University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Office of International Education (OIE) WEB GUIDE
Location: Nicaragua and Costa Rica
Dates: Future Dates TBD
Courses: Biology 360 (3 cr.)
Program Model: Faculty-led
Contact: Michelle Michalski, HS 152, 424-7082
Biology 360 - Field Experience (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Biology 105 and Biology 111 or 112
International Studies 333 1 unit (cr.)
Prerequisites: none; syllabus
If you request enrollment in this course on the study abroad application, you will be automatically enrolled and will not be contacted about the coursework involved. Assignments for this course must be done independently. Contact the Office of International Education with questions.
The "Full Estimated Cost of Participation" includes your Program Fee (the amount due directly to UW Oshkosh), your airfare and other expenses related to your participation on this program.
Full Estimated Cost of Participation: $3,490 in spring interim 2013
As part of the application process for this program, you are required to review, sign and submit the "Full Estimated Cost of Participation" worksheet for your program. The worksheet includes all of the cost details for your program and is linked from STEP III of the "Apply" section of this guide.
Hotel details are TBA.
Hotel Aeropuerto (Costa Rica)
Hotel Tulipán (Los Chiles, Costa Rica)
Hotel Villas Vista Arenal (La Fortuna, Costa Rica)
Homestay (Masaya, Nicaragua)
Information on your host family will be shared with you no more than two weeks prior to travel. Typically, the information is quite basic. Our partners send us the family (last) name, the first name of the female head of household, the home address and sometimes the gender and ages of other family members.
You should bring either one gift for your entire host family to share or individual gifts for host family members (if you know something about each of them in advance, but this is unlikely). You don’t need to spend a lot of money; give something made in your local community, something which represents the U.S. or a local food item (something non-perishable and which can be taken across borders - so no meats or seeds).
Hotel Almirante (Granada, Nicaragua)
Hotel Express (Managua, Nicaragua)
You and your friends may request each other as roommates by editing your on-line study abroad applications. The Office of International Education will not assign roommates unless students request EACH OTHER!
In some cases, participants may be able to elect a single room. There is always a significant fee; check with the Office of International Education for an estimate if you are interested. NOTE: Checking the "single room" check box in your online application does not constitute an official request for a single room quotation. You must ALSO contact the OIE directly via email, phone or by visiting the office, to make an official request for a single room quotation. Those who do not make a direct request to the OIE will be assigned a roommate.
While most meals are incluced in your program fee, meals on recreation days and food/beverages eaten off program site or away from the host family are not included.
Review the estimate for the amount of money you should bring to cover meals in the Full Cost of Participation worksheet. It is not reasonable to think that you can save money by spending less than the food estimate provided by the OIE! This estimate is meant to be the BARE MINIMUM in relation to your particular destination!
Undergraduate students must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.0, be in good standing, and meet course prerequisites. As part of the application process, your disciplinary file will be reviewed. If you have a campus disciplinary file, this will be taken into consideration when determining your eligibility. Undergraduates who do not meet minimum GPA and course requirements should contact the program leader prior to applying to determine course eligibility.
If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodation, it is best to consult with disability services on the UW Oshkosh campus at least a few weeks prior to the study abroad application deadline. If this isn’t possible, consult with disability services as far in advance as possible or by the study abroad application deadline. If you are a student on another campus, please consult your own disability services office first and then ask that office to contact the UW Oshkosh disability services office at (920) 424-3100. Additional information on traveling with a disability is available from Mobility International U.S.A.
Inability or failure to attend class prior to or following your program abroad may affect your ability to participate, course grades and/or ability to receive and use financial aid.
Before You Apply
- Write the deadline for completing the On-line Study Abroad Orientation in your calendar. Failure to complete orientation will affect your ability to participate.
- Write all payment deadlines in your calendar.
If you aren't the person who will be making payments, share this information with the person who will be.
- Understand how seats are assigned on study abroad programs.
Seats are assigned in the order in which qualified applicants have completed STEPS I & II of the application process, provided STEP III has also been completed by the STEP III application deadline.
This means that you may be conditionally admitted following completion of steps I & II, but NOT receive a seat if you then fail to complete STEP III on time.
If you are on the waiting list, you may receive a seat if applicants who have been conditionally admitted have not completed STEP III by the deadline.
After the deadline, seats are assigned in the order in which qualified applicants have completed all three steps.
Spring Interim Programs
STEPS I & II: 1st Friday of Spring Semester by 12:00 pm.
STEP III: 2nd Friday of Spring Semester by 12:00 pm.
