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Information for Students

Choosing a Program
When selecting a program, the following should be considered:

• Cost: The cost of a study abroad program varies depending on what type of program you apply for and where you will be studying. In terms of cost, there are different types of programs: exchange, direct enrollment, and faculty-led. Exchange programs, which only run on a semester-basis, are typically the most affordable compared to direct enrollment since the billable cost is similar to what you would spend for a semester at your home SUNY school. Faculty-led programs are run on a short-term basis (summer or winter) where the program fee includes airfare, accommodation, and some meals.
• Location: Do you mind the cold or do you want to live somewhere warm? Are you interested in living in a big, metropolitan city or do you wish to live in a medium-sized/smaller city? Are you comfortable with commuting to and from your classes every day or do you prefer to live on a campus where your classes are within walking distance? What is the cost of living for the place you are considering? You should thoroughly research your location before or as you apply for you program.
• Coursework: Any major can study abroad, but it's really important that you meet with your academic advisor and study abroad office at your home university to talk about what classes you are allowed to take. You can take your general education requirements, electives, or major classes while abroad. If you plan on taking classes needed for your major or graduation requirements, please consult Brockport Education Abroad as well as your academic advisor at your home university before you apply to ensure you are selecting a program that is the right fit for you.
• Length of the program: Our office offers programs for every semester, summer, and winter break. Do you wish to study abroad for a few months or a few weeks? Will your degree requirements allow you to study abroad for your desired length of time? These are some factors to think about when choosing a program.

There are a few ways to search the study abroad programs that are available through SUNY Brockport:

• Search for programs by clicking here
• Contact a Study Abroad Advisor. For information about our staff, visit the Meet Our Staff Page

Applying to Study Abroad
Applying is easy! The application is fully online. Just find your program's web page and click the "Apply Now" tab. Below is a general checklist for you will need to submit as part of our online application.*

• Official Transcripts
• Personal Study statement
• Academic Reference(s)
• A scanned copy of your passport

*Certain programs may have additional requirements.

Need assistance? Contact us via phone or email:
(585) 395-2119
The credits earned, as a participant on a SUNY Overseas Academic Program, will always count toward the total number of credits needed to graduate from a SUNY university or college.

Typically, the SUNY campus residency requirement states that you must earn 24 of the last 30 hours of your degree at the campus that awards the degree. The credits earned as a participant in a SUNY Overseas Academic Program will usually be counted as meeting that requirement.

If you intend to take specific courses abroad to fulfill any part of the requirements in your major, you must consult with your academic adviser or your major department and receive prior approval from that department. Approval in writing is always safer than a verbal “OK.” Brockport students must fill out a Course Approval Form and file it with the Academic Advisement Office prior to departure.

The Center for Global Education and Engagement discourages participants from taking any courses overseas that are required for graduation and/or the completion of a major or minor since they are not guaranteed to be registered for their first-choice classes. We encourage you to take elective courses within your degree during your time abroad.

Required Number of Credits
You are required to maintain full-time status during your entire program abroad. For semester/academic year programs, this means that you must maintain the equivalent of 12 US credits per semester. Please note that credit weights and values are likely different overseas. For example, in many universities in Australia, one classes is equivalent to 4 US credits, which means students used to taking 4 courses for a total 12 US credits in the United States will often times only need to take 3 classes in Australia. You should speak to your Study Abroad Advisor to determine the number of courses you will need to take in order to adhere to this requirement.
You must have a passport book that will be valid during the dates of your study abroad program and for at least six months past your program end date.

US citizens may apply for a passport at any office of the US Passport Agency, at one of the federal or state court houses, or at any authorized US Postal Office. Passport applications and instructions can be found here

If you do not have a passport or if your passport is due to expire soon, you must apply for one or renew it as soon as you have any interest in applying for a study abroad program. You will need a valid passport book in hand before applying for any required visas, and for some countries, visa processing times may take weeks... or months. Make sure your passport is ready!

Passport cards are not a valid form of travel documentation. You must have a passport book.

A visa is official permission granted by the authorities of your host country which allows you to enter and lawfully remain in that country. It is often a stamp or sticker placed on one of your passport pages. 

You may need to apply for a visa weeks or months before you depart, or you may be able to get a visa upon arrival in the country. Visas also outline the country's regulations concerning study and working permissions. Most students need a visa to study abroad!

How to Get a Visa
Start your research early! It is your responsibility to understand the requirements and processes for entering your host country. SUNY Brockport cannot obtain visas for you.

For more information about foreign entry requirements for US citizens, visit the U.S. Department of State website at http://travel/ SUNY Brockport may not have sufficient knowledge of visa requirements for students who are not US citizens, but can offer support and advice where able.

In cases where you need to apply for a visa before you depart, you may be required to travel to the closest Consulate or Embassy to submit your application. Please be aware of visa processing times, the cost of travel to the Consulate or Embassy (if applicable), and plan accordingly.

Even if a visa may not be required before you depart, appropriate acceptance letters and financial documentation are required for entry into the country.

Our staff does its best to keep students informed about visa regulations, but due to ever-changing travel requirements, we are unable to guarantee that we have the most up-to-date information. Students are ultimately responsible for this information and for getting the appropriate travel documents.
Is it safe to study abroad?
We believe that the overseas programs administered by Brockport’s Center for Global Education and Engagement are very safe. This safety is a direct result of:

• Our experience administering study abroad programs
• The dedication of our Study Abroad Advisors, in-country program coordinators, and faculty leaders for faculty-led programs
• The location of our study abroad programs

What happens if I get sick while I am overseas?
During in-country orientation sessions, our partners' program coordinators provide you with information about the health facilities (physicians, clinics, hospitals, etc.) that are available to you at the program site. In most cases, it is the health service at the host university that is the clinic of choice.

