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Obtain a valid passport if you don't already have one
Receive notification of acceptance from Suffolk University
Receive notification of acceptance from host university (Suffolk Madrid students will only receive one acceptance)
Pay any program or housing deposits, if required
Attend relevant workshops through the study abroad office such as coffee and cookie hours, financial workshops, and Spanish student visa workshops
Investigate your options for overseas health insurance coverage
Check the visa requirements for the country where you will be studying
Gather documents and apply for a student visa if you need to obtain one
Complete any housing forms by the designated program deadlines
Register for courses/Be registered for courses
Suffolk Madrid students, register on MySuffolk at an assigned date and time
All other students will be placed into placeholder courses. Do not drop these courses and do not register for courses in Boston. This will be taken care of for you.
Purchase a plane ticket (only after official acceptance)
Attend the Suffolk University mandatory pre-departure orientation
Create an account with the U.S. Department of State STEP Program and check back for updates on our new international travel assistance provider
Pick up your student visa
Contact your doctor about any medical concerns, questions about vaccinations, and help with obtaining any prescriptions in advance
Notify your bank and credit card companies that you will be out of the country for a period of time
Most Suffolk University study abroad programs require you to obtain a student visa prior to your departure. Visa regulations vary by country and by each student's country of citizenship. Here are some things to keep in mind when applying for a visa:
Students who study abroad and wish to receive credit toward their degree will pay Suffolk University the full cost of tuition. Tuition for Suffolk Madrid is paid directly to the Madrid campus. Students participating in all other programs will pay tuition to Suffolk University's Boston campus.
Room and board costs are not included in the tuition for the program. This additional cost varies by program. Make your payment for room and board directly to the program or host institution. To find out the cost of room and board for your program, please contact our office. In addition, any courses you take with specific course-related fees are not covered by your Suffolk tuition payment and will be billed to you (the student) by the program.
Some students' financial aid package may cover the cost of their studies abroad. To learn more, please contact your financial aid counselor.
When estimating your budget outside of Suffolk University tuition and program room and board fees, consider two categories: your pre-departure expenses and post-arrival expenses.
You should decide whether you'll buy prescription medication abroad or bring enough with you to last your entire program. Please note that medicines and vitamins cannot be mailed internationally; they will be held up in customs. Medicines should be stored in a drugstore bottle with a label showing the drug's name, generic name, dosage, and instructions for use.
Even under ideal conditions, adjusting to life in a different culture can be stressful. On occasion, this stress may trigger or aggravate more serious emotional conditions. Adjusting to another culture is higher risk for a student who is currently being treated for depression/anxiety, an eating disorder, or any other serious medical or mental health condition. In these cases, study abroad should be postponed or planned very carefully in conjunction with our staff and other healthcare professionals.
Typical reactions to cultural transitions may include homesickness, boredom or fatigue, physical complaints, feelings of depression or helplessness, and/or hostility toward the host culture. These reactions are usually short-lived, however, when students are encouraged to test new problem-solving methods that help them feel more comfortable in a new culture.
Above all, trust your instincts. If, after an initial transition period of two or three weeks, you are experiencing unusual or prolonged distress, you should consult with counseling services overseas and contact our office for additional resources.
Petty larceny is an issue for all travelers. Pickpockets in popular tourist destinations often single out foreigners as easy targets. We recommend body pouches as the safest way to carry passports and currency. While studying abroad (in any city), keeping your residence doors and windows locked at all times is also a necessary safety precaution.
Make copies of all important documents (including the first page of your passport; student visa, and credit, ATM, and insurance cards) and:
Excellent, comprehensive information on safe travel is available through the State Department's website. The U.S. State Department posts current travel warnings, public announcements, and consular information sheets for any country on this website. We recommend that all students read this information and do personal research on safety in the country where they'll be studying abroad.
U.S. State Department: Travel Tips for Students
Consular Affairs Publications: Your Trip Abroad, A Safe Trip Abroad, Tips for Americans Residing Abroad
Travel expenses (including airplane tickets and other means of travel) are not paid to Suffolk, nor is Suffolk responsible for paying these fees. Purchasing travel insurance will protect you if you must cancel or suspend your study abroad plans due to a travel warning from the United States Department of State advising U.S. citizens not to travel to a particular country or, if in the country, to leave. Please contact your travel provider for more details.
Check with your health insurance provider to see if your coverage extends to the country where you will be studying abroad. If you do not have coverage, contact our office and your study abroad program to assess whether you will be covered by insurance provided by your program.
If your provider does not cover international health insurance or you wish to purchase additional coverage, you can inquire with the following insurance companies who offer coverage for the duration of the study abroad program: STA Travel, Gateway Premier–Premier Plan II, CMI Insurance Specialists, Marsh International Plans, Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), and Reviews.com/travel-insurance/.
During the study abroad application process, you will meet with an academic advisor to have your courses approved. We recommend researching courses offered at the study abroad institution that are both interesting to you and meet some of your requirements at Suffolk. When you go to your meeting at the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center, you should come prepared with course descriptions and schedules.
Once you have been approved to study abroad, you will be registered for placeholder courses at Suffolk University, as determined by your advisor. The courses you take at a partner university will appear as transfer credits on your transcript as long as you receive a passing grade in them. In order to pass a course, you need to receive a letter grade of C or higher. Your GPA will be unaffected by your semester abroad.
IF you're studying at Suffolk Madrid, you will also have your courses pre-approved by the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center during the application process. You will then register online at your assigned registration date and time for the classes you selected (using the same MySuffolk process you use to register for courses at our Boston campus). You must take at least 12 credits to maintain your status as a student for visa purposes.
You'll receive credits and letter grades for your Suffolk Madrid courses that will be reflected on your transcript and factor into your GPA.
Suffolk enrolls all students in Drum Cussac's Global Risk Manager while they are studying abroad. Drum is a service that provides immediate support for any challenges that arise when you're traveling. Services include medical assistance, security assistance, and travel assistance abroad. They also include pre-travel advising, such as providing information about vaccinations and other country-specific preparations. You will receive a Travel Risk Brief and Incident Alerts before and during travel from Drum Cussac. You can direct any questions to Drum's 24/7 Global Response Center at +1 240-330-1342 or Suffolk's Center for International Programs and Services.
Note: Drum Cussac is not a first responder. If you are in a true emergency and need medical or police assistance, you should call the country’s equivalent of 911.
We encourage you to learn more about the services available to you by taking these steps:
1: Save Drum Cussac’s contact information in your phone
2: Visit the website to learn more about Drum's services
3: Download the app and register by logging in with your Suffolk username and password
4: Remember that you can contact Drum Cussac any time you have a problem while traveling
Suffolk University has the right to expect that students, as members of the academic community, will conduct themselves in a manner which is consistent with the educational mission of freedom to learn and that they will respect the rights of their fellow citizens. Any departure from these standards that can be shown to be injurious to the program’s pursuit of its normal activities may be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions, which could include dismissal from the program.
The study abroad regulations are in accordance with the Suffolk University Student Handbook.