University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Office of International Education (OIE)
Important details related to the study abroad application process, application & payment deadlines, orientation details, and much more for your specific program.
Nicaragua: Gender, Poverty, and Activism
Location: Granada, Nicaragua
Course Dates: January 3 - 5, 2011
Travel Dates: January 6 - 24, 2011
Courses: Women's Studies 399, Social Justice 399
Contact: Liz Cannon , CCED 005 (LGBTQ Resource Center), 920-424-3462
LEARN about women, poverty, and activism in Nicaragua
UNDERSTAND how a service-learning project can be the basis for grassroots activism
COLLABORATE with a rural community to build a sustainable future
APPRECIATE a culture that is different from your own
This program is offered in coordination with Central America Study Abroad (CASA). See their site to understand what your experience will feel like!
Take a look at the January 2011 proposed service-learning project - making ECO-STOVES for a rural community outside of Grananda, Nicaragua !!!
LIVFund awards 2 $500 scholarships per month. Winners are selected the first and third Monday of each month and notified via email if they win. Past winners have submitted photos, videos and/or other visual representations along with their application to express their ideas about studying abroad. LIVFund says that these "extras" make applications more competitive.
This is a NEW scholarship award, which means that word is just getting out! Apply now, even if you aren't sure you're going on this program. The sooner you apply, the more chances you have to win. You remain eligible to win from the time you submit your application until the end of your program abroad. You are automatically considered for the LIVFund Scholarship during each month that you spend abroad.
Resources appearing throughout this guide are also available from our downloads page.
Course and Credit Transfer
When you study abroad on a program which does not grant UW Oshkosh credit, your courses can be transferred to UW Oshkosh at the end of your program; however, you'll need to get prior approval for your course and credit transfers so that there are no misunderstandings when you return. Transfer IS NOT AUTOMATIC, as UW Oshkosh equivalencies may be different depending on your major.
When transferring coursework, course equivalencies, credits and grades are recorded on the UW Oshkosh transcript, but transfer course grades are not calculated into the official GPA. Current course transfer rules at the University do not allow for exceptions to this policy.
Before seeking approval for course & credit transfer, there are a few differences you'll want to understand:
- Only those courses which are the equivalents of UW Oshkosh courses will transfer to UW Oshkosh (many courses will transfer in as general education courses or as upper-level electives).
- Systems for awarding credit vary from country to country. At UW Oshkosh, forty-two class hours generates three credits. In other systems, more or fewer credits may be awarded for the same number of couse hours. UW Oshkosh awards 12-15 creditsfor a full-time load while in other systems students earn as many as 30 credits for the same load. When transferring courses back to UW Oshkosh, the number of credits you receive will be based on the UW Oshkosh system.
Generally, credits taken through programs at other UW System schools or other accredited schools in the United States are transferable. Credits taken through programs which are independent of any UW System campus or other accredited school in the United States may or may not be transferable.
To secure approval for course & credit transfer, follow this process:
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss how your study abroad experience will fit into your current academic studies, any implications it may have on your graduation date, the types of courses which may be best for you to try to take abroad and the timing of your study abroad program (is fall semester better than spring? is junior year better than senior year?).
- Research course options available through your program and print out any available course descriptions, course syllabi and/or course lists.
Because courses may be filled when you register, cancelled after you arrive abroad and/or not what you expected after you start class, complete the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form for at least twice as many courses as you actually plan to take. This will give you flexibility in course registration without the need to correspond from abroad with professors and advisors at UW Oshkosh.
- Make an appointment with your faculty advisor or with the Transfer Student Coordinator in the Admissions Office to discuss course and credit equivalencies. Bring
- the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form
- the name of the sponsoring school/organization or foreign institution;
- full address of the sponsoring organization/foreign institution;
- web address of the sponsoring school/organization;
- email address for a contact at this organization (if your program is not a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program); and
- specific program information, including course names/descriptions and the number of hours spent in class for each course.
- If you have other information about the sponsoring organization/foreign institution, bring that with you also.
- Your advisor will sign the Transfer Credit Prior Approval form and will route this form to the Admissions Office. Be sure that you request TWO signed copies; one you will keep for yourself and the other you will submit to the UW Oshkosh Office of International Education as part of your study abroad application (if on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored program).
NOTE: If you are studying abroad on a program sponsored by another UW System institution AND you will receive a transcript from that UW institution, use the credit transfer wizard on the UW System Credit Transfer Information System to see how courses will transfer back to UW Oshkosh. Print off the credit transfer information for courses listed in the system and attach it to the Transfer Credit Prior Approval Form.
At the end of this process, you should have answered these questions:
- Will the courses you are interested in transfer as requirements toward your major or minor, will they transfer as electives, or will they not transfer to UW Oshkosh as anything at all?
- Will you receive the correct number of credits per course so that you don't have too few credits toward a particular requirement for your major, minor or general education coursework?
- Will you receive enough credits to be considered full-time for financial aid purposes?
- If you will be graduating at the end of your semester abroad, what is the deadline that you will have to meet when providing UW Oshkosh with your transcript from the study abroad institution? Can your host institution abroad meet this deadline?
- If you are graduating within the next 2-3 semesters, will you meet the UW Oshkosh graduation rule which says that 15 of the last 30 credits earned must be earned at UW Oshkosh (credits earned through a UW Oshkosh-sponsored study abroad program are considered credits earned at UW Oshkosh).
UW Oshkosh Course Enrollment
(for courses taken during study abroad)
You will automatically be enrolled in your UW Oshkosh courses as late as a few weeks before your program departure date.