Application STEPs & Application Checklist
Complete the three steps below in order, or work on all three steps simultaneously. Check off items as you SUBMIT them to the Office of International Education.
|Complete the on-line study abroad/away application.|
|Print the application packet and sign where appropriate.|
|Pay the UW Oshkosh application fee
( $200 for in-state residents and $300 for out-of-state residents) per the instructions in the application packet and turn in your receipt to the OIE. If you have mailed the application fee to the Cashier's Office, notify the OIE so that OIE staff can contact the Cashier's Office for confirmation.
|Print an unofficial copy of your university transcript
Highlight course prerequisites (if applicable) and final GPA.
To print your transcripts, EITHER copy and paste your transcript from TitanWeb into Word and print OR follow these instructions:
1) Open your transcript in TitanWeb using Internet Explorer.
2) Highlight all of the information in your transcript.
3) Go to "print preview"
4) Click on "as selected on screen"
5) Change the orientation to "landscape"
|Credit Overload Form
Complete and submit to the OIE ONLY IF you will exceed the maximum credit limit for the semester.
|Special Student Form for Undergraduate Admissions
Complete and submit to the OIE ONLY IF you are not a student at UW Oshkosh OR if you are not a student at all.
|Graduate Registration Form and Graduate Special/Non-Degree Information Form
Complete and submit to the OIE ONLY IF you are not in a Graduate program at UW Oshkosh and want to earn graduate level credit, or if you are in a Graduate program at UW Oshkosh and want to earn undergraduate level credit.
|Submit the Disciplinary Clearance Form
Complete ONLY IF you are a student at a university or college OTHER THAN UW Oshkosh. Submit this form to the appropriate office on your HOME campus; request that the office on your HOME campus submit the form directly to the UW Oshkosh OIE by the deadline for this step of the application process.
Program-specific Application Materials/Requirements:
none for STEP II
|Review, sign and submit the Full Cost of Participation worksheet.
*This worksheet is not yet available.
|Edit the "medical" and "medical III" sections of your on-line study abroad application to ensure that every question is complete. Each and every question must be answered, even if the answer is obviously "none" or "n/a"!|
|Provide proof of passport
Complete only if you will travel outside the U.S.
If you already have a passport, edit the "passport" section of your on-line study abroad application to include all requested passport details.
If you do not already have a passport, apply for one and submit a copy of your receipt to the OIE showing that you have applied.
Click here for passport forms and instructions.
|Edit the "passport" section of your on-line study abroad application to include your full name.
If you are traveling OUTSIDE the U.S., enter your full name EXACTLY as it appears on your passport or on your passport application. DO NOT GUESS!
If you are traveling WITHIN the U.S. (including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), enter your name EXACTLY as it appears on your driver’s license. DO NOT GUESS!
Your name will be printed on your airline ticket exactly as you enter it. If the name on your airline ticket does not match the name on your identification, you will be charged a correction fee or may not be allowed through airport security.
Program-specific Application Materials/Requirements:
none for STEP III
Log in to your on-line study abroad/away application to see the status of your application; this is explained in the the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Use the "application status" tab on your on-line application to check for missing application materials. Because our on-line application system is unable to generate application materials lists which are specific to each individual study abroad program, missing "program-specific" materials aren't outlined on the system. Use the check boxes above to keep track of forms you've completed and then to track forms you've submitted to the OIE.
"Add Comment" vs. UW Oshkosh email
Prior to completing a study abroad application, OIE staff will correspond with you via your UW Oshkosh email account.
After completing the first step of the study abroad application process, which is done on line, you'll mainly communicate with the OIE via this same application. This allows all staff in the OIE to review questions or issues even when the primary staff member working with you is out of the office.
To ask or respond to a question, log in to your application and click on "Add Comment". Comments are emailed to you and to firstname.lastname@example.org and are saved in the application "history".
Communication to groups will be via UW Oshkosh email.
To avoid having our messages to you end up in the cyber trash, if you do not have a UW Oshkosh email address you must use your work or university email address. The OIE will not accept hotmail or yahoo addresses under any circumstances.
I've never used my UW Oshkosh email address before. How do I do this?
See http://www.uwosh.edu/titanapps for instructions. For help, call (920) 424-3020.
You are subject to the withdrawal and refund policy which you signed (or will sign) when you applied to a UW Oshkosh-sponsored study abroad program. Because this is a financial contract between you and the university, it is in your best interest to read this if you haven't already!
If at any time in this process you decide to withdraw, you must formally request to withdraw following the OIE Withdrawal Process.
Program Cancellation by UW Oshkosh
If a program is cancelled by UW Oshkosh, you will receive a full refund.
Using financial aid to cover some or all of your costs? See our detailed financial aid information.
Spring Interim Programs
- First Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if the total due to UW Oshkosh is less than $1,000) is due the last Friday of March.
- Final Payment, including all related tuition fees, is due the first Friday of May.