In-country program coordinators also identify a “recommended” hospital based on the quality of its facilities, services, and proximity to the area as well as its experience in providing services to visiting students. All participants in Brockport’s overseas programs are enrolled in a mandatory health insurance policy that covers the cost of medical treatments for illness or accidents while are abroad.

For more information about issues on health and safety in studying abroad, please consult the US Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Participants are recommended to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

What is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)?
• STEP is a free service provided by the US Government to US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
• STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.
• STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate.
Enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation should that become necessary.
In Case of Emergency
The safety of participants on Brockport Study Abroad programs is of the utmost importance. Any circumstance that endangers your life or health is an emergency, and you can expect to receive any assistance that is possible from the Study Abroad Office. In the event of an emergency, you can contact us during office hours at +1 (585) 395-2119 or after hours at +1 (585) 395-2222.
Health Insurance
SUNY policy mandates that all students studying abroad have health and emergency assistance insurance. Students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the SUNY International Study Abroad Health Insurance provided by UnitedHealthcare (UHC). The SUNY International Health Insurance cannot be waived.

In some cases, the host institution overseas requires students to purchase an additional international health insurance policy.
Once we register you, you will receive an email which will direct you to the following website to print your insurance card: 

You are highly encouraged to register with UHC prior to going overseas. You will receive specific instructions on how to register with UHC shortly before the start of your program. This will allow you to view the UHC designated physicians, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies abroad.

You can also get this information by contacting UHC directly using the phone number listed on the back of your insurance card. By doing this, UHC will contact the nearest English-speaking provider in their network on your behalf. They will also arrange for direct payment so that you do not need to pay anything out of pocket.

Please understand that in the event that there is no hospital or physician that accepts the UHC Health Insurance, you will still be able to receive medical care but will have to pay for the care up-front and then submit a claim for reimbursement to UHC. 

For more information about UHC coverage, please review the student information here: 2018-19 SUNY Int'l Study Abroad Student Packet.pdf

Travel Insurance
The Center for Global Education and Engagement recommends that students purchase travel insurance which is a separate policy than the international health insurance.
The most important document for our study abroad students is our Policies and Procedures Handbook. Please read and review this carefully as students are bound by the policies and procedures set forth by SUNY Brockport's Center for Global Education and Engagement.
Culture Shock
As participants arrive at their overseas destination, initial feelings of excitement can be overwhelming. This is referred to as the honeymoon stage- full of adventure! Soon, however, you might start to have feelings of depression where minor predicaments become major ones and you start to feel like a foreigner in a strange land. Culture shock happens to a lot of study abroad participants, even experienced travelers feel its impact whenever they arrive in a new place. With a bit of effort, participants will begin to find themselves making adjustments that will allow them to adapt to their new environment. They will turn their feelings of culture shock into yet another learning experience as a result of their time overseas.

In order to fully enjoy your time overseas, we have these suggestions:

• Realize that everyone has a unique experience, which can enrich your life and thought. Be prepared every day to take the initiative and meet fellow students. Don't rely on class contact - get involved in student activities, too.
• Accept that no experience is perfect: enjoy the things you like, and tolerate (maybe even laugh about) the things that aren't so good. The not-so-glamorous things will make great stories when you return home.
• Never forget that this is your own experience: you don't need to have other people's approval of your choices of what is worth doing. Guidebooks are better on information than evaluation: they can tell you what is available but not what you will enjoy.
• Recognize that university teaching at your overseas university is NOT the same as university teaching at your home campus. To get the most out of the course, you have to read more widely than what you will be tested on.
• Find out exactly what your written workload consists of, and when the deadlines are, as soon as possible. Plan your semester, and stick to your own schedule.
• Try to avoid making negative judgments about the country or city you are in until you have given yourself time to experience the broader context, and even then share them reluctantly.
Be Prepared
Studying abroad necessitates much planning on the part of the individual students. Below is a list of resources that you may find useful in preparing for your time abroad.

For General Travel Information and Health Inquiries on Specific Countries
Provides web links to US embassies and consulates that maintain web sites. These locations usually offer recommendations and useful information on subjects ranging from "how to find a doctor" to "how do you vote while abroad."
Provides information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for international travelers.
Provides a more casual, yet in depth, review of countries than other sited listed above. It is a valuable resource to those students who wish to do a little travel around their host country or its surrounding region.

Currency Conversions
Provides automatic conversions of any US dollar amount into a variety of foreign currencies.
Provides conversion charts to translate Fahrenheit to Celsius, and standard measurements to metric. You will need to do these conversions in most any country of the world outside of the United States.
After the conclusion of your program, the host university will prepare an official report of your grades. The Center for Global Education and Engagement at Brockport prepares your transcript supplement on the basis of this report. If you are a SUNY Brockport student, our office will send your grades to the Office of Registration & Records. If you are a non-Brockport student, we will send your transcript to the Study Abroad Office at your home university.

There will be a delay of at least six weeks before grades from overseas programs reach SUNY Brockport. Although we cannot make any guarantees to provide your grades by a particular date, we do process grade reports as quickly as possible.

If you are studying abroad during your final semester or if you will be graduating the semester following your study abroad program, you should contact our office regarding the timing of your transcript supplement processing. We will do our best to process your grades upon receiving them from your host university, so that there is sufficient time for you to be cleared for graduation. However, we can never guarantee that we will receive your grades from overseas in a timely manner. Patience is necessary.