Women's Studies 399 3 units (crs.)
Special Topics for Off-campus Study - Nicaragua: Gender, Poverty, and Activism
Social Justice 399 3 units (crs.)
Special Topics for Off-campus Study - Nicaragua: Gender, Poverty, and Activism
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.
Grading Outside the Normal Academic Cycle
In many cases, study abroad program dates do not conform to regular university academic course schedules. When classes run past the end of a semester or session, your grades will be reported outside of the normal academic cycle. THIS MAY AFFECT NOTATIONS ON YOUR TRANSCRIPT. In addition, if you need official transcripts immediately following a study abroad program, be sure that you don't request them until you have verified that the grades have been posted to your academic record by checking on Titan Web through the "View My Grades" option.
Dean's List and Honor Roll
To qualify for Honor Roll/Dean's List, a student must have completed at least 12 credits (full-time status) AT UW OSHKOSH, not including "P" grades (e.g. INTRNTL 333). The Dean's List and Honor Roll process is run the day grades are posted at the end of the official semester. An "I" or "blank" grade (grade not yet recorded) in any class for the term automatically disqualifies a student for Honor Roll/Dean's list. If your course ends after the official semester end date, you will not be included in the award processing but you may request that the notation be added by visiting the Dean's office for your College.
Study Abroad and Graduation
If you plan to study abroad during your final two to three semesters before graduation, meet with your academic advisor or a graduation examiner to ensure that you will meet UW Oshkosh graduation requirements. Three important things to consider are listed below. Other issues may also arise.
A student may not graduate if an Incomplete appears on the transcript. All incomplete grades must be recorded as a final letter grade before the official end of the term in which the student wishes to graduate. The student may request that an Incomplete be converted to an F grade in order to be allowed to graduate. AFTER GRADUATION, NO GRADE CHANGE IS ALLOWED.
Course End Dates
Study abroad program dates often do not conform to regular university academic course schedules. If you plan to graduate at the end of your study abroad experience, ensure that your study abroad program has an end date ON OR BEFORE the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Official Graduation Date listed in the Academic Calendar.
The Official Transcripts which list the courses you took through your study abroad experience (your UW Oshkosh transcripts if the course is run through UW Oshkosh or transcripts from the organization running your program) MUST LIST THE END DATE FOR THE COURSE/S YOU ARE TAKING AND the end date must be ON OR BEFORE the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Official Graduation Date. For non-UW Oshkosh-sponsored programs, if the transcripts you receive do not list an end date, you must request an official cover letter from the organization issuing your transcripts which gives the official course end date.
All courses IN PROGRESS during your final semester, including courses you are taking abroad which you DO NOT NEED in order to graduate, MUST BE COMPLETED by the Official Graduation Date. There are no exceptions.
15 of your final 30 Credits
Fifteen of your final thirty credits must be earned in coursework taken at UW Oshkosh (coursework offered through UW Oshkosh-sponsored study abroad programs is considered coursework taken at UW Oshkosh for this purpose). If you study abroad THROUGH A NON-UW OSHKOSH-SPONSORED PROGRAM during one of your final semesters, the number of credits which you can transfer back to UW Oshkosh may be limited. You may need to balance this limit with the credit minimums required to use financial aid for study abroad.
Students will stay with a host family while in Granada. Host families have been carefully selected and matched with a student. Most families will be living in the city, close to the program site, and some will be a short 5 minute bus ride away.
During the community service project students will also be living with host families. Due to available host families, students may be 1 or 2 per family.
When the group travels outside of Granada, accommodations will be at local hotels or hostels that on-site program coordinators have reserved.
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).
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.
Those who do not make a request will be assigned a roommate.
Know the budget estimate for meals for your program and bring enough money with you. It is not reasonable to think that you can save money by spending less than the estimate provided by the OIE. This is meant to be the BARE MINIMUM for the food available at your particular destination.
FLIGHT & PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Oshkosh - Departure
Mode of transportation: school bus
Meeting Date & Time: DAY MONTH, YEAR at 00:00 a/pm
Departure Time: 00:00 a/pm
Departure Location: Parking Lot 6
Flight - Departure
DAY MONTH, YEAR
00:00 pm Depart Chicago O'Hare on AIRLINE FLIGHT#
00:00 pm Arrive CITY
00:00 pm Depart CITY on AIRLINE FLIGHT#
DAY MONTH, YEAR
00:00 am Arrive CITY
Past program itinerary for reference only - future itineraries will vary!
Monday - Wednesday, January 3-5, 2011
Class on the UW Oshkosh campus
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Arrive in Nicaragua
Friday - Saturday, January 7-8, 2011
In-country orientation and move-in with host families
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Weekend activity with host families
Monday - Friday, January 10-14, 2011
Classes, fieldtrips, and guest speakers
Saturday - Sunday, January 15-16, 2011
Weekend activity with host families
Monday - Friday, January 17-21, 2011
Saturday - Sunday, January 22-23, 2011
Weekend at Masachapa and reflection on Service-Learning Project
Monday, January 24, 2011
Depart for U.S.A.
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
DAY MONTH, YEAR
00:00 pm Depart CITY on AIRLINE FLIGHT#
00:00 pm Arrive CITY
00:00 pm Depart CITY on AIRLINE FLIGHT#
DAY MONTH, YEAR
00:00 am Arrive Chicago O'Hare
Oshkosh - Return
Mode of transportation: school bus
Estimated date & time: DAY MONTH, YEAR at 00:00 a/pm
Return Location: Parking Lot 6
Inability or failure to attend may affect your participation, course grades and ability to receive and use financial aid.
