Yale College
Center for International and Professional Experience
55 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT

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Center for International and Professional Experience Pre-departure Checklist


Before You Go...

Yale Administrative Tasks

Your "MyCIPE" account: Be sure all required forms have been submitted through your "MyCIPE" account.

Fellowship Funding: If you have received a fellowship(s) or grant to support your experience, be sure to understand what is expected of you before you leave, while you're abroad, and upon your return.

Financial Aid: If you receive financial aid during the academic year
      Summer Opportunities: International Summer Award. Check your eligibility and apply through the International Summer Award website, and be sure that your ISA application materials are in order.
      Term-Time Programs: Make sure your paperwork with University Financial Aid Office (246 Church St.) is in order.

Fall Fellowships: If you are thinking about applying for some of the major, early-deadline fellowships in the fall of your senior year make sure you stay in contact with Fellowship Programs (203-432-8685). These deadlines come up very early in the fall term so be prepared! Make certain to check the fellowships web site while you are abroad too.

Passport & Immigration Issues

Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of return to the US. If necessary, apply for a new passport or renew your passport as soon as possible.


The Yale and the World International Toolkit provides an easy way to access international resources from across Yale's websites and beyond.


Visa: Apply for a visa if necessary. View the list of international consulates and embassies in the United States. Foreign Consulate and Embassies based in the U.S. often grant visas to people who live within a specific U.S. region. It is highly recommended that you visit the foreign embassy or consulate's website within the jurisdiction of your permanent residence. Visa requirements may vary, so to be sure you have the correct paperwork, make sure you follow the instructions of that particular embassy or consulate.
Important Note: Please do not make any travel plans (study, volunteer, internship, research, family vacation) that will conflict with the timing of the student visa application process for a fall or spring term abroad. If you plan on traveling abroad prior to a fall term abroad, or between semesters for a spring term abroad, you will need to apply for your student visa prior to undertaking your summer or holiday travels. During the visa application process you will not have access to your passport and the process may take a week or two, or a few months. Further complicating matters, there may be a specific window within which you must apply for your student visa. For example, in some cases, visa applications will be accepted no less than one month and no more than three months prior to the start date of your study abroad program.

International students: Meet with an Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) adviser before leaving campus.

Arrival or Departure Taxes: Be aware of any applicable arrival or departure taxes that you may encounter.

Don't Forget!
Bring with you, or email yourself copies of your passport and visa. Leave or email copies of each with your family.


Money & Technology

Money: Take enough local currency to get you through the first couple of days. You can either exchange money before you leave the U.S., or get similar rates of exchange in the airport when you arrive. Bring with you a combination of cash (though never carry too much at once), ATM cards, credit cards, and traveler's cheques. Only bring the credit cards you may need, make a photocopy of them (front and back), and keep it separate from the card.

Don't Forget!
Bring with you, or email yourself copies of your credit cards, ATM cards, credit cards, and traveler's cheques. Leave copies with, or email copies of each to your family.

Computers: If you plan to bring your computer, make sure that you have the necessary converters or adaptors to plug into foreign outlets. Also make sure that your computer is insured before you leave the U.S. (see notes about personal property insurance). Foreign Voltage Guides can be found at:
   • Voltage Valet
   • Voltage Converters.com

Mobile Phones: After you've arrived at your international destination, consider purchasing a mobile phone. These are often the least expensive ways to communicate with family, friends, and colleagues (both at home and abroad).

Accessing Yale's Resources from Abroad: Many of Yale applications are restricted to the Yale campus computers. These applications require the use of a Yale IP address or the computer accessing these resources must appear to be on the campus network. To access restricted resources from abroad you'll need to download the Yale VPN Client.


Preparing to Live in Another Country

Check out "What's Up With Culture": An online cultural training resource for study abroad students.

