The Office of International Programs (OIP) at Chicago State University (CSU) is pleased to present a student handbook on the Study Abroad Program. It is intended to provide general information and guidance for students who will be traveling abroad at some point in their academic career at CSU, whether for fieldwork, internship, research or specialized study.
The sections that follow cover such topics as academic policies and affiliations, legal issues, health, medical coverage and personal safety, passports, visas, financial aid, fees and travel documentation. Regardless of the extent of previous experience abroad, this handbook provides a series of reminders of what students need to do before traveling abroad.
It is a starting point rather than a definitive guide to the international experience. Input from the OIP staff and fellow students, as well as students' own knowledge of the field and region, also plays an important role in preparations and experiences for students' time abroad. Before going abroad, students should be clear about CSU's academic expectations and arrangements for their time away. Although students have probably met with their academic advisors about what they will be doing abroad, it is useful to go over their plans with OIP staff to clarify what they will be doing (research, language study, etc.) in the host country. Students should be clear as to what they intend to accomplish and how this work/study relates to their program. Students should ask themselves the following questions: Will I be satisfying specific requirements for my degree with this work abroad? And if so, which ones? Will I be acquiring skills which are critical to future research? They should check with their departments and the OIP about any special notification or permission required. Finally, I wish to assure you that the OIP is fully committed to making your study abroad a very positive, educational and life-changing experience.