- Fall Interim & Spring Semester Programs: Sat, 11/12/11, 10:45-1:00 in Sage 1210
- Spring Interim, Summer & Fall Semester Programs: Sat, 4/14/12, 9:00-1:00
- Monday, January 3, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Location TBD)
- Tuesday, January 4, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Location TBD)
- Wednesday, January 5, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Location TBD)
We may have as many as 200 people attending orientation. Please arrive at the designated room at least 15 minutes before this event is scheduled to begin. Registration will close approximately 5 minutes before the event.
Driving Directions To Campus
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 Orientation
Accommodation is available on the Oshkosh campus to students & family members. To make reservations, contact Gruenhagen Conference Center at (920) 424-1106. Be sure to reference the study abroad orientation when you call.
COMMUNICATING WITH 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 https://webmail.uwosh.edu/ for instructions. For help, call (920) 424-3020.
STUDY ABROAD APPLICATION
Before You Apply
- Write the Study Abroad Orientation dates in your calendar.
All participants must attend from beginning to end. Inability or failure to attend orientations may affect your participation. Approximately 95% of our participants bring one or more family members, though family participation is optional.
- 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.
- Write all pre-/post-travel class dates in your calendar. Missing a session may make you ineligible for program participation.
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.
Application & Materials Deadlines
Winter Interim Programs
STEPS I & II: 1st Friday in October
STEP III: 2nd Friday in October
Complete the three steps below in order, or work on all three steps simultaneously. Please check off items as you SUBMIT them to the Office of International Education.
|Complete the on-line study abroad application.|
|Print the application packet and sign where appropriate.
|Pay the UW Oshkosh application fee ($100 for in-state residents and $200 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 a copy of your university transcript (unofficial copy from TitanWeb is fine unless otherwise stated on the web page for your program). Highlight course prerequisites (if applicable) and final GPA.
|Credit Overload Form
Complete and submit to the OIE ONLY IF you will exceed the maximum credit limit for the semester; available from the registrar's office.
|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.
|If you already have a passport, complete the "passport" section of your on-line study abroad application (if you didn't complete this before initial submission). If you must apply for a passport, submit a copy of your receipt to the OIE showing that you have applied. Click here for passport forms and instructions.
|Complete the "medical" and "medical III" sections of your on-line study abroad application (if you didn't complete this before initial submission).
Additional Materials due by the Friday following the application deadline.
Host family form
Log in to your on-line study abroad 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.
Using financial aid to cover some or all of your costs? See our detailed financial aid information.
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.
°Indicates the expense will appear on your UW Oshkosh student account.
Total Estimated Expenses
|Program Fee Estimate|
|Program fees will fall between $TBD and $TBD based on TBD-TBD participants.
The more who sign up for this program, the lower the cost per participant will be. You can help lower your cost to study abroad by recruiting friends and classmates to join you in this experience!
|Total Charges on your UW Oshkosh student account|
|Estimated Expenses in U.S. Dollars|
|Application Fee ($200 for out-of-state applicants)|
|Passport & Pictures|
|Checked Baggage (fees NOT included in airfare)|
|Total Pre-travel Expense Estimate (plus immunizations)|
|Expenses in Foreign Currency (NIO = Nicaragua Cordobas)|
|Personal Spending Money (NIO 1,000 - NIO 4,000)|
|Total Expense Estimate while Abroad|
|Total in U.S. Dollars as of 8/11/2010 (today's rate of exchange)|
|Total Estimated Expenses|
Estimates found here are based on the group rate for services and travel dates as well as current exchange rates, where applicable. Changes to this plan or a large exchange rate fluctuation may cause adjustments to the final cost.
Program Fee Inclusions
Program fees cover course-related expenses (no tuition is assessed); transportation between UW Oshkosh and Chicago O'Hare airport by school bus; hostel accommodation as listed on the finalized itinerary; homestay (including meals) as listed on the finalized itinerary; most meals; tours/visits (including transportation and accommodation) listed on the finalized itinerary; local transportation costs associated with the finalized itinerary; pre-travel orientation; and international health insurance. The program itinerary may be tentative and will not be finalized until approximately two weeks before departure.
Program Fee Exclusions
Program fees do not cover items not specifically mentioned above such as baggage insurance; passports; immunizations (if needed);airfare; a few meals; all other food and beverages; local transportation costs not associated with the finalized itinerary; and all expenses of a purely personal nature. Estimates for some of these expenses have been included in the worksheet above. Fees for a single room are available upon request.
Additions to the Expense Estimate
Your Total Estimated Expenses will be higher if you plan to 1) drink alcohol; 2) purchase souveniers or shop; and/or 3) travel away from your program site. Unexpected emergencies may also cost you more if not covered by insurance. Expenses estimated above can be covered by Federal Financial Aid; additional personal expenses such as those listed in this paragraph cannot.
Write these deadlines into your calendar now!
Fall Semester Programs
- First Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if less than $1,000) is due the last Friday of April.
- Final Payment is due the last Friday of July.
- Tuition payment deadline is the same as the normal university tuition payment deadline for this term.
Spring Semester Programs
- First Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if less than $1,000) is due the last Friday of October.
- Final Payment is due the first Friday of December.
- Tuition payment deadline is the same as the normal university tuition payment deadline for this term.
Fall Interim Programs
- First Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if less than $1,000) is due the last Friday of October.
- Final Payment, including all related tuition fees, is due the first Friday of December.
