Congratulations on your acceptance to a study abroad program! This guide is intended to help you through the pre-departure process step-by-step. Please make sure to check directly with your Davidson program director or with the partner program to confirm you have completed all their requirements.
Step 1: Check the expiration date in your passport.
Apply for or renew your passport immediately if it is valid for less than six months after your date of return.
Davidson’s Campus Post Office hosts two passport days each year (September and February), and you can sign up to submit your passport applications to an acceptance agent without traveling off campus. You will need to bring all application materials, or it will not be accepted. Be on the lookout for Passport Day announcements each semester – spaces fill up quickly.
Step 2: Commit to your chosen program and pay the commitment deposit (if applicable).
You are responsible for paying the deposit, if applicable, to secure your place on the program, not Davidson. Remember that this amount will be deducted from the final balance due.
Step 3: If you applied to any other programs, politely inform them that you would like to withdraw your application.
Step 4: Verify with your program director or partner program whether you need to apply for a visa.
Most countries require you to submit your valid passport as part of the visa application process. Since it may take up to 90 days to receive a visa and have your passport returned to you, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, particularly between summer and fall, may be problematic or impossible in some cases. If you have other international travel plans (e.g., you plan to travel with your family during the summer), you will need to work closely with your program to determine when/how you should submit your visa application.
Davidson College, partner programs, and foreign consular staff cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted in all circumstances or in a particular time frame.
International students should schedule a consultation with the International Student Programs Office to discuss their visa status and plans for study abroad.
Step 5: Research and apply for grants, scholarships, or other types of funding. Create a tentative budget.
Step 6: Review the Davidson Residence Life Office information on lottery participation.
Step 7: Submit the OFF-CAMPUS STUDY NOTIFICATION found in your Davidson study abroad portal. (Semester and Academic Year applicants only)
The OCSN alerts the Davidson offices of education abroad, financial aid, business services, residence life, and Registrar of your official commitment to study abroad. Pay close attention to additional instructions for each office in your Davidson study abroad portal.
The OCSN deadline is March 15 for fall and academic year and November 1 for spring. (If you have not learned of your program acceptance by the OCSN deadline, you should still complete the form by the deadline as long as you intend to commit upon acceptance.)
Note that there is a $250.00 penalty if you submit the OCSN after March 15 for the fall / academic year or after November 1 for the spring. The penalty increases to $500.00 if you submit the OCSN after June 15 for the fall / academic year or after January 1 for the spring. If you withdraw from an off-campus study program after submitting this official notification, you could incur an administrative fee based on costs already paid on their behalf.
Step 8: If you receive financial aid, read the Financial Aid Study Abroad Handout and submit the Financial Aid Agreement Form to Brandee Norwood, Financial Aid Counselor, (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 15 (fall / academic year) or November 1 (spring).
Step 9: Research whether you need a physical or immunizations for your program and complete them by the deadline, if applicable.
If you are participating on a Davidson program, information on submitting a physical is available in your Davidson study abroad portal. If you are participating on a partner program, Davidson will not require a physical from you, but your program may require one. Make sure to obtain required examinations or immunizations months before departure.
STEP 10: Complete and submit the Pre-Authorization to Transfer Credit form to the Davidson Registrar’s Office by May 1 (fall / academic year / summer) and November 15 (spring).
To review the process for course approval, refer to Receiving Credit.
STEP 11: Attend the require Pre-Departure Session and complete the remaining preparation materials in your application portal(s).
Davidson program participants will attend a series of meetings prior to departure, and program directors will communicate those dates to you shortly after acceptance. All remaining items in your Davidson portal should be completed by their respective due dates.
Partner program participants typically attend one required meeting on campus, complete preparation items through their Davidson portal and complete orientation materials through the partner portal by their respective due dates.