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Important Information for Students

 

Getting Started | Academics & Credits | Passports & Visas | Health & Safety | Emergencies | Excellent Advice | Policies & Procedures | Returning Students

Getting Started

Choose a Program
When selecting a program, you should consider geographic location, time frame and academic content. The location of your program encompasses numerous things, including the language spoken, types of housing, and kind of cultural changes you will experience. We offer programs for every semester, summer and winter breaks as well as spring break. Academic programs, internships and part-time internships are available for all majors. We specialize in programs that can provide opportunities in both your academic and professional career.

With more than 100 programs in more than 35 countries on all 7 continents, you can be sure there is a program out there for you! Our comprehensive pre-departure guidance will help ensure that the program you select is appropriate for your goals and interests.

There are a few ways to search the Study Abroad programs that are available through The College at Brockport:

Applying to Study Abroad
Applying is easy! Just find your program's page and click the "Apply Now" button.

Need assistance? Contact the Office of International Education at (800) 298-7869 or email us at overseas@brockport.edu.

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Academics & Credits

Credits
Participants should be aware that the credits earned, as a participant in a SUNY Overseas Academic Program will always count toward the total number of credits needed to graduate from a SUNY college or university center.


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

If you intend to use specific courses taken 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 the Course Approval form and file it with the Academic Advisement office prior to departure).

It is the policy of the Office of International Education to discourage participants from taking any courses overseas that are required for graduation, required for the completion of a major or minor, or required for a certification or professional qualification.  We encourage you to take only elective courses within your major/minor areas of study during your semester abroad.

Required Number of Credits
Participants are required to maintain full time status during their program abroad. For semester/academic year programs, this means that students must maintain the equivalent of 12 US credits per semester. Credit weights are likely different overseas. For example, in many Australian Universities one course is equivalent to 4 US credits. Students used to taking 4 courses to total 12 US credits will often times only need to take 3 in Australia. Students should speak to their Study Abroad advisor to determine the number of courses they will need to take to adhere to this requirement. 

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Passports & Visas

Passports
Students must have a passport that will be valid during the dates of their study abroad program and for at least six months beyond the planned date of return to the United States.

US citizens may obtain applications and apply for a passport at any office of the U.S. Passport Agency, or at one of the several thousand federal or state court houses or U.S. post offices authorized to accept passport applications. Passport applications can be downloaded via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

The College at Brockport recommends that (if needed) students apply for a new passport or for passport renewal at the time they apply to the program. It is necessary to have a valid passport to apply for any necessary visas.

Visas
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. Many countries do require visas to enter even as a tourist, so check ahead. Even in a country where you do not need a visa to travel there may be different regulations concerning study and work. Visas are the responsibility of each individual student. The College at Brockport can offer support and advice but cannot obtain visas for a participant.

For more information about foreign entry requirements (for US citizens), visit the U.S. Department of State website at http://travel/state.gov.

Note: The College at Brockport may not have sufficient knowledge of visa requirements for students who are not US citizens, but again, can offer support and advice where needed.

In many cases, students will be required to travel to the closest Embassy (e.g. New York City, Washington D.C.) to obtain their visa (e.g. for Italy, Spain, etc). Please be aware of the length of time it takes to obtain a visa, the cost of travel (if applicable) and plan accordingly.

In some cases even though a visa may not be required, appropriate acceptance letters and financial documentation are required for entry into the country (e.g. United Kingdom, Ireland).

Our staff does its best to keep students informed about new and changing visa regulations but due to the volatile nature of 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.

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Health & Safety

Is it safe to study abroad?
We believe that participants in the overseas academic programs administered by Brockport’s Office of International Education are very safe. This safety is a direct result of:

Our experience administering study abroad programs.
The dedication of our resident directors and/or program representatives.
The choice of locations where we place our study abroad programs.

What happens if I get sick while I am overseas?
During on-site orientation sessions, our resident directors and/or program representatives provide program participants with information about the health facilities — physicians, clinics, hospitals, etc., that are available to them at the program site. In most cases, it is the health service at the host university that is the clinic of choice. Resident directors also will identify a “recommended” hospital based on the quality of its facilities, services and proximity to the areas where students live and/or to the university or classroom facility, and its experience in providing services to American students. All participants in Brockport’s study abroad programs are enrolled in a mandatory health insurance policy that covers the cost of medical treatments for illness or accidents while they are abroad.