Spring Interim Programs
- First Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if 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 Payment of $1,000 (or full fee if less than $1,000) is due the last Friday of March.
- Final Payment, including all related tuition fees, is due one month before the trip departure date.
Paying Your Program Fee
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 your deposit fee 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 deposit fee statement to the person who pays your bills if you are not that person!!!
The initial Deposit Fee Statement is also provided here. You can use this copy or the copy included in your acceptance letter (they are identicle)when paying your fees.
You will receive a link to a statement for your second payment VIA EMAIL from the Office of International Educations.
You will be billed by Student Accounts at UW Oshkosh for tuition just before the semester at UW Oshkosh begins, just as you normally are. It is your responsibility to make payments according to the normal university payment deadlines.
Payment by Cash or Check
All payments by cash or check must be accompanied by a copy of your 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 the difference 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, 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.
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 for Currency Exchange at O'Hare Airport, see http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/travel_tools/foreign_currency_exchange.html.
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
- Phone Number
- Account # (at the bank)
- Fax Number (optional)
- 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 Address
- Bank phone
- Bank Fax
- Branch Number
- Sort Code
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.
Study Abroad, Tuition and your 1098-T (tax credit)
UW Oshkosh may include only qualified tuition paid to UW Oshkosh for enrollment at UW Oshkosh on 1098-T's issued to students.
Qualified tuition is tuition for academic credit which a student must pay to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution.
Academic credit is credit awarded by an eligible educational institution for the completion of course work leading to a post-secondary degree...
An Eligible educational institution is a ... university ... that is described in section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as in effect on August 5, 1997, and that is eligible to participate in the Department of Education's student aid programs.
Financial Administration of Study Abroad Programs (UW System). In order to increase student access to UW study abroad programs and minimize the cost of student participation, study abroad programs will be financed on a cost recovery basis. Students studying abroad will be exempt from paying the Board of Regents' approved academic fees... One-for-one exchange students will continue to pay regular Regents' approved academic fees on behalf of the incoming exchange visitors who carry UW courses.
- For study abroad with course enrollment at UW Oshkosh, no UW Oshkosh tuition is charged. If no tuition is charged, no tuition will appear on the 1098-T.
- For study abroad with NO course enrollment at UW Oshkosh (except a "placeholder" used to keep your registration at UW Oshkosh active), no UW Oshkosh tuition is charged. Your program fee may include tuition from an ineligible educational institution abroad. If no UW Oshkosh tuition is charged, no tuition will appear on the 1098-T.
- For student exchange programs, students pay tuition to UW Oshkosh. This tuition will appear on the 1098-T.
- For tuition paid directly to an institution abroad, check with that institution to see whether a 1098-T can be issued. It is my understanding (and I may be wrong - check with your tax advisor on this!) that while some foreign schools do participate in the Department of Education's student aid programs (making them eligible educational institutions), students must also be completing course work leading to a post-secondary degree at that institution for the 1098-T to be issued.
HEALTH, SAFETY & SECURITY
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)
of International Education Phone: 1 (920) 424-0775
- Jenna Graff: Director, Office of International Education - email@example.com
- Tanya Kollross, Study Abroad Advisor - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bethany Swingen: Hessen & NSE Advisor - email@example.com
- Mary Reinke: Program Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sarah Christensen : International Student Advisor - email@example.com
- 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 local contacts associated with our program ABROAD
To reach local contacts associated with our program ABROAD
Central America Study Abroad
Tel: (506) 8916-0232; (506) 8811-6825; (506) 8329-6329 (Costa Rica; headquarters)
Tel: (505) 823-5247; (505) 829-2969 (Nicaragua; while program is in session only)
Address: PO Box 20 - 50401 Bagaces, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
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 fees; 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.
In addition to CISI, all students studying through an Australian, German or New Zealand university are required by the foreign government to carry 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.
In addition to CISI, all students studying in Fiji or completing an internship or short course through AustraLearn will be covered under an AustraLearn-purchased health insurance policy.
What does CISI cover?
CISI coverage can change from policy year to policy year. All benefits are clearly explained on the Description of Coverage. If your program begins
- on or before July 31, 2011: http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/CISIpolicy.pdf.
- on or after August 1, 2011: http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/CISIpolicy20112012.pdf
Additional Comprehensive Security Evacuation Insurance is outlined on a separate Description of Coverage, available from http://culturalinsurance.com/pdf/security_evac_comprehensive_ace.pdf.
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 http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/myCISI.pdf.
In addition, 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 available from http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/abroad/handbook/myCISI.pdf to extend your coverage. You must pay for the additional coverage directly 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?
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 https://www.myisic.com/MyISIC/Travel/Main.aspx?MenuID=5004. 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.
Do I need trip cancellation insurance or baggage insurance?
Because the UW Oshkosh OIE runs all programs on a cost-recovery basis, it is not possible to make exceptions to the withdrawal and refund policy for any reason, including withdrawal for medical reasons or family emergencies. To protect yourself, reach through the CISI insurance policy provided through UW System and then consider purchasing TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE to cover other potential eventualities. If you choose not to purchase trip cancellation insurance and the CISI policy does not cover your withdrawal, study abroad fees assessed by the OIE will be your responsibility regardless of your reason for withdrawing. Trip cancellation insurance may provide reimbursement for CERTAIN financial losses UNDER A LIMITED SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES. Read policies carefully and shop around. Not all policies cover pre-existing conditions.
Baggage insurance typically provides coverage related to lost or delayed luggage. Because there are fairly low limits on the claims you can make, you may also need to purchase insurance riders through your home insurance policy to cover items such as digital cameras or other expensive equipment.