First Program Fee Payment
Your emailed study abroad acceptance letter (the one that says that you have been officially accepted to participate) includes a link to a statement for your first payment. This statement will not be sent to you in any other way. No one else will receive this statement or a copy of your bill; no further reminders will be sent. It is your responsibility to make payments according to the payment deadlines; you will need to forward your statement to the person who pays your bills if you are not that person!!!
The initial Program Fee Statement is also provided here. You can use this copy or the copy included in your acceptance letter (they are identical) when paying your fees.
Second Program Fee Payment
You will receive a link to a statement for your second payment VIA EMAIL from the Office of International Education just prior to the second payment deadline. Some programs have been advertised using a range of fees; if this is the case, you must plan to cover fees at the top end of the range until you receive your second statement. This statement will indicate whether there have been cost savings due to increased participant numbers, exchange rates, etc. and, therefore, a reduced program fee.
If your program includes a required tuition payment IN ADDITION TO YOUR PROGRAM FEE, this will be clearly indicated on the Full Cost of Participation Worksheet linked within the "Apply" section of this guide.
For interim programs, follow the program fee payment deadlines ($1,000 total due by the first deadline date, the remaining tuition and program fee due by the final deadline date).
For semester & summer programs, tuition will be billed by Student Accounts just before the term at UW Oshkosh begins, just as it normally is. It is your responsibility to make payments according to the normal university tuition payment deadlines.
Payment by Cash or Check
All payments by cash or check must be accompanied by a copy of your program fee statement. Make checks payable to “The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh” and write “Study Abroad” in the memo section. Pay fees at the Cashier's Office on the second floor of Dempsey Hall or mail your check to: Cashier's Office, UW Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI 54901. Cashier office hours: Mon – Fri 8:30-4:00 (8:30-3:00 the day after Thanksgiving).
Payment by Credit Card or E-check
Payment by MasterCard or American Express carries a 2.5% convenience fee and can be made through TitanWeb http://www.uwosh.edu/tw/. E-checks carry a fee of $0.50 per transaction.
Payment by Financial Aid, Grant, Scholarship or External Loan
Submit the "Notice of Financial Aid Award for Study Abroad" form to Student Accounts by the first payment deadline. Students who plan to to cover some costs on their own and remaining costs using financial aid, grants or scholarships must pay costs not covered by aid/loans/scholarships, up to $1,000, by the first payment deadline.
For UW Oshkosh students, financial aid will automatically be applied toward study abroad-related fees on your student account. If you are a student elsewhere, you may need to pick up your change check from your home campus, cash the check, and send payment to UW Oshkosh.
Once your "Notice of Financial Aid Award for Study Abroad" form has been submitted, a "positive service indicator" will appear on your record indicating that financial aid will be paying your study abroad program fees. This should not prevent you from doing anything except printing transcripts.
Oshkosh - Departure
Mode of transportation: school bus
Meeting Date & Time: TBA
Departure Time: TBA
Departure Location: Parking Lot 30 (616 Pearl Ave, next to Gruenhagen)
From Oshkosh to the Airport
If the "mode of transportation" to the airport for your program is "bus", there is a bus scheduled to take participants from Oshkosh to the airport.
If there is a bus, and if you plan to ride the bus...
your on-line study abroad application must show "I will take the group bus from Oshkosh to the airport" on the transportation tab. You may request a pickup or end-of-program drop-off in Milwaukee by emailing email@example.com. If you don't make this request in advance, the bus will not stop in Milwaukee. Check your on-line application if you aren't sure what you indicated when you first applied; if the information is incorrect, edit your information AT LEAST two business days prior to your departure.
If there is a bus, and if you do not plan to ride the bus...
your on-line study abroad application must show "I will arrange for my own transportation from Oshkosh to the airport" on the transportation tab. It is then your responsibility to arrange for transportation between your residence and the airport and to arrange to meet the group at the airport. Check your on-line application if you aren't sure what you indicated when you first applied; if the information is incorrect, edit your information AT LEAST two business days prior to your departure.
Park in UW Oshkosh Lot 30 with a Valid UW Oshkosh Parking Permit
If you have a valid UW Oshkosh commuter parking permit (look for the “S” on your permit) AND will be away for one month or less over summer break or interim, you may park in university parking lot 30 (located next to Gruenhagen Conference Center), for the duration of your study abroad program. You must use one of the stalls that is furthest from the parking lot entrance. Check the expiration date on your parking permit to be sure that it is valid for the duration of your program.
Students with “evening parking permits” (also called a night permit) may not leave cars parked in this lot for the duration of their program.
If you don't have a valid permit, you may purchase a temporary permit from Parking Services ((920) 424-4455) in the lower level of Blackhawk.
Flight - Departure
Past program itinerary for reference only - future itineraries will vary!
