Preparing for the Experience

Preparing for the Experience

Congratulations on your decision to study abroad! This will inevitably be one of the most exciting times in your life as a student. This is a time filled with learning, observing, practicing new skills, making new relationships, some adventure, and quiet moments of personal development. The ISO has made the following resources available to help support you on your journey.

Education Abroad Handbook


This handbook should help you explore issues such as academic expectations, cultural adjustment, and health and safety, and encourage you prepare for living in the area of the world in which you will be a guest. This handbook is not a substitute for your own research about your host country.

Pre-Departure Preparation

Students with a giant globe in Sweden, Summer 2022

Students participating in all education abroad programs are required to read the above handbook and complete a series of related assessments in their online pre-departure requirements. UVA in Valencia participants have a different handbook, linked in their online pre-departure requirements.

Students participating in a UVA program are also required to attend a program-specific Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO). Participants will receive a Program Manual on acceptance, containing additional details about the program, and Travel Guide prior to departure.

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of State Country-Specific Information: The U.S. government’s information page on every country around the world. Includes details on entry/exit requirements, advice for American travelers, U.S. embassy contact information, etc.

FBI Student Brochure: Safety and Security for U.S. Students Traveling Abroad.

Portals to the World: A resource from the Library of Congress that provides authoritative, in-depth information about various nations and areas of the world. Selections are hand-picked by Area Specialists, so they do the vetting for you and you can go straight to valuable resources online.


We challenge you to be good will ambassadors and actively participate in improving international relations whether in the classroom or on a train, in a restaurant or with new friends. Take every opportunity to open your mind to new experiences, customs and people. Remember that you are a guest in another country, thus the utmost respect and appreciation should be evident.