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.
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/).
Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Site for Immunization Information
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
Emergency Response Plan
Each program participant should develop a reasonable family communications plan that includes contingencies for emergency situations.
UW Oshkosh has Emergency Response Plans in place for its faculty-led programs.
Faculty Leader/Host School Responsibilities
For faculty-led programs, your faculty leader is responsible for the activities of your group for the entire program. For student exchange programs, your host school is only responsible for activities such as course registration and orientation. In either case, your faculty leader, program sponsors or host school:
- cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments.
- cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.
- cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings or provide or pay for legal representation for participants.
- cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by the program sponsor for events that are not part of the program or that are beyond the control of the sponsor, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.
- cannot assure that home country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.
Participants are responsible for preparing academically and personally for their experience abroad. All participants must understand that the orientations offered by the OIE and by faculty offer only an INTRODUCTION to issues related to travel abroad and cultural/language differences you will encounter. We do our best to cover the most important topics, but there is absolutely no possible way that we can tell you everything you will want to know or feel you need to know before your trip. You can prepare by reading resources suggested to you at orientations, by exploring on the internet, by knowing your itinerary and checking out your hotels on-line, and by reading books and articles related to your destination. The more you know before you go, the steeper your learning curve will be while abroad.
You also signed a statement of responsibility which you will be expected to abide by. Faculty leaders and host school liaisons have the right and responsibility to remove any participant from the program for disruptive or unsafe behavior.
Purchase a Travel Guide
Purchase a travel guide for your study abroad destination for current information on money/currency, customs & duties, staying healthy, public transportation, travel tips, telephones, sending mail, tipping, and a lot more. Choose the guidebook which fits your needs, and make sure it is current for the year in which you are traveling! Guidebook titles include Frommer's, Fodor's, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Let's Go and more.
Visas & Residence Permits
What is a visa?
A visa is an endorsement or stamp placed by officials of a foreign country on a U.S. passport that makes it possible for the bearer to visit that foreign country. In some cases, U.S. citizens and citizens from other countries can enter a foreign country without applying for a visa in advance, instead receiving their visa at the foreign airport through the "visa waiver program". In other cases, U.S. citizens and citizens from other countries must apply for a visa in advance.
Do I need a visa to study or teach abroad?
To check whether you will need to apply for a visa in advance, check the web site of the foreign embassy. You can access these web sites from the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Embassies in the U.S. Once you are on the web site of the foreign embassy, look for their "consular services" or "consular information." You will find information pertaining to visa applications there. Very often the information presented on these sites is more confusing than clarifying. Stop in to see staff in the OIE or call the embassy/consulate directly if you have questions.
Many countries do not require U.S. citizens to obtain a visa before entering as a tourist for a short time, and a few do not require visas for unpaid teaching or for study of one semester or less. If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact the OIE immediately so that we can determine whether or not you will need a visa for the country you plan to visit.
Faculty-led and Student Exchange Programs
Visa requirements, if any, are listed on your program's web page.
Educators Abroad Student Teaching (EAST) will let you know whether you need a visa for your host country. It is your responsibility to apply for the visa if needed.
How do I get a visa?
If you are on a UW Oshkosh-sponsored faculty-led or student exchange program and you need a visa to study abroad in a particular country, the Office of International Education will make the forms and instructions for applying available to you via the web page for your program. Getting a visa can take anywhere between several weeks to several months. Applications are always done through the foreign country's local consulate or embassy, generally located in Chicago or in Washington D.C. Sometimes, individuals must travel to the consulate in person to obtain a visa. Other times, individuals can apply by mail. Information on applying for a visa is always listed on the web pages of the Foreign Embassies in the U.S. .
You will need, among other things, a valid passport in order to apply for your visa, so be sure to apply for your passport early!
A residence permit entitles foreign nationals to the right of residence within the issuing country.
In some cases, U.S. citizens and citizens from other countries can remain in a foreign country without applying for a residence permit. In other cases, U.S. citizens and citizens from other countries must apply for a residence permit either before traveling or after having arrived in the foreign country.
Faculty-led and Student Exchange Programs
Residence permit requirements, if any, are listed on your program's web page.
Educators Abroad Student Teaching (EAST) will let you know whether you need a residence permit for your host country. It is your responsibility to apply for the residence permit if needed.
You are responsible for finding and purchasing your own airline tickets. Monitor a few on-line sites for awhile so that you know what a reasonable price is for the route you want. Then, if looking at domestic airlines, check the web page of the airline offering the low-fee ticket; you may find the same route to be $10-$20 cheaper when purchased on-line directly from the airline. When purchasing your ticket, remember that the first and last names on your airline tickets must match your name as it appears in your passport EXACTLY. If your credit card includes travel insurance, consider purchasing your airline ticket using your credit card. When you receive your tickets, check the dates and times listed on all of your tickets to be sure they are accurate. Also check to make sure that the first and last names on your airline ticket match the first and last names in your passport EXACTLY. Middle names shouldn't matter.
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.
WIS only: A representative from Carlson Wagonlit Suntime Travel, LLP will meet you at the appropriate ticket counter at the Minneapolis St Paul International Airport with your ticket. If you are not traveling with the group, your airline ticket will be mailed to you.
Frequent Flyer Miles
See our information on Frequent Flyer Miles for basic information on how these programs work. See the website of the specific airline you will fly for program enrollment information.