See the 2013 VIDA Itinerary
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh reserves the right to make changes to itineraries, travel arrangements, hotels, excursions, activities or other arrangements made necessary by factors beyond its control. On certain dates when some attractions or activities may not be available, UW Oshkosh reserves the right to substitute alternate attractions or activities.
Flight - Return
Oshkosh - Return
Mode of transportation: school bus
Estimated date & time: TBA
Return Location: Parking Lot 30 (616 Pearl Ave, next to Gruenhagen)
Proof of Legal Entry & Stay
Foreigners are required to provide proof of legal entry and stay to authorities upon request. This means that as a foreigner, you will be required to carry the document/s listed below at all times. Check the Entry/Exit Requirements section of theU.S. State Department's Country-specific Informationfor your destination for details.
According to Nicaragua’s Law for Foreigners, foreigners must be in possession of a valid ORIGINAL passport WITH an entry stamp (the stamp that immigration officials place in your passport when you enter the country) at all times while in Nicaragua and may be required to show it to Nicaraguan authorities upon request. Police may detain travelers not in possession of an identity document.
When entering Nicaragua and Costa Rica, U.S. citizen visitors may be asked to show their return airline ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.
Passports must be in good condition; Costa Rican Immigration may deny entry if a passport is damaged in any way. You must carry a COPY of your passport AND of the page within your passport which shows your entry stamp (the stamp that immigration officials place in your passport when you enter the country) at all times.
Anyone traveling to Costa Rica from countries which have yellow fever must provide evidence of a valid yellow fever vaccination prior to entry.
If I am on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program, do I have insurance for medical and emergency services while studying abroad?
YES - but only during your official program dates! UW System requires all participants on UW Oshkosh-sponsored programs abroad to purchase insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This insurance is included in your study abroad program fee; your coverage will begin on the first day on which you are required to be in the host country and end on or just after the last day on which you are required to be in the host country.
All benefits are clearly explained on the Description of Coverage. If your program begins
- on or after May 1, 2013 - April 30, 2014, you will be covered under the insurance policy for 2013/2014 PLUS Comprehensive Security Evacuation Insurance.
- on or after May 2, 2014 - April 30, 2015, you will be covered under the insurance policy for 2014/2015 PLUS Comprehensive Security Evacuation Insurance PLUS the Personal Liability Summary of Coverage
Are there additional insurance requirements?
In addition to CISI, all students studying through an Australian, German, Japanese or New Zealand university are required by the foreign government to carry additional health insurance and our partner in Canada (UNB) requires additional health insurance. You will receive instructions and the necessary paperwork to obtain your insurance card at your host university’s orientation.
- Students studying in Australia must purchase "Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
- Students studying in Germany and New Zealand must purchase health insurance offered through individual universities.
- Students studying in Japan must join the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.
- Students studying at UNB in Canada must purchase UNB's international student health insurance.
How do I access information about my CISI coverage and print my insurance card?
Instructions on accessing information and printing your insurance card, among other things, are available from the myCISI portal. Use the CISI Participant Portal to
- View, print and email your
- Consulate letter (if you are applying for a visa to enter a foreign country, you may need this),
- Claim form (submit this directly to CISI)
- Access travel-related sites.
- Research country specific information.
- Access a personal security assistance website.
- Extend your coverage (prior to or following your program dates).
I will arrive abroad prior to my official program start date and/or will return after my official program end date. Do I need to extend my insurance coverage if I'm on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program?
YES! If you don't extend your insurance coverage, you won't be covered. Follow the instructions to extend coverage in the myCISI portal. You must pay for the additional coverage directly to CISI at the time that you request the extension.
Can I use my personal health insurance plan without purchasing additional insurance for travel abroad?
If studying on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored Program, no. UW System does not allow for the exemption of any participant for any reason.
If you are studying through a program not sponsored by or affiliated with UW Oshkosh, sickness and accident coverage while in a foreign country may be included in your personal health insurance plan, but it is rare for personal health insurance plans to cover medical evacuation, security evacuation, repatriation or emergency medical reunion. BEFORE you travel you should be familiar with the type of coverage you have and the steps you need to take in order to use your policy abroad. If you are not satisfied that you have sufficient coverage abroad, you can purchase a temporary policy.
My insurance company requires me to be a full-time student in order to take advantage of a lower premium. Will study abroad affect my ability to keep this premium?
Your insurance company may require you to be a full-time student in order to take advantage of lower premiums. IF you are NOT enrolled in classes at UW Oshkosh for a full semester (i.e. you are transferring credits back to UW Oshkosh at the end of your study abroad program), AND you are NOT enrolled for full-time credit through another accredited U.S. institution, this may affect your premiums. Information on your enrollment status is automatically extracted from UW Oshkosh records and sent to a Clearinghouse, which many insurance companies monitor. You will show up in the Clearinghouse as “not enrolled” at UW Oshkosh IF you are not enrolled for courses AT UW OSHKOSH, and your premiums may be affected.