You are responsible for learning as much as possible about the area(s) to which you will be traveling. You will find up-to-the-minute travel information on the Department of State website. The site includes valuable information about the current political climate, security/crime, health conditions and medical facilities, entry and currency requirements and the location of the US Embassy or Consulate. Other places to go for information:
    • Yale University departments and faculty (in particular, international and area studies departments)
    • Yale Travel Clinic
    • U.S. embassy or consulate in your host country
    • Embassy or Consulate of your host country
    • UnitedHealthcare Global for current country reports

Read up on issues relating to gender, ethnicity and religion, sexual orientation, and disabilities for your host country and countries to which you will travel. Foreign universities often have student groups organized around these issues (check your host university's web site), and some travel books will cover these issues in depth. You can also request that your program give you a list of program alumni who can provide you with information on these issues. In addition, here are a few web sites to check out:
    • NAFSA: Rainbow Special Interest Group
    • Journey Woman
    • Mobility International

Read up on current events in your host country. Foreign newspapers and magazines can often be found on the web or in the libraries at Yale. You should also be well versed in what is happening in the U.S. People you meet in your host country may well ask you detailed questions about the U.S.
    • Yale Library: Worldwide newspaper access

Apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This card not only allows you to take advantage of student-only discounts while abroad, but the card also carries some types of supplemental insurance. This should not, however, be your only form of insurance while abroad! You can apply for the card online through STA Travel.

Yale Alumni Abroad: Many Yale alumni living in foreign countries are pleased to meet with students studying abroad. In fact, there are organized Yale Clubs in more than 35 countries outside the United States. For more information, check the list of club presidents on the AYA web page. Please note that there may be other non-club groups in countries that are not listed on the web page.

Register with your country's embassy or consulate: U.S. citizens can register through the U.S. State Department's travel website.

Travel Itinerary: Confirm all travel accommodations and bookings prior to departure. Ensure a family member has a copy if the itinerary and schedule and that you have their contact information in case your itinerary changes.

Orientation: Attend a pre-departure Orientation if one is available. 


Health & Safety

Review the CIPE Health and Safety checklist.
    • CIPE Health and Safety checklist

While You Are Abroad...

Communicating While Abroad

Check in. Have a check-in procedure with your family, including established dates and times for checking in.

Email/Facebook: Both are great ways to stay in touch, but try not to overuse or you'll end up missing what is going on around you.

Mail: Regular mail, while slower than e-mail, still works! Sending a package or letter can take anywhere from six days to two or three weeks to reach you from the US, and vice versa.

Skype: One of the most popular and affordable means of inter-national communication. It offers free voice or video chats from computer to computer and has an affordable computer to phone option that allows students to call any phone number from their computer. www.skype.com

Blogs and Photo Sites: Blogs, a form of an on-line journal, can be a great way to inform friends and family of your adventures while abroad. Some sites even allow you to upload photos to go along with your descriptions. Many blog sites are available and have free accounts, and some are even specific to traveling, such as www.travelblog.org, www.blogger.com, www.livejournal.com, www.wordpress.org. Blogging (or journaling if you prefer the pen-and-paper method) is also a great way to remember your trip, decompress after stressful situations, or even just expound on the wonders of foreign cuisine. Check out our tips for beneficial blogging.

If you have a digital camera or decide to scan your pictures, you can also post photos online on free sites such as www.snapfish.com or www.webshots.com, among others. This, along with e-mailing photos, is a great way to include your friends and loved ones in your experiences abroad, putting faces to names and showing them what your words cannot describe.


Carry With You! Important Documents and Contact Information

Photocopies of passport and visa

Photocopies of credit/debit card

Photocopies of insurance card

Photocopies of other identity cards

A copy of the UnitedHealthcare Global card

Phone number for the Center for International and Professional Experience phone: 203-432-8761; fax: 203-432-8006

Your program's contact information (if applicable)

Your residential college dean's contact information

Your DUS(s)'s contact information

*Give or email one copy of each to your family to hold for safekeeping. By doing this you will save yourself time and hassle if your documents are lost or stolen.