Your airline will limit the number and size of both carry-on and checked bags. Check baggage restrictions on the website of your airline of choice and know in advance what fees you may need to pay for excess baggage.
Note that most airlines allow for a maximum of excess baggage as well (in other words, you can't just pay to bring as much as you'd like). If you show up at the airport with baggage which exceeds the maximum excess baggage limit, you will not be allowed to bring this baggage with you.
Convert kilograms to pounds.
Carry-on, checked and excess baggage restrictions on CARRIER.
Bring a student ID to take advantage of student entry fees. Make sure you have both your passport and a second official form of identification (e.g. driver’s license). Consider bringing your birth certificate (with the raised seal) as this is helpful if replacing a lost passport.
Avoid bringing electrical appliances if possible; buy adapters (plug shape) and a converter (to change voltage) if necessary and use both. Try to AVOID purchasing an UNFUSED adapter (otherwise the charge goes either into the appliance or into the wall - potentially starting a fire - if it blows). For more information on adapters and converters, go to http://www.walkabouttravelgear.com/wwelect.htm.
Pack to Stay Safe!
For you own safety, follow this simple rule: Don't bring anything that someone else may want. Don't pack clothing or accessories that will make you a target for theft. Leave name brand clothing at home and don't wear any jewelry. Empty your wallet or purse before traveling. Remove extra credit cards and other items you won't need.
Pack to Walk!
You will walk a lot. Codes pertaining to the height and depth of steps, sidewalk conditions, the height of signs (this is for you tall people!) etc. may be different. Avoid foot and ankle injuries by packing appropriate shoes, socks and lots of bandages!
Limit yourself to one reasonably-sized check-on piece of luggage and one small carry-on. Leave extra space for things you buy abroad to avoid paying fees for going over luggage limits on your return. Label every piece of luggage both inside and out and buy TSA-approved locks (so that your locks aren't removed during airport inspection) for use at hotels. If you can't carry your luggage (all of it at once) up and down the block and up and down a few sets of stairs, you have probably packed too much.
International flights can take anywhere from several to fourteen hours. Generally, passengers are offered food and beverages, movies (depending on the airline and length of the flight) and music channels & headphones. If you think you might require other entertainment, you'll need to bring it with you.
Dalkeith House: Unfused adapters are prohibited. You will be asked NOT to use any adapter you've purchased before travel and to purchase an approved adapter on site instead.
From Oshkosh to the Airport
There is a bus scheduled to take students from Oshkosh to the airport.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 it.
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 it.
Park in UW Oshkosh Lot 6 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 at the far end of university parking lot 6, which is on the corner of Wisconsin and Pearl, 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.
To avoid jet lag on flights where there is a large time difference, it is best to immediately adopt the sleeping schedule of your destination; this means either attempting to sleep or to stay awake according to the time of day (or night) it is at your destination before arriving. You should begin doing this at the front end of your trip (i.e. while riding to the airport if someone else is driving or immediately upon take-off on the first leg of your trip).
If there is a large time difference between Wisconsin and your destination and you arrive at your destination during the day, DON’T SLEEP! If you can manage to stay awake on the first day, jet lag will be less difficult for you during the days to come. You're going to be extremely tired either way, so it’s best to fight it at the very beginning of your trip so that you can enjoy the days to come!
Procedures at U.S. International Airports
Arrive at a U.S. international airport (O'Hare, Minneapolis, etc.) a minimum of 3 ½ hours early so that you complete your check-in 3 hours early. Passengers who show up later to check in on planes which are oversold don’t always get a seat assignment. Go through security immediately after checking in; if you run into trouble with security you may still have enough time to get cleared and make your flight. You must be through security a minimum of ½ hour to 45 minutes (the exact timing depends on the airport) before your plane is scheduled to BOARD. If you aren't, you may not be allowed through security and you will miss your flight. Boarding times are typically 30 to 45 minutes before scheduled take off. Anyone who is not flying will not be allowed to pass through security.
For airport maps, terminal information, parking information, etc., check the appropriate web pages below:
Minneapolis/St. Paul: http://www.mspairport.com/MSP/
Outagamie County (Appleton): http://www.atwairport.com/
Customs Declaration Form
Either just prior to check-in or while on the flight, you will receive a customs declaration form; be sure you have the form for U.S. citizens (unless you are a citizen of another country) written in English. Complete this form—front and back—either before check-in or before the plane lands. You will need this form to go through customs (explained elsewhere in this guide).
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.
When you go through immigration, officials inspect your passport and may ask for your hotel/host family address and telephone number; it's a good idea to carry this information with you. If asked what you will be doing in the host country:
- short-term programs with NO ENROLLMENT in a university or school ABROAD, “I'm here on a cultural visit with my U.S. professor.” Do not say “to study” or "for international business."
- short-term programs WITH ENROLLMENT in a university or school ABROAD (LdM, Germany, Spain), "I'm here to take classes at (institution name) for # (number) weeks."
- semester or longer, “I'm here to study at (institution name).”
- USA Summer Camp, “I'm here to participate on a language camp.” Do not say "to work at a summer camp."
- Wisconsin in Scotland, present a letter to immigration officials (included in a packet sent to your permanent address before departure)
- Even if you hope to find a legal job later, do not mention working.
If you say “to study,” "to work," or “for international business" when you are not studying at a university or getting paid for work, you will confuse immigration officials, who may assume that you then need a special student or work visa.
Photographs and Fingerprinting
Just as the U.S. does with foreign nationals entering the United States, you may be photographed and fingerprinted upon entry in the foreign country. Data collected may be checked against a database of international terror and crime suspects, checked against domestic crime records and/or used for other purposes. The U.S., Japan and Brazil are photographing and fingerprinting.
