Travel Association

European Train Travel
Europe on Rail
Europe by Eurail