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Before all students depart for their study abroad experience, the CIP will hold program pre-departure meetings and a health and safety meeting to provide students with the information that they will need to know before they get on a plan. However, it is important to note that orientation information is provided in a general format. Therefore, it is each student's responsibility to do the specific research needed to prepare for the locale and the program.  CIP staff are happy to meet with students who have questions, concerns or individual considerations.
CIP will provide you with the following information:
  • Country information from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and the Overseas Security and Advisory Council
  • General packing tips
  • CIP pre-departure handbook
  • Tips on staying safe abroad

Recommendations for research that you can do on your own:
  • If you are spending a semester abroad, be sure to review the information provided by your program or host university abroad (look for information for "visiting" or "international" students).  
  • Buy some guidebooks.
  • Network with students who have studied abroad in the past - use Facebook, e-mail, or ask them if they kept a blog or journal you can read.
  • Pay careful attention to any e-mails that you receive from SJU and/or your study abroad program or host university.
  • If necessary, practice the language or look up some basic phrases to use while abroad.
  • Research the historical, political, demographic, and geographic background of the country you will be visiting.
  • Check out international or host-country news sources to keep up with current events in your host country. 
  • Read books and poetry, or watch movies by authors, writers, and directors from your host country.
  • Use Google Maps to check out the location of the host university buildings.
  • Be sure that you know the practical information - weather, electricity requirements, etc.
  • Use the students abroad website provided by the State Department to get useful information on all aspects of studying abroad.

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