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Pre-Departure Checklist


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With the excitement of your upcoming experience abroad, it can be hard to remember everything you need to do before leaving! This list will help you get ready to go. You can find a printable version of the list at the bottom of the page.


3 - 6 months before you go:

  • Meet with your academic advisor about your study abroad plans. Students participating on third-party provider programs (non-CU Denver programs) will need to complete a Course Approval Form.
  • Apply for/renew your passport. Make sure it is signed and valid for at least six months after the date of your return to the United States.
  • Think about your health abroad:
    • Speak with your healthcare provider about your international travel plans. Discuss any prescription medications that you currently take. Create a plan for managing your health abroad.
    • Determine what vaccinations and medications are recommended or required for the location(s) where you will be travelling. Your healthcare provider and the CDC website are great resources.
  • If applicable, complete all necessary paperwork with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. For more information, call 303-315-1850 or email financialaid@ucdenver.edu. Add “Study Abroad” to the subject heading when sending emails to this email address.
  • Search and apply for study abroad scholarships. Many have early deadlines!
  • Book your travel arrangements (flights, trains, etc.) after you have been accepted to your study abroad program. You might want to explore options for trip insurance at this time.
  • Put together a budget for your time abroad of estimated and fixed expenses. Don’t forget to account for cost-of-living differences or spending money!
  • Put together a budget for your time abroad. Account for cost-of-living differences and spending money. 


2 months before you go:

  • Revisit your CU Denver online application and complete the post-decision requirements.
  • Verify that your study abroad program fee includes international health and evacuation insurance. Purchase it, if not included. All CU Denver programs include coverage through GeoBlue Insurance. This plan is also available to other students at an additional cost.
  • Research the country and city in which you will be living. Know the local weather for the timeframe you’ll be there. Tune into local news sources and keep yourself informed of current affairs. Purchase an app or guidebook to use abroad. Buy or download a map of the area, transportation system, etc. Invest in a phrase book to brush up on some basic vocabulary. Watch movies about your host country.


1 month before you go:

  • Register for your CU Denver study abroad course or the CU Denver placeholder course.
  • Attend a Global Education Pre-Departure Orientation.
  • Notify your bank and/or credit card companies about your international travel plans.
    • Tell them what cities and countries you will be visiting and during what dates.
    • Ask them about foreign transaction fees and ATM fees so you can plan ahead for these expenses.
    • ​Be sure your credit/debit cards have a microchip (these are used abroad).
  • Check with your cellphone provider about the possibility of using your phone abroad.
  • Consider establishing an online journal or blog for self-reflection.
  • Determine the voltage and type of electrical outlets used in the country where you will be living/traveling. Purchase voltage converters or kits, if needed.


2 weeks before you go:

  • Register with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (U.S. citizens).*
  • *Non-U.S. citizens: check with your home country’s government website to see if they have a similar registration process.

  • Register your flights with International SOS MyTrips. Revisit your OGE application for instructions.
  • Make photo copies and digitial copies of important items such as your passport, visa, insurance cards, and itineraries. Make a plan for keeping your original documents organized and safe while travelling.
  • Verify that you have all the items you plan to pack, and do a “test-run” to see what you need, don’t need, or have forgotten. Don’t put off packing until the day before departure!

Printable version of the list found here​. 

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