Before You Leave


Want to replay the orientation? View the presentation online:

All students going abroad must attend the UIC Study Abroad Office Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation. In this session, students will learn about health and safety issues, administrative details that must be completed prior to departure, and other important information.

Study Abroad Orientation Materials
To access orientation materials click here.
Registration/Course Approval


Do not register yourself at UIC! You will be registered as a full-time student (12 hours for a semester or 6 hours for summer) by the Study Abroad Office for one of the following study abroad rubrics depending on your college: LAS299, BA299, ISA299, AHS299, PUBH299, UPP420, or GC491. If you will be receiving the MAP grant, please notify Krystal Williams regarding the number of credit hours you will be taking abroad. If you were approved for less than full-time status for the summer term, you will be registered for the number of hours approved.

If you have already registered for UIC courses for the term you are supposed to be abroad, you must contact Krystal Williams at the Study Abroad Office for withdrawal instructions. The Study Abroad Office cannot register you for study abroad until you have resolved this issue.


All Honors College students are responsible for registering themselves for Honors Activity HON222.


If you have any outstanding holds on your UIC student account, make sure to clear them ASAP. The Study Abroad Office will not be able to register you your term abroad until your holds have been removed and your hold status remains clear. If you are not registered by the UIC Study Abroad Office, you cannot study abroad and your Financial Aid will not be disbursed.


The Study Abroad Office cannot help you register for your return semester. You can register on-line through my.uic portal. Because you will be registering for your return semester before you actually do return, please be sure you have completed all the necessary academic advising before departure so that you may register for the classes you will need towards graduation.


Your Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) / college dean / basic language signatory, and/or college advisor, will be the final authority on articulation of credit earned abroad. For this reason, you must have your courses approved before you go overseas. You should seek academic advising in both your major department and your college before going abroad. Any coursework you hope to take for your major or minor requirements must be authorized by the DUS or a designated signatory in the appropriate department. If there are any additions to be made to your Course Approval Form before your departure, please ask your Study Abroad Advisor for an additional Course Approval Form. The form must be submitted to the Study Abroad Office prior to departure.

Financial Aid
If you plan on receiving financial aid (grants and/or loans), it is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements prior to your departure

  • Know the Financial Aid Office requirements
  • Once you have selected a specific study abroad program, your SAO advisor will create a budget which will be sent to the Financial Aid Office. Students should make an appointment with the Study Abroad Office contact in Financial Aid, Hua Kao, to discuss the financial aid package possible for the term abroad.
  • Aid will be disbursed directly into the student’s account and students are responsible to use that money to pay their program provider directly. Disbursal timing is based on the student completing all the necessary Financial Aid paperwork on time.
  • You must fill out and return to Hua Kao the Study Abroad Agreement form. Without this form, your Financial Aid application will be considered incomplete!

Because Financial Aid applications sometimes require several months to process, it is to your advantage to begin as early as possible. For any financial aid questions, please contact Hua Kao, Study Abroad Financial Aid Advisor.

Health Insurance


For the safety of its students, the University of Illinois requires that all students participating in study abroad programs have international study abroad insurance coverage.

You will receive an email and also a hard copy in your orientation packet that will give you the instructions needed to enroll for insurance directly through AJG. Once you enrolled in AJG online, they will provide you with a confirmation email, insurance card, claim form, and policy.

AJG does not cover students in their country of residence.

To be exempted from purchasing University of Illinois AJG insurance, you must have had your personal insurance company or companies complete and sign the Petition for Exemption from University of Illinois AJG Insurance, stating that your international coverage is comparable to that of AJG. This form must be submitted to the Study Abroad Office three weeks prior to the first Pre-departure Orientation. No exemption will be allowed without a completed and signed Petition.

The UIC Study Abroad Office strongly recommends that you extend your insurance coverage during any stay prior to the beginning of or after the end of your program. You may purchase insurance from AJG or another company. If you choose AJG for additional coverage, it would be a separate policy, and you must contact AJG directly to arrange for the purchase of this extended coverage. More information is available at AJG website.


All registered students are automatically enrolled in Campus Care while studying abroad at UIC unless they have previously opted out. International Health Insurance (AJG) does not replace Campus Care or other domestic policies.

For questions or clarification contact Campus Care at 312-996-0019.

The Study Abroad program may notify you if any specific immunizations are required or recommended for the country where you will be studying. Students are also encouraged to contact the UIC Travel Clinic at (312) 996-7420 for a country-specific travel consultation appointment (see brochure in your orientation folder).

In addition, all students should check with their own physician to learn of any shots that may be recommended or required for them. Other resources include: The U.S. State Department’s Overseas Citizens Emergency Center, the World Health Organization in Washington, DC., or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Visa and Passport Information


You must have a valid passport in order to travel abroad.  Passports take up to three months to be processed from the time your completed application is received. Passport application forms and information on how to apply are available at the U.S. State Department’s website.

You will need official passport photos for the application. These can be obtained at most Kinko’s copy stores, Walgreens and from the Photo ID office in SSB. Extra photos are required for visas and other ID cards. It is recommended that you get at least 6 copies.


A visa is required to stay for a period of over 3 months in most countries.  Check with your program sponsor for more information about the kind of visa you will need. Keep in mind that you need a valid passport before you can apply for a visa. Some visa processes can take up to several weeks.  Some consulate offices require a face to face interview.  Be sure to confirm with your program sponsor the timeline for your specific visa application.

Note: When applying for your visa by mail, make sure to send your materials (including your passport) by registered mail, e.g.  FedEx or UPS envelope with a tracking number.  Include a self-addressed, pre-paid registered envelop for its return to you. If you have not received your passport and all necessary visas at least 15 working days before your departure, contact program provider immediately.

Note: As of January 2021, US passport holders travelling to European countries in the Schengen Area will have to register through a system called the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS).

US Department of State Travel Registration
We strongly recommend that you register your trip abroad with the U.S. Department of State using their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming time abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency.
Important Things to Remember
The UIC Study Abroad Office CAN assist you before your departure if you have questions about Study Abroad courses, financial aid, registration, billing, or anything important regarding your Study Abroad program. However, once you are abroad, please contact the appropriate parties and copy your Study Abroad Advisor on any email correspondence.

We CANNOT pay bills, encumbrances, or tuition for you. Please pay all your bills before you go. Also, if the Office of Admissions and Records does not have your permanent address, please contact them at 312-996-4350 before you leave.

We CANNOT register you for your return term. You can register through my.UIC portal.

We CANNOT do your debt management or academic advising. Make sure you have completed all the necessary paperwork so that for your return, you may register for the classes you’ll need towards graduation.

We CANNOT change your major while you are abroad.

We CAN answer your emails, faxes, and Skype calls. Any correspondence relevant to your college or financial aid status must be addressed directly to the appropriate office using your official UIC email address. However, in an emergency you may contact us by calling our emergency line at  (+1-312) 636-4150.

Planning resources & helpful tips: flights, banks abroad, transportation, phones, getting around, etc.
There are many resources available for planning all the practical things a
student will encounter abroad. There is no single ‘expert’.  Advice comes
from experience and experiences differ.  The sites below are a good place
to start.

For European destinations:

For non-European destinations

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