Congratulations on the acceptance of your application to study abroad! We hope that you will have a wonderful and rewarding experience abroad.
Below you will find information on important next steps in you are participating in an exchange and affiliated program. The information provided on this page is not meant to be exhaustive. Always check with your advisor in the Office of Study Abroad to ensure that you have completed all the necessary steps that are required for your study abroad experience.
It is your responsibility to review the contents of the ODU Study Abroad Handbook which you can find in your ODUAbroad account. This document has been designed to provide you with most of the information that you will need to successfully study abroad.
All students who will be participating in an exchange or affiliated program will have a mandatory pre-departure program. For students participating in semester or yearlong programs, this program has been divided into two sessions, both of which you must attend. For students participating in summer affiliated programs, you will have one pre-departure meeting.
These meetings are an essential part of your preparation to study abroad and attendance is mandatory for all participants. We will contact you once the orientation sessions have been scheduled.
In order to travel in and out of the United States, you must have a valid passport. If you do not already have one that is valid for six months beyond your return date, it is critical that you apply for one now in order to obtain it in sufficient time to participate in the program and/or obtain any necessary visas. You will provide our office with your passport information (including a scanned copy) via a questionnaire on ODUAbroad. For information on applying for a passport, please see the State Department's website.
A visa is official permission granted by the authorities of the country where you will study or travel which allows you to enter and remain in that country. Some countries require visas to enter as a tourist, while others require them only for extended stays. Visas are not usually required for tourism in Eastern and Western European countries, but there are frequently different regulations concerning study and work.
A student visa is required to enter many of the countries where Old Dominion sponsors study abroad programs. The visa itself is usually a stamp in your passport rather than a separate document. Visas are issued at the country's embassy in the U.S. or at consulates located in major U.S. cities. It is imperative that you fully complete all documents and submit them exactly according to instructions. You will work with the appropriate embassy or consulate that serves your legal residence here in the U.S. The Office of Study Abroad can provide you with information regarding how to obtain the appropriate visa application. Be sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your departure date.
In some cases, even though a visa is not required, appropriate acceptance letters and financial documentation are required for entry into the country (i.e. Spain, Japan, United Kingdom, Ireland). The Study Abroad Advisor or your program advisor can provide you with instructions concerning what documents will be needed.
If you plan to travel outside of your host country, you may need additional visas; check requirements with the consulates of specific countries. The U.S. State Department provides valuable information regarding entry requirements for various countries.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should consult the nearest consulate of the country of your citizenship and the nearest consulate of the country where you plan to study. The procedures which you will follow may be different from those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures. U.S. permanent residents must check with the U.S. Immigration Service concerning regulations for reentry into the U.S. It is particularly important to verify procedures for those who contemplate being outside the U.S. for more than six months. International students must also see the International Student Advisor in ISSS and obtain a signature on visa documents to permit re-entry to the U.S.
Check with the Office of Study Abroad about how and when to pay your program fees.
Once you are accepted for a study abroad program or exchange, an official budget will be created by your study abroad advisor and sent to Ms. Margaret Strachan who work in the Office of Financial Aid (Rollins Hall).
Because a study abroad experience can be both physically and emotionally demanding, we ask that you provide a candid evaluation of your health. A certain amount of stress due to culture shock or a change in living conditions is a normal part of being abroad. In some cases, such stress may aggravate disabilities or illnesses which you manage with little difficulty at home. As you complete this questionnaire online, we hope to help you consider health issues that you should take into consideration before going abroad. This information will be used primarily to guide us in making appropriate arrangements for you as a study abroad participant. The information provided is confidential and will be shared only with program staff, faculty, or appropriate professionals, and only if pertinent to your well-being. The Office of Study Abroad may not be able to accommodate all individual needs or circumstances, although we will make every effort to do so. You will complete this questionnaire on ODUAbroad.
Old Dominion University is committed to offering and supporting safe, academically rigorous and diverse international education abroad programs and services for ODU students, faculty and staff.
The University requires that all students, faculty, and staff participating in international education abroad initiatives — whether of a credit or non-credit nature — carry complete international health insurance coverage for the duration of their program.
Students, faculty and staff should contact the Office of Study Abroad to facilitate compliance with the International Education Abroad Health Insurance Policy.
The University has contracted with CISI Insurance to administer international health insurance for ODU students, faculty, and staff participating in international education programs sponsored, administered, or coordinated by Old Dominion University faculty or staff. Instructions for purchasing the insurance can be found on your ODUAbroad account.
If you are receiving any financial aid from ODU (grants, loans and/or scholarships) you are required to complete this form which can be found on your ODUAbroad account. The second page of the form must be signed by a public notary which can be typically done at your bank. Bring the completed form to the Office of Study Abroad and we will make a copy for your file and return the original to you to be given to your designated power of attorney.
Before departing for a study abroad program/exchange, it is the student's responsibility to be advised and receive approval (with appropriate signatures) for the use of credit earned abroad toward an Old Dominion University degree. This form should be completed and turned in to the Office of Study Abroad before you leave the U.S. This form ensures that your courses/classes/modules/units from abroad will transfer back to ODU. You can obtain this form in your ODUAbroad application.
Before your departure, select and review your proposed course load with your academic advisor to ensure your course of study will fulfill major, minor, and/or other requirements. You should then meet with the chief departmental advisor of each Old Dominion University department to receive pre-approval for the selected courses. For example, you plan on taking courses in economics, history, and art; you need to visit the chief department for each of these departments. The advisor will evaluate each course description which falls under their department and fill out the course equivalency at Old Dominion University. Their signature indicates pre-approval of that course to transfer back to Old Dominion University upon successful completion of the course.
You must earn the equivalent of a "passing grade" (in the system where you are studying abroad) or better for each study aboard course in order to receive transfer credit at ODU. The grades for these courses will not appear on the transcript and will not be calculated into your grade point average. You should be aware, however, that many graduate programs will request to have a transcript from the study abroad university or program.
The number of credit hours transferred is determined by the Office of International Admissions upon successful completion of the term of study abroad and presentation of an official transcript.