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Approved Students

Completing the Off-Campus Study Process at ESF

Once you have received ESF approval on the Off-Campus Study Request Form, you will receive an approval notification email from the Coordinator of Education Abroad.

The approval email will include a checklist of next steps and additional post-acceptance forms for you to complete. These steps may vary based on the program you are applying to, so be sure to refer to your specific acceptance email. Some of the post-acceptance forms include:

  • Study Abroad Contractual or Consortium Form

  • Off-Campus Study Data Form

  • Emergency and Health Form

  • Program-Specific Application

Pre-Departure Orientation

This orientation is mandatory for all students traveling abroad for study or research purposes. It is designed to help students prepare for their experience abroad and be aware of available campus, program, and external resources. Topics include:

  • Using international health insurance

  • Caring for your physical and mental well-being abroad

  • Safety concerns and emergency preparedness

  • Exploring your identities abroad

  • Cultural transition

  • Sustainability in travel

Health Insurance

All students studying abroad must purchase the SUNY international health insurance, which includes comprehensive medical coverage as well as emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage. This insurance can be purchased in the Cashier's Office in 102 Bray Hall.


If you are going abroad for a semester, you will be registered for the CRX 103 course as a placeholder until your credits can be transferred in. You do not need to take action to register for this course.


In order to initiate the transfer of credits after the completion of the program, you will have to submit your official transcript from the off-campus program to the Registrar's Office. (In many cases the off-campus program will send a transcript directly to ESF; you should confirm this with them.) The credits for courses in which you achieve a "C" average or higher will then be transferred in (not the grades). The credits will appear in the "Advanced Standing Credit" section of your transcript.

Obtaining Approval of Different Courses for An Approved Off-Campus Program

If prior to or while you are studying off-campus, any of the courses you included on your Academic Plan (page 2 of the Off-Campus Study Request Form) change, be sure to complete a new version of that form and obtain the signature of your Advisor, the Curriculum Coordinator, and the Associate Provost of Instruction (227 Bray Hall). If you are already off-campus, you should email the completed form to your advisor and ask for assistance in obtaining the signatures.

Registering for the Academic Semester Following Your Off-Campus Experience

Prior to departing for your off-campus program, you should meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course registration for the semester following your off-campus experience. If possible, you should select tentative courses and see if your advisor would be willing to submit your registration on your behalf during the pre-registration period. The registrar will accept registration forms where the advisor signs on behalf of the student; your advisor should make note on the form that you are currently studying off-campus, have had a remote advising session, and that they are submitting the form on your behalf. Please be sure to maintain contact with your advisor while you are off-campus and confirm your course enrollment during the registration period.


Visit the Department of State Passport Information Page for details and application instructions. Any individual traveling internationally (beyond the territories and borders of their country of citizenship) must have a valid passport at all times while outside their country of citizenship. It should be valid at least six months beyond the end date of your study abroad program. You will be required to show border and custom authorities your passport when you enter or leave the U.S. and when crossing most other national borders.

Apply for your passport early! Standard processing times an take as long as 8-11 weeks.

Foreign Entry Requirements

Many countries require visitors who are planning to study or work abroad to obtain visas before entering. Be sure to review the country-specific information on the U.S. Department of State website to determine entry and exit requirements and check with the embassy of the foreign country that you are planning to visit for up-to-date visa and other entry requirements. OIE and your program administrator (ESF, partner provider, or other SUNY study abroad office) will assist you in the visa application process.

Country-Specific Information

Before departing, take the time to research the people and their culture, and any problems that the country is experiencing that may affect your travel plans. Be sure to access the Online Guide to Educational Systems Around the World and the U.S. Department of State background notes and country-specific information for your travel destination. You may also find it helpful to review the country profiles on the BBC's website and The Study Abroad Handbook.

Centers for Disease Control Resources

Be sure to access the Center for Disease Control's website to obtain information regarding health and immunization recommendations for your travel destination and then obtain any necessary vaccinations and medications.

Department of State Study Abroad Resources

The US Department of State has travel advisories for each country. These advisories are on a 1-4 scale, in which a Level 1 advisory is "Exercise Normal Precautions" and a Level 4 advisory is "Do Not Travel." ESF students are not permitted to travel to countries with a Level 4 advisory. Travel to countries with a Level 3 advisory may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Students are encouraged to review the travel advisory for their host country to be aware of safety concerns as well as in-country resources such as the US Embassy. Students should also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which alerts the US Department of State to their travel. Travelers can opt in to receive updates and alerts to changes in the travel advisory for their destination.

Additional Travel Resources

Students and their families should be aware that the U.S. Department of State maintains a website for U.S. citizen students who are, or will be, studying abroad. It addresses the following subject areas:

  • Enrolling ones’ presence abroad with the nearest U.S. Embassy through the STEP Enrollment Program;
  • Checking country-specific conditions as well as travel warning and alerts;
  • Offering students travel safety and other traveling tips provided.