After immigration, you will go to the baggage claim to get your luggage and then head through customs. At this point, officials will decide whether or not to search through your luggage. In general, you cannot bring meat or agricultural products across borders. These items will be confiscated. For more information on customs regulations, see theU.S. State Department's Country-specific Informationfor your destination. If you are traveling to Japan with prescription drugs, it is extremely important that you understand Japanese Customs Regulations.
Canada - Greater Fredericton Airport
England - Heathrow (London)
Italy - Fiumicino (Rome)
Mexico - Benito Juarez International (Mexico City)
Peru - Jorge Chavez International (Lima)
Scotland - Edinburgh
Spain - Barajas International (Madrid)
Luggage Delivery Service (Japan only, except USA Summer Camp)
Once you leave customs and enter the arrival lobby, look for the ABC or Kuroneko (Black Cat) service counters. You should mail all of your luggage, except relatively small items which you can easily carry, to your apartment before trying to take the subway and train.
For USA Summer Camp, a greeter carrying a sign which says “USA Summer Camp” will be waiting for you as you exit customs in Narita airport. The greeter will help you check in for your connecting flight. You will be met by staff from Guy Healy, Japan when you arrive at your final destination airport. You may spend the first night in a hotel. In this case, the following day everyone will go by bus to the camp facilities for the USA Summer Camp orientation.
Find Out Whether You Need to Carry Proof of Legal Entry & Stay
In some countries, foreigners are required to provide proof of legal entry and stay to authorities upon request. This means that foreigners may be required to carry their passports (e.g. in the Netherlands or Japan) or identity documents issued by the foreign government (e.g. Japan if staying for a longer period of time) at all times. Check the Entry/Exit Requirements section of the U.S. State Department's Country-specific Information (http://travel.state.gov/) for your destination for details.
Family Communications Plan
Develop a reasonable family communications plan that includes contingencies for emergency situations. Use the Emergency Communication Form to record important information; leave a copy of this form, your itinerary and other important information with someone back home.
Upon Arrival (this could take more time than you had planned!)
It's not easy to contact friends and family upon arrival! By the time you get off the plane, go through immigration & customs, travel to your accommodation, purchase an international calling card, learn how it works and locate a public phone or an internet cafe, all when you're jet lagged and dealing with a new environment, you may not be able to call or email until the next day.
You may or may not have easy access to reliable email from hotels, internet cafes or universities, depending on your study abroad site. In some countries where crime and computer theft are problems, internet sites may be protected by guards. In this case, avoid sites which are open to the street or are not guarded.
When using UW Oshkosh Titan Mail:
- Turn off the pop-up blocker on the computer you are using. Titan Mail WILL NOT WORK with the pop-up blocker turned on.
- Remember that staff & faculty at UW Oshkosh will continue to use your UW Oshkosh email address. If you are away for an extended period of time, you must continue to check this!
Sending mail to the U.S. can take two to several weeks, depending on your location. Choose DHL to ship important items and USPS for regular mail. If staying in hotels or hostels, you will not be able to receive mail and you will not have an address abroad. If staying with a host family, your address will be the same as the host family's address, but ask friends and family to use both your host's name and your name when addressing the envelope. At USA Summer Camp, you can send mail from some camp sites but not from others. If possible, buy stamps in Japan before you get to the camp. Mail should be sent to your host family's house rather than to the camp so that it can bereturned to you if you are no longer in Japan when it arrives.
- It's best to use pre-paid phone cards purchased in your destination country. If you purchase these in the U.S., call the customer service number on the back of the card before departing from the U.S. to get the access number from your destination country!
- Avoid using an international phone card tied to your phone number in the U.S. It’s very easy to rack up a $100-200 phone bill in just a few nights.
- Do not make international phone calls from your hotel room, even with a calling card or pre-paid calling card, without asking the hotel desk clerk whether or not you'll be charged by the hotel for time spent on the telephone line! Hotels are notorious for charging for time spent on the phone, regardless of how you are paying for the actual call.
- Never call the U.S. from your host family's phone without a calling card. This is expensive, and it will be difficult to pay the family for the calls after you return to the U.S.
- Wisconsin in Scotland: international prepaid calling cards purchased in the U.S. do not work on the phones in Dalkeith House.
While most cell phone companies will tell their customers that their U.S. cell phone will work abroad, the reality is that some U.S. cell phones work abroad and others don't. In some cases two people with the same cell company experience different results. In many cases cell phone customers have been unpleastantly surprised upon returning home to enormous phone bills. Unless you have a cell phone which is specifically designed for use outside the U.S. or you have successfully used your U.S. cell phone abroad, use your U.S. cell phone at your own risk!
If you plan to use your cell phone a lot while outside the U.S. and perhaps plan to continue traveling into the future, consider purchasing a phone which will work anywhere in the world. Otherwise, consider renting a phone. There are lots of options available on the internet - here's what you're looking for:
- GSM Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900)
- It must be unlocked!
You will also need to purchase a SIM card. Your phone number will be on the SIM card (not on the phone). Without a SIM card, your phone is useless.
- If you plan to be abroad short-term, for many countries you must now purchase your SIM card PRIOR to traveling. In many countries, you now need to show that you'll be residing in the country for a significant period of time before you can purchase a SIM card in-country. If purchasing before travel, consider purchasing a card which can be replenished on line. A simple google search should turn up multiple companies selling SIM cards.