In order to avoid problems, contact your insurance company BEFORE leaving for your study abroad destination. Your insurance company will either give you a form or a list of information which they need. You can fax this form/list to the institution abroad for verification of full-time status while studying there.
Please note that if you are on Academic Leave of Absence, you are being reported by UW Oshkosh as "not enrolled."
What are some insurance supplements or alternatives?
- If you need comprehensive security evacuation insurance, Global Rescue and International SOS both offer to individuals.
- At $22, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a popular option for students. The ISIC can be purchased on line; policy details are available from the link above. To call STA Travel: 1-800-329-9537 (menu option “Student, youth and teacher identity cards”). A second option is to search on the internet or contact your local travel agent. There are many other insurance companies that will cover you during your time abroad.
What are medical evacuation, security evacuation, repatriation and medical reunion?
Medical evacuation, security evacuation and repatriation benefits cover the insured when the insured is moved to a location outside of the host country or returned to the U.S. because a medical condition cannot be treated locally, because of a security risk at the site abroad or because of the death of the insured. Medical reunion benefits cover a family member who travels to the location where the insured is undergoing medical treatment. If you have medical reunion, identify one or more family members who have a valid passport as your emergency contact. Anyone not holding a valid passport will need to apply for one before being able to take advantage of emergency medical reunion.
Is the insurance offered through CISI sufficient?
CISI insurance is not comprehensive. It is each participant's responsibility to review the policy for sufficient coverage. If you feel that coverage is insufficient, purchase additional coverage through your insurance agent. Do not cancel your health insurance policy in the U.S. while you are gone. In most cases, your international policy will cover you while you are gone and/or bring you back to the U.S., but once you return, your domestic policy will need to provide coverage.
Security Evacuation Alternatives
If traveling to parts of the world which are difficult to reach or are considerably less safe than you are accostomed to, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance to cover security or medical evacuation (above and beyond what is provided by the university insurance or by your own insurance). Two options are International SOS (http://www.internationalsos.com/en/) and Global Rescue (https://www.globalrescue.com/).
Insurance for Loss, Theft or Damage of Personal Property
If traveling with valuable personal property such as cameras, laptops or equipment, your (or your parents') rental or homeowner's policy may provide sufficient coverage or you may need to purchase a rider to cover specific items; items normally covered without a rider may not be covered while traveling.
In a life and death emergency ABROAD
U.S. Department of State Citizen Emergency Center (1-202-647-5225) will relay messages to the foreign Embassy. Embassy personnel may try to locate your student, pass on urgent messages and, consistent with the Privacy Act, report back.
To reach your student directly
If your student is staying in a hotel, use the hotel contact information listed on the web page for your student's program. The Office of International Education cannot give out private residence or homestay phone numbers unless authorized in advance by the student, but we will contact your student for you in an emergency.
To reach someone at UW Oshkosh during office hours (7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F)
Office of International Education Phone: 1 (920) 424-0775
Jenna Graff: Director, Office of International Education - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelsey McDaniels, Study Abroad Advisor - email@example.com
Emily Hoffmann: Hessen & NSE Advisor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Reinke: Program Manager - email@example.com
Sarah Christensen : International Student Advisor - firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of International Education Fax: 1 (920) 424-0185
Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor Phone: 1 (920) 424-1410
Office of the Provost & Vice Chancellor Phone: 1 (920) 424-0300
To reach someone at UW Oshkosh outside of normal office hours
University Police: 1 (920) 424-1216
To reach an on-site local contact, IN AN EMERGENCY ONLY.
Dr. Michalski, faculty leader for this program, can be reached using the contact information listed under Accommodation in this guide.
To help you prepare for your travel experience away, we'll begin with an orientation through which we'll share information on topics such as course registration & enrollment, flights, itineraries, housing, meals, emergency contacts, financial planning, program withdrawal, health & personal security, and travel.
To help you prepare for your academic experience away, most participants will meet with program leaders or with program advocates in the UW Oshkosh department offering the program. Orientation will also introduce you to on-line tools and resources that you can use to prepare for the academic and cultural changes that await you during your time abroad.
Before beginning your on-line orientation, print and review the materials listed below. You will also need to refer to these materials during the on-line orientation. Share these materials with interested family members. NOTE: a few of these materials are provided only in print below and are not referenced in the on-line orientation.
- Time Zone: Costa Rica & Nicaragua
- Highlighted version of the CDC for Nicaragua (last updated 8/24/15)
- CISI Health Insurance Policy
- CISI Security Evacuation Policy
- U.S. State Department Country-specific Information
- Up-to-date Country-specific Information for Costa Rica, including links to other Department of State-generated advisories.