For more information about issues on health and safety in studying abroad, please consult the Web sites of the US Department of State at www.travel.state.gov and the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Participants should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.

What is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)?
• The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. 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 U.S. 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 were that to become necessary.

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Emergencies

In Case of Emergency
The safety of participants on Brockport Study Abroad programs is of utmost importance. Any circumstance that endangers your life or health is an emergency, and you can expect to receive whatever assistance is possible from the Study Abroad Office. 

In the event of an emergency, you can contact us during office hours at (585) 395-2119 or after hours at (585) 395-2222. Return to top

Insurance

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 by United Health Care(UHC). In some cases, the host institution overseas requires students to purchase a particular international insurance policy. All students participating in The College at Brockport’s overseas programs will be automatically enrolled and covered under UHC Medical Insurance.
 
Once we register you, you will receive and email that will direct you the following website to print your insurance card: myaccount.uhcsr.com
Students are highly encouraged to register with UHC prior to going overseas. Students will receive specific instructions on how to register with UHC shortly before the start of their program.  This will allow them to view the UHC designated physicians, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies abroad. Students can also get this information by contacting UHC directly using the phone number listed on the back of their insurance card. By doing this, UHC will contact the nearest English-speaking, western trained 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 insurance card, students will still be able to receive medical care but will have to pay for the care and then submit a claim for reimbursement to UHC. 

For more information about the UHC coverage please review the student information: 2018-19 SUNY Int'l Study Abroad Student Packet (1).pdf

Travel Insurance
The Office of International Education recommends that students purchase travel insurance. Return to top

Policies & Procedures

The most important document for our study abroad students is our Policies and Procedures handbook. The following is a pdf file of the Policies and Procedures handbook.
Policies and Procedures.pdf

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Excellent Advice

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.
  • 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 grim things will make great stories when you go 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 internet sites that you may find useful in preparing for your time abroad.

For General Travel Information and Health Inquiries on Specific Countries

http://www.travel.state.gov/
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."

http://studentsabroad.state.gov/ 

http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html
Provides postings of the US State Department's most recent travel warnings or public announcements in regard to individual countries. Also offers access to Consular Information Sheets that provide such useful hints as: "It is not possible to access U.S. bank accounts through automated teller machines (ATMs) in Belize." For instance, students attending SUNY Brockport's University of Ghana program should note the following warning: "The wearing of any military apparel, such as camouflage jackets or pants, or any clothing or items which may appear military in nature, is strictly prohibited."

http://www.cdc.gov/
Provides information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for international travelers.

http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html
Provides a comprehensive review of the statistics in regard to geography, population, government, economy and more that have been compiled by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com
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
http://www.oanda.com/

Provides automatic conversions of any US dollar amount into a variety of foreign currencies, from the Albanian Lek to the Zambian Kwacha.

http://www.onlineconversion.com/
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.

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Returning Students

Transcripts
After the conclusion of the program in which you are a participant, the program's resident director will prepare a report of your grades. The Office of International Education at Brockport prepares transcript supplements on the basis of this report. One copy of the transcript supplement will be sent to you; the original is placed in your file in the Office of the Registrar at your home campus with your regular transcript.

If you are a SUNY student and you need additional copies of the transcript supplement, you should request them from the Office of the Registrar at your home campus.
If you are a non-SUNY student, you should request additional copies of the transcript supplement from the Office of Registration and Records at The College at Brockport.

Timing
All students should be aware that there is often a delay of at least two months before grades from overseas programs reach The College at Brockport. Although we cannot make any guarantees to provide your grades by a particular date, we do process grade reports as quickly as possible.
 
Students who will be graduating during the semester following their period of study abroad should contact the Office of International Education. We will do our best to obtain your grades so that there is sufficient time for you to be cleared for graduation on schedule. However, we can never guarantee that we will receive your grades from overseas in a timely manner. Patience is necessary. 
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