Congratulations on your upcoming study abroad participation. This will be an exciting time for you that will forever change you. At the same time, study abroad requires significant preparation on many levels. Below are the main things you will need to handle before departure. To view your health clearance instructions click here:
Country & program information
- Read program student guides (UCEAP guides) through the UCEAP website.
- Be informed and read up on your host country.
- File your FAFSA (or CA Dream Act Application) if you have not done so already.
- Summer students: apply for summer aid online (usually on March 1). Aid is available on a first-come-first-served basis; apply as soon as the application goes live!
- Apply for third-party scholarships.
- File an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form for your program (available for all UCEAP options via MyEAP).
- Notify your bank(s) that you will use your ATM, debit, and credit cards abroad.
- Check out HTH Worldwide's series on student health & safety for study abroad on YouTube.
- UCEAP students:
- Complete the Confidential Health History Form (also available in the Office of International Affairs by request) before scheduling the required health clearance or physical examination. Bring the form completed to your appointment.
- Be sure to read the UCEAP Health Clearance Instructions prior to your appointment.
- Bring a copy of UCEAP Health Clearance Form (also available in the Office of International Affairs by request) with you to your appointment. Be sure to complete your name, campus, and program information at the top of the form for your physician.
- Make sure to read and review UCEAP insurance information in the UCEAP pre-departure portal under the Insurance tab.
- UCEAP semester and yearlong students: choose whether to automatically be enrolled in SHIP or waive out of SHIP by the waiver deadline (UCEAP students are required to carry domestic health insurance coverage in addition to UCEAP’s insurance).
- Some medications commonly available by prescription in the U.S., are illegal or otherwise unavailable in other countries. Research your medications prior to departure.
- Make sure you receive any required immunizations. If you are planning to schedule your examination on campus be sure to make an appointment at least 2 weeks in advance. The cost of the clearance appointment at UC Merced is $25 as of fall 2014.
- UCEAP students: mail your UCEAP Health Clearance Form to the UCEAP Office at the address provided on the document. UC Merced can not mail this document for you.
- Contact the consulate or embassy of your host country for special visa instructions for non-US citizens.
- Permanent residents: contact the Department of Homeland Security if you will be abroad more than 180 days.
- DACA students: be sure to contact the Services for Undocumented Students and Special Populations for access to legal advising about advance parole and traveling with DACA.
- Complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation components for UC Merced students.
- Some programs require country-specific pre-departure orientations.
- Consider giving your parent(s) or another trusted person Power of Attorney (PDF) to handle financial transactions on your behalf while you are abroad.
- Direct your parents to online program information.
- Give your parents the program dates.
- Discuss how and when you will contact your parents upon arrival in your host country.
- If your program did not require a passport at the time of application and you need one, you will need to reapply for it through the Merced Post Office on M St. or through the Department of State online.
- If you noticed that your name is misspelled or that your passport is about to expire, notify your study abroad advisor.
- Complete all online packet materials by the given deadlines.
- If you cannot meet a particular UCEAP pre-departure checklist deadline, you must notify the UCEAP International Operations Specialist or UCEAP Program Advisor for the program to request a possible extension.
Special needs & disabilities
- Although it is not required, it is highly recommended that you notify your study abroad advisor or your UCEAP International Operations Specialist of any special requests that may need to be accommodated abroad.
- If you require special accommodations, acquire a letter from Disabled Student Services stating your needs.
- If you have psychiatric needs, you need to notify the physician conducting your health clearance.
Student visas & residence permits
- Many programs require a student visa or residence permit acquired through a consulate or embassy in the US. Check your paperwork to see if any visa is required.
- Most visas will require that you prove access to sufficient funds for study abroad. Financial Aid students should request a Financial Support Letter.
- Make sure to follow every detail of your visa and/or residence permit paperwork as consular officers may not accept incomplete visa applications.
- It is highly recommended that students purchase changeable or refundable tickets as program dates and plans change.
- For UCEAP options: check the program dates in the Calendars tab of the UCEAP pre-departure portal.
- Make sure that your travel plans allow you to arrive in time for the on-site orientation.
- Copy any travel documents and keep the copies separate from your documents.
- Check your application copies to find the deadline(s) to withdraw from your program with little or no financial penalty.
- If you know you need to withdraw, here are some things you need to handle and know:
- Formal, voluntary withdrawal from a program requires clear written notification from the student along with an explanation as to the reason; this can be very simple (e.g. personal, financial, health, academic, etc.) or as much detail as you’re willing to share (we want to know how to improve our service to students)
- A request to withdraw can be via email or by visiting the Office of International Affairs to fill out a form, but it needs to be a clear request to withdraw.
- While reinstatement is sometimes possible, keep in mind that withdrawal is usually irreversible and, in the case of impacted programs, would put students at the bottom of the waitlist if reinstated.
- Students must communicate with their study abroad advisor to formally withdraw from UCEAP.