- Highlighted country-specific information for Costa Rica (updated 2/24/13)
- Up-to-date Country-specific Information for Nicaragua, including links to other Department of State-generated advisories.
- Highlighted Country-specific information for Nicaragua (last updated 7/10/2015)
- U.S. State Department Special Warning About Drug Offenses Abroad
- U.S. State Department Worldwide Caution
- Transportation Security Administration Prohibited & Permitted Items
- Transportation Security Administration 311 Rules
- Luggage Limits: TBA
- Packing List
- Emergency Communication Form
- Withdrawal & Refund Policy; Uniform Statements of Responsibility
Schedule approximately 90 minutes to focus on your on-line orientation. Complete your orientation requirement by watching the orientation linked below and then by submitting this orientation quiz to the Office of International Education by the orientation deadline.
All participants are required to complete the on-line orientation, including the orientation quiz. Participants who do not complete on-line orientation and the orientation quiz prior to the orientation deadline will be removed from their programs. The withdrawal & refund policy will apply.
Participants are encouraged to share the on-line orientation and related resources with parents, spouses, and/or other family members who may also want to review the orientation. The orientation is open to anyone who would like to participate.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY A FAMILY MEMBER COMPLETE THE ON-LINE ORIENTATION FOR YOU.
To access the on-line orientation
- Open the study away orientation in PowerPoint.
- Click on the "Slide Show" tab along the top menu.
- Click on the "Custom Slide Show" menu item.
- Choose your program.
Orientation Follow Up - OPTIONAL
Following completion of the on-line orientation, participants are invited to attend an OPTIONAL, in-person follow-up orientation on:
- Spring Interim, Summer and Fall Semester programs: Sat, 4/9/16, 9:00am-1:00pm, location TBA
Family member attendance at the follow-up orientation is invited and encouraged. Family members who plan to attend the in-person orientation follow-up should understand that this follow-up will not replace the on-line orientation. Family members should review the full on-line orientation and should review the print orientation materials prior to attending in person.
Driving Directions to in-person Orientation: From highway 41, take the highway 21 exit east into Oshkosh (from the south, take a right; from the north, take a left). After crossing the bridge, take a right onto High Avenue. Parking is available in Parking Lots 15 & 32 (available from High or Algoma) or Lot 34 (available from Elmwood). You can purchase a parking permit on campus (the parking office is accessible from Lot 15) or park only in lots with a meter. Campus Map
Accommodation During In-person Orientation: Accommodation is available on the Oshkosh campus to participants & family members. To make reservations, contact Gruenhagen Conference Center at (920) 424-1106. Be sure to reference the study abroad orientation when you call.
You won't have to write EVERYTHING down! Print the notes from below and use these to follow along while you watch the on-line orientation. References in the on-line orientation will also be made to other sections of this web guide (especially the Cost of Participation worksheet and your schedule).
Remain with your group
Whether you've navigated foreign airports on your own or not, please remain with your group while exiting the aircraft and going through immigration, baggage claim and customs. Your faculty leader will appreciate your help with students who haven't traveled and, if you happen to be pulled aside at immigration or customs, will want to be right there with you to offer assistance.
You will automatically be enrolled in your UW Oshkosh courses as late as a few weeks before your program departure date.
Put Together A Personal Medical Kit
Many prescription and over-the-counter medications available in the U.S. are not available abroad or cannot be found in the same form or at the same quality. Carry all prescription medications AND a letter from your doctor describing your condition and your prescriptions (using both the generic names and the drug name which appears on the prescription container) in your carry-on luggage. All prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs must be carried through customs in original containers. Consider bringing a medical ID bracelet if you have allergic reactions.
For those who wear glasses or contact lenses, carry an extra prescription or extra lenses. Not all countries use the same scale for determining prescriptions, so arrange to have someone send a replacement pair in an emergency. Contact lens supplies can be rare and expensive, so bring saline and cleaner or wear glasses.
The Center for Disease Control provides health information on specific destinations, information about specific diseases that can affect travelers, immunization recommendations, tips on avoiding illness from food or water and more through it's web site. For information specific to your destination/s, see http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/.
When reviewing the CDC information, it's important to understand the distinction between "recommended" and "required" immunizations.
- Required immunizations are those immunizations which a foreign country requires that you prove you have had in order to enter that foreign country. For example, a country that requires the yellow fever immunization will require you to present your "yellow fever vaccination card" when you show up in the foreign airport or you apply for a visa. If you don't present this, you may be required to get the immunization (and pay for it) on site or you may be sent back to the U.S. (at your own expense).