- If you plan to be abroad long-term (a semester or longer), purchase your SIM card in-country after speaking to other students in the area to find out which company is currently offering the best deal for international students.
A Little Advice (from us and from you)!
For getting through the tough times and the culture shock ups & downs...
It isn't better. It isn't worse. It's just different.
Learn to accept -- not to expect. False expectations can lead to disappointment.
Don't be afraid to ask directions.
Don't be afraid to get lost. Getting lost can lead to wonderful discoveries!
(But stay safe.)
Be flexible -- tolerate ambiguity.
Talk to the locals as much as you can.
Remember that you are a guest who has traveled to learn about cultural differences--not an intruder who has come to make a difference.
Work hard to find the positive in everything you do and see--this will have a tremendous effect on your own attitude and, in turn, on the type of experience you have.
Take lots of pictures and keep a journal.
Don't worry about what's going on back home - just enjoy where you are!
Know about your own country before you go.
Learn to budget your money before you go.
Be practical with your packing.
Have fun and enjoy the time that you are there. You will be gone before you know it!
Prepare to Depart for Home
Complete Your Course Transfer
Before you depart from abroad, you must request that your host institution send your transcripts directly to the Transfer Student Coordinator in the UW Oshkosh Admissions Office. Do not send your transcript to the Office of International Education. The UW Oshkosh OIE cannot request transcripts on your behalf and you cannot receive credit at UW Oshkosh without the official transcript.
Transfer Student Coordinator
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901
NOTE: When the Transfer Student Coordinator receives your transcipt, it will be matched to the Transfer Credit Prior Approval Form you completed during the application process for your program. If you did not take the courses you listed on your prior approval form, there is no guarantee that your courses will transfer. If you took courses which won't transfer, this will retroactively affect your full-time status as reported by UW Oshkosh and may affect your financial aid.
You should consider ordering a copy of your host institution transcripts for yourself if possible.
Scheine - FORGETTING THIS STEP COULD MEAN NO COURSE TRANSFER!
Make sure that for every course you take, you arrange to earn/receive a "Scheine". This is proof that you have completed the course requirements and are entitled to credit. A Scheine can be obtained by writing a paper, taking a test, doing an oral report, etc. How you earn a Scheine will vary by instructor--make sure you ask and be proactive with professors. They are typically not as "forward" in assisting students as US professors--a cultural difference. Toward the end of your semester, you must collect your Scheine from each professor and then submit them to the International Office in Germany. You will then need to have the Auslandsamt print out a transcript for you and send both it and the Scheine to the UW Oshkosh Admissions office to complete the credit transfer process.
NOTE: Transcripts in Germany can only reflect what is in the “Scheine”. If you do not earn or collect “Scheine” AND submit them to the International Office, your courses WILL NOT appear on your transcript. Issuing a “Scheine” after you have returned to Wisconsin is impossible.
Know how early you must arrive at the international airport in order to get through security in time; every airport has its own rules. If traveling on a faculty-led program, your faculty leader will let you know what time your group will meet to leave for the airport.
Airport exit fees are often, but not always, included in the cost of your airline ticket. Know whether you must pay these at the airport and in what currency so that you don't exchange all of your money back into U.S. dollars too soon. Ask your program leader or check your guidebook or the U.S. State Department's Country-specific Information (http://travel.state.gov/) for your destination for more information.
- Back in the U.S.A.: Reflecting on your study abroad experience and putting it to work
- Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication
- Cross Cultural Communication: A Visual Approach
- Developing Intercultural Awareness: A Cross-Cultural Training Handbook
- Do's and Taboos of Preparing for Your Trip Abroad
- Everybody's Guide to People Watching
- Mindsets: The Role of Culture and Perception in International Relations
- Safety and Study Abroad (32 minute video)
- Study Abroad: A Parent's Guide
- Survival Kit for Overseas Living: for Americans planning to live and work abroad
- Whole World Guide to Culture Learning
- FAA Airport Status Reports (general airport conditions)
- Subway Page (links to subway maps)
- World Airport Guides
Culture & Key Facts
- What’s Up With Culture? On-line training resource for study abroad
- Issue Briefs – understanding relevant issues as a means to connecting with people
- Culturegrams – four-page country-specific reports on history, religion, greetings, etc.
- StudyAbroad.com Handbook: exploring cultural differences, health & nutrition, safety & security, legalities & emergencies, careers, pre-departure checklist
- Atlapedia Online physical and political maps; key facts on countries of the world
- International Affairs Resources
- Travlang travel resources; signs and road rules, foreign newspapers, flags
- U.S. Department of State Country Maps
- World Factbook
- World Holiday & Celebration Calendar
- WorldWide Classroom Travel Planner culture shock, people & culture, air/bus, weather, world news and much more!
- International Phone Calls
- Fodors: French, German, Italian, Spanish useful phrases and word lists
- Travlang: foreign language useful phrases and word lists with AUDIO
- Time Zone: Nicaragua
- Universal Currency Converter
Centigrade x 1.8 + 32 = Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit - 32 / 1.8 = Centrigrade
- Electricity Guide (from Walkabout Travel Gear)
- Mobility International U.S.A. for people with disabilities
Health & Safety
- OSAC (Overseas Security Advisory Council)
- International Society of Travel Medicine
- World Health Organization
- Intercultural Press Books/videos dealing with intercultural issues
- Transitions Abroad Publishing
- TravelMedicine Information & products for safe travel (not just medicine!)
- WalkAbout Travel Gear (surge protectors, converters, adapters and much more)
This page was last updated on: February 13, 2012