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CCIS Pre-Departure Orientation
Transcript of CCIS Pre-Departure Orientation
What should you do before you go?
Have you turned in all the required forms for your specific program?
Any other forms - check with MSU!
Passport and Visa
Trust us, it's real
Visit Your Doctor
If you haven't already done so by now,
get your passport!!!
For information on entry requirements by country, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel
If you are going to Argentina, Mexico or Morocco, you don't need a visa before you leave, but...
you will need to notify the authorities if you plan on staying more than 90 days and you may be required to get a visa once there
Make sure you Carry-On the following
Emergency contact card
Credit Cards and Cash
Official acceptance letters from host institution and MSU
Medication in original bottles
All your electronics and chargers
At least one change of clothes and a few toiletries
Make a list before
you start packing
Make copies of your passport, visa
credit cards, insurance card, etc.
and leave them at home with someone
you trust - just in case.
Practice packing a few weeks before you leave
"When preparing to travel, lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Then take half your clothes and twice the money"
Depending on where you are going, you may need new or updated vaccines, but it's always a good idea to meet with your doctor to talk about living abroad.
for information regarding
recommended vaccines and
immunizations by country
Make sure your home university
knows about your plans for studying abroad!
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the US Department of State (http://step.state.gov/step)
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your program ends
Call your credit/debit card company and let them know the dates and where you will studying abroad
Be sure to find out what fees will be associated with using your card abroad
If you are traveling to Argentina, make sure you have your receipt of your reciprocity fee with you when you arrive. Be sure to take a "remise" taxi from the airport to your lodging - you'll pre-pay for it and it'll save you money and frustration.
As soon as you can, send an email or give your family/friends a call, just so someone knows you've made it safely
If you are not a US citizen, the visa requirements may be different. Please check with your home country's embassy to find out the correct information.
You are ultimately responsible for entry to the country you are traveling to, so make sure you are in compliance and check the requirements.
You program fees include health insurance while you are on your program. If you plan on arriving early or staying late, check to make sure you will be covered, or purchase additional international health insurance.
Make sure you have enough supply of any medication you are on, or that you have made sure the medication is available in country. Be aware that some medications may be illegal in other countries.
An official transcript from Montana State University will be sent to your home school after it has been processed.
The MSU transcript will include your letter grade and number of US credits you earned during your program.
The timeline for receiving transcripts varies greatly from school to school, but plan on waiting at least one or two months after the conclusion of your program before you receive a transcript.
Make sure you carry at least some cash when you arrive. You should be able to find currency exchange offices in the airport if you need to before you find an ATM.
Talk with your doctor about any medications you are on and if they will be available in country. If not, ask for a prescription that will cover the duration of your stay and make sure the medication is legal in the country you are going to.
Make a budget before you leave and always anticipate higher expenses than you think
Check the currency exchange rate often, it can fluctuate daily - http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter
What is culture shock?
Anxiety felt when people have to operate within a different and unknown culture. It grows out of the difficulties in assimilating to the new culture.
You aren't alone
Get out and explore!
Stage One: Honeymoon
Everything is new and exciting, and you're happy!
Stage Two: Hostility
Things get tough and your level of frustration rises. You're homesick and you may feel like a "fish out of water"
Life gets easier and you start to develop a routine. You can now laugh at the things that frustrated you earlier.
Stage Four: Confrontation
You confront deeper cultural/personal issues. You realize the culture has good and bad things to offer. You may even be bored.
Stage Five: Adaptation
You now have a more solid feeling of belonging and a stronger sense of self. You feel "at home" finally.
Stage Six: Re-Entry
When you return to the US, you may experience "reverse culture shock" - stay in touch with the friends you've made, and get involved with your international office on campus so you can talk with interested students about your experience. Share!
Drinking may be more (or less) a part of the new culture you find yourself in
Know your limits and drink in moderation. Use the buddy system
Don't accept drinks from strangers and get help if you or someone you know is in trouble
You do not have diplomatic immunity!
Whether you are male or female, always be aware of your surroundings. Try to use the buddy system when you are exploring new places.
At the conclusion of your program, you will receive an email for an online evaluation. We will not release your transcript until you have completed the evaluation.
Don't worry! Your answers will not affect your grades, or anything else - we just want your feedback for program development
If your program provides an airport pick-up, make sure you have properly communicated your arrival date and time. If your flight is delayed, try to notify the contact at the university
Studying in England or New Zealand? You may need to get a visa before you leave the US
You may be surprised how different the academic culture is at the school you attend
Your grade may be based on only one or two assignments, or a final exam at the end of the semester
In the United Kingdom, courses are called modules, while in New Zealand, they are called papers
Review the TSA guidelines for carry-on luggage - it can vary from airline to airline, country to country
Connect with Us
Call Montana State University
Contact your home institution
Notify the International Office or Resident Director at the foreign institution you attend
Contact the local authorities if you have been a victim of a crime
MSU Education Abroad Manager
Keep in touch with family and friends back home
Share your anxieties with your new friends
The things that help center you (keep you grounded) at home will help you while you are abroad - whether it's going to the gym, writing, taking pictures, etc.
Get involved in student activities
It's going to be a long trip, so pack a snack! Carrying granola bars or other healthy snacks will help keep your energy up as you travel abroad.
(In Case of Emergency)
Most travelers use ATMs to get cash while in other countries, but make sure you are aware of the fees for withdrawing currency each time. A suggestion is to withdraw a larger amount less often to avoid raking up fees. Use the buddy system when going to an ATM and only go during the day.
If you're going to Argentina, you will need to pay a "reciprocity fee" online of $160. Check your online MSU account for more information.