- Recommended immunizations are those immunizations which the CDC recommends that all travelers have prior to visiting a particular foreign country. Unless you face serious health risks if you receive a particular immunization, it is extremely unwise to ignore these recommendations. If you think you'll save a bit of cash by not getting the recommended immunizations, think again! If you were to contract a disease overseas, you could be faced with $1,000's of dollars in medical expenses upon return. In addition, depending on the disease, you may miss a semester or more at UW Oshkosh upon your return. This can happen! A UW Oshkosh student did not to get the Hepatitis A vaccination prior to traveling to Peru, contracted the disease and was too ill to attend UW Oshkosh over the semester following her program abroad.
If you can't afford an immunization, you may be eligible for a financial aid loan.
If you aren't sure whether you've already had a particular immunization recommended by the CDC, you may be able to check your records with your healthcare provider or on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.
Covering Personal Expenses (Bringing Money Abroad)
In addition to advertised program fees, you will be responsible for other expenses. The budget estimate for your program is based on an average person's expenditures and takes into account pricing for goods and services at the destination. It is unreasonable to think that you may spend significantly less than the estimates for your trip. If you enjoy shopping or plan to spend evenings out, bring more than the budget estimate! Official exchange rates are available from the Currency Converter at http://www.xe.com.
Cash (foreign currency)
It is typically least expensive and recommended to purchase foreign currency once you arrive at the international destination airport unless you are traveling to a place where currency exchanges & ATMs may be closed outside banking hours (Japan) or exchanging in the airport is unsafe (Mexico, countries in Africa). You may also purchase most (but not all) foreign currencies before traveling from a currency exchange outlet at an international airport or by ordering through your local bank or credit union. For up-to-date locations and hours of operation - Currency Exchange at O'Hare Airport.
Purchase enough traveler’s checks at your bank or credit union to bring as backup when a credit or ATM card cannot be used or is stolen. PROs: given increasing credit, debit and ATM card fees, traveler's checks may be less expensive. CONs: traveler's checks can only be cashed at the airport, in banks, at money exchanges and in SOME hotels. Expensive hotels tend to give bad exchange rates for traveler's checks. If there is an American Express office in the city you plan to visit (and you are on a program with a flexible enough schedule to conveniently get there), cash your traveler's checks there. American Express will not charge commission.
Credit, Debit & ATM Cards
Plastic is extremely convenient in some parts of the world and useless in others. Use your guide book to determine whether this type of currency is accepted at your destination. You'll be charged a percentage of each transaction; this fee is "rolled" into the exchange rate and can be the daily rate of exchange plus 2.5% or higher. You may also be charged per transaction by your bank and/or by the foreign bank (owners of the ATM machine).
In order to use your cards abroad, you must let your credit/debit/ATM card company know you plan to travel abroad. If you don't, it's quite common, even for regular travelers, to find that their card has been red flagged and cancelled by the issuing bank's computer system. In addition, for security reasons some cards are not validated for overseas travel and may be confiscated by a machine even after entering the correct PIN. *At least one area Credit Union has cut off all access to ATM's from abroad due to fraud.
Credit Cards: Bring VISA or MasterCard only. American Express may be used at American Express offices. PROs: credit cards typically offer protection against unauthorized use provided you follow the company's reporting policy. CONs: numbers are often stolen; credit card cash advances are extremely expensive and require a PIN. *Know your credit card limits--charging over the limit is an arrestable offense in some countries. Paraphrase from a US State Department Consular Information Sheet: Credit card fraud is on the rise in many countries, and both theft and 'number skimming' are common. Retain all your credit card receipts and check your accounts regularly to help prevent unauthorized use of your credit cards.
Debit Cards vs. ATM Cards: In the U.S. we typically use debit cards rather than ATM cards. Debit cards allow users to withdraw cash using a PIN or make purchases WITHOUT using a PIN. In other countries, because of the high incidence of theft, ATM cards are a better choice because they always require a PIN. PROs: In developed countries (except Japan) ATM cards are typically the most convenient way to access money. CONs: Your account can be emptied if your numbers (or numbers and PIN) are stolen. You should keep only the money you plan to spend on your trip in your account; remove overdraft protection. To protect your PIN
- never access cash from machines visible to other people
- always shield both your hand and the PIN pad to protect against cameras planted near ATMs
- avoid ATM machines which require you to swipe your card in order to open the door to the ATM booth
- Paraphrase from a US State Department Country-specific Information publication: avoid using debit cards for point of sale purchases, as a skimmed number can be used to clean out an account.
Money in an Emergency
To send money by wire transfer, you will need the following information from the institution/organization/individual you are paying:
--Name of the institution/organization/individual --Account # (at the bank) --Address --Fax Number (optional) --Phone Number --Email (optional)
You will also need the following information from the bank which will receive the money. The institution/organization/individual you are paying will give this information to you.
