Before You Leave
Some of the information on this page will change as we transition to our new study abroad system. Students studying abroad should complete their study abroad documentation by creating an application there. If you have any questions, please contact a study abroad advisor.
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Transfer credit is applied to your record as general credit hours toward the total required for graduation. If you want the credit to apply to specific graduation requirements such as major credit, minor credit, elective credit, Miami Plan or thematic sequence, you will have to fill out the Transfer Credit Approval Form. You can fill this out with the help of your departmental adviser, in the case of major, minor or elective credit, with the help of your divisional adviser for Miami Plan or with the help of a Liberal Education adviser in the case of a self-designed thematic sequence. If you are planning on fulfilling multiple requirements while studying abroad, you may need to talk to more than one adviser.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
If you are applying for federal financial aid, deferring student loans or using a program where your Miami scholarships apply, you will need to complete a Consortium Agreement. This form is available through our online system. You should also contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance if you have outstanding loans and require a loan deferment.
If you want to apply for additional scholarships, please see our Scholarships page for a listing of available scholarships and scholarship search engines. If you have questions about study abroad scholarships, please contact Karla Guinigundo.
Informing Miami of Your Study Abroad Plans
If you plan on living on campus when you return or if you need to cancel on-campus housing arrangements that you made for the semester you'll be abroad, please contact the Office of Student Housing and Meal Plan Services.
If you have applied for any "back-up" classes at Miami for the semester you'll be abroad, remember to drop these classes before you leave. If you don't drop these classes, you will receive a bill from Miami. If don't drop classes in time and do receive a bill, contact the Office of the Bursar to explain the situation.
Second-semester seniors who wish to study abroad must request a waiver of Miami's 12-credit residency requirement from a divisional adviser.
Photo by Sudie Niesen
- Be sure to read carefully through any orientation or information packets that your study abroad program has sent to you! This is the best resource for information about your host country and your study abroad program.
- Make sure you've completed all of your paperwork and procedures for Miami using our Steps to Studying Abroad checklist(pdf).
- Miami holds a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session for study abroad students each April and December. For the dates/times/locations of the upcoming Orientation Sessions, see here. If you can't attend the pre-departure orientation, you must contact a study abroad advisor to arrange a makeup session.
If you are studying abroad, you will need a valid passport and will most likely need to apply for a student visa as well. The Office of Lifelong Learning on Miami's Oxford campus now accepts U.S. passport applications and renewals. You can get information about passports and visas from the U.S. State Department website. Please apply for these documents well in advance. It is also strongly recommended that you make a photocopy of the photo page (and any visas) of your passport and leave it with your parents (or scan the photo page and visas and email the file to yourself), so that your passport can be more quickly replaced if it is lost or stolen while you are abroad.
Your study abroad program should provide you with information about student visas or other documentation you'll need and about how you go about applying for these. If you need to get in touch with a foreign embassy or consulate, this website gives a lot of contact information.
If you have to apply for a visa in person, there may be other students in the same situation. If you'd like to arrange a carpool for students going to the Spanish consulate, for example, you can use the discussions section of our Facebook page to make those connections.
When shopping for an airline ticket to your host country, we recommend
consulting STATravel.com (or a brick-and-mortar STA Travel location) and StudentUniverse.com in addition to other airfare aggregators you may be familiar with, a travel agency or your favorite airline's fares. Sometimes these student travel agencies can get special student-rate ticket prices. If you plan on flying into a different country and traveling over land to your host country, check with your study abroad provider to make sure that this is permitted by your student visa - BEFORE you buy the ticket. Remember: if you have any amount of financial need (as demonstrated by the FAFSA) and are studying abroad for a semester or more, you are eligible for the Study Abroad Airfare Grant.
Health and Safety
Please see the Health and Safety section of the OIE website before you leave. This information will be covered extensively in our pre-departure orientation session as well as in your on-site orientation upon arrival.
Preparing for a new country and culture
Here are some resources to help you prepare for life in a new country and culture.
- OIE country guides - Take a look at our page on the country you're going to, and make sure there's nothing you're missing. Is there a U.S. State Department Travel Warning? Do you need a visa?
- StudyAbroad.com's Student Guide - Learn more about what to expect when you live in another country for a semester or a year. Everything from how to pack, to dating in another culture to how to deal with culture shock.
- Anticipation and Expectation Exercise(pdf) - Think about these issues before you leave, write down your answers, then put them away somewhere so that you can read them again when you get back. How will your answers have changed after your time spent overseas?
- What's Up With Culture - This site has information, exercises and anecdotes about cross-cultural communication and cultural faux pas. Study up before you make your own!
- World Citizens Guide(pdf) - Information to help you put yourself in perspective in the world and to think about travelling abroad as an American.
- Study Abroad Bibliography(pdf) - We don't expect you to read all of these books and articles, but if you're looking for something to do over your break, here's some suggested reading.
- XE.com - The Universal Currency Converter
While study abroad is not all about travel, travel is often an important part of the experience. We hope you'll have the opportunity to explore your host country and maybe a few neighboring countries as well. Here are some tips and guides to help you.
Safety Information from the U.S. State Department
Some of these sites correspond to print travel guides. If that's a better format for you, check for the book in your local bookstore or online bookseller.
While studying abroad, many students keep a journal of their experiences and the emotional and intellectual changes they go through. Traditionally this was done on paper, but today many students are choosing to keep an online journal or weblog of their experiences so that they can share with their friends and family all over the world. Miami does not require students to keep a journal of their experiences, but we do encourage you to keep a record of your experiences and growth for your own knowledge. Here are some popular journal/blog sites:
Please remember that any information about yourself that you put online can be accessed by anyone for years to come - including employers, parents, family members or criminals! Be aware of your potential audience when you're writing. Some online journal programs offer the option of "private" or "friends-only" posts or password-protected blogs. If you're concerned about privacy, this might be worth checking out.
Other Writing Resources
You may also wish to write in a more public setting. Here are some organizations that recruit bloggers or writers to chronicle their experiences abroad:
Similar opportunities are also available after you've returned.
If you'd like inspiration, you might want to check out one of our past bloggers:
See the Students Currently Abroad section of this website to learn more about what to do and remember while you are studying abroad.