--Bank Name --Bank Fax --Sort Code --Bank Address --Branch Number --Swift --Bank phone --ABA
When requesting a wire transfer at your local bank or credit union, present the information above and ask that the bank "cover the wire transfer fees at both the sending and the receiving banks." If you don't cover the wire fees at the receiving bank, your payment will be reduced by the amount of the fee and you will end up still owing.
When you order the transfer, you do so in foreign currency. Therefore, you will typically be charged in U.S. dollars after the transfer has been processed. Your fee will include the equivalent of the wire transfer in U.S. dollars plus a bank fee (ask how much this is before ordering the transfer).
Wire transfers typically take 3-5 days to process. Be sure that you make payments by wire transfer far enough in advance of payment deadlines.
Bank Drafts in Foreign Currencies
To make a payment in a foreign currency by check, you will need to order a "bank draft" in that foreign currency through your local bank or credit union.
When you order the draft, you do so in foreign currency. Therefore, you will typically be charged in U.S. dollars after the draft has been processed. Your fee will include the equivalent of the draft in U.S. dollars plus a bank fee (ask how much this is before ordering the draft).
Be sure that you make requests for drafts far enough in advance of payment deadlines. Bank drafts take at least several days to process before being mailed to the bank and then to you. Plan for an additional 10 days to mail the draft to a foreign country.
Most airline tickets for international flights are now e-tickets. You will receive a copy of your e-ticket via email prior to travel; you must print at least one copy to take with you when you travel. While having the copy with you is not a requirement, if the airline is having trouble finding you in their system when you show up to check it having the copy with you may be the only way to resolve the issue quickly.
If you will be on flights abroad which are not part of your international flight, you may receive paper tickets. Often, U.S. airlines cannot issue e-tickets for flights which originate and end entirely within countries outside the U.S. If there are paper tickets for your program, you will either receive yours when you board the bus at UW Oshkosh or, if there isn't a bus or you aren't taking the bus, be asked to stop in the OIE prior to travel to sign for your ticket. To avoid loss of ticket, the OIE does not mail paper tickets to participants.
You must pay your entire program fee IN FULL BEFORE you receive your e-ticket or paper tickets.
Additional Health & Safety Resources
Visit the Student Health Center or Your Healthcare Provider
The student health center offers the most frequently used immunizations, and can get others on order with advance notice, at lower fees than travel clinics and other healthcare providers. Make an appointment with the student health center (424-2424), a Travel Health Clinic (listings for Aurora available through International Travel Clinic) or your healthcare provider at least 6 weeks before leaving for a foreign country. Some immunizations must be administered over time in order for them to be effective. You will be asked to provide information on your specific destination/s (within each country), date of departure, length of stay and childhood immunizations (bring a copy of the actual record, if possible) either when making the appointment or during your visit.
Travel to an unfamiliar environment can increase stress levels; honestly evaluate your mental health in relation to support systems you can reasonably maintain while studying abroad. If traveling to a developed country, consider setting up an e-mail and phone-support system with friends and family before you leave. Keep in mind that some study abroad sites have very limited means of communication.
The Student Health Center can also provide certification of physical and mental health if needed to apply for a visa. Take care of all dental work, eye exams, and other things which may be offered at a different level of quality or standard of care efore you leave for abroad.
Find English-speaking Doctors
U.S. embassies often maintain lists of English-speaking doctors by city. For a list specific to your destination, find the embassy or consulate nearest your destination city using the link above, click on "American Citizen Services" and look for a "medical" list.
Check Department of State Country-specific Information, Travel Alerts & Travel Warnings
The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs regularly publishes country-specific information, travel alerts and travel warnings; U.S. embassies abroad publish messages for U.S. Citizens and emergency messages for U.S. Citizens.
- Country-specific Information includes health conditions and crime and security information. If an unstable condition exists in a country that is not severe enough to warrant a Travel Warning, a description of the condition(s) may be included under an optional section entitled "Safety/Security.
- Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, either transnational or within a particular country, that pose significant risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert.
- Travel Warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
- Message for U.S. Citizens is used to disseminate information about routine topics such as voter registration, income tax season, new passport procedures, and other non-security issues of interest to the local U.S. citizen community.
- Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens is used to inform U.S. citizens about events or threats that can affect their personal security. This includes demonstrations, civil disturbances, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other breaking events. Whenever the Department revises the Worldwide Caution or issues a Travel Alert or Travel Warning for a country or region, posts (Embassies or Consulates) will also disseminate it with an Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens. To ensure that you receive these messages, register on the State Department's Smart Traveler's Enrollment Program (STEP).
Smart Traveler's Enrollment Program (STEP)
The Smart Traveler's Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service which allows you as a U.S. citizen to record travel details which help the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad locate you when you need them the most.
All UW Oshkosh students traveling abroad are required to (and responsible for)
completing the registration at
This page was last updated on: March 21, 2014