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Student Research & Non-Academic Programs Abroad

SUNY-ESF students are encouraged to pursue opportunities that will best meet their personal, educational, and professional development goals. Students who are conducting research abroad related to their ESF academic program or participating in non-academic programs abroad (e.g., Engineers without Borders) are REQUIRED to comply with the college policies for all international programs including submitting the complete packet of Student Research Abroad Forms with supplemental documentation to the Office of International Education prior to departure. If students do not comply, they will be "unregistered" for the associated coursework and will not receive credit or their on-campus organization/affiliation may encounter repercussions.

Paperwork to be Submitted to the Office of International Education prior to Departure:

  • Completed pack of Student Research Abroad Forms.
    (Participant Information; Travel Information; Agreement and Release; Student Health Information; Physician’s Statement; Proof of Insurance, and Judicial Review)
  • A copy of passport photo/identification page and passport expiration page
  • A copy of visa (if applicable)
  • A copy of flight itinerary
  • NOTE: If you are an international student, please contact Office of International Education (OIE).

The comprehensive SUNY plan is REQUIRED and can be purchased at the Cashier's Office. No exemption from the health insurance fee shall be allowed except for:

  1. Participants presenting evidence of a religious objection.
  2. Those individuals researching abroad in their home country.
  3. International students with the SUNY international student health insurance.


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 6 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.

Foreign Entry Requirements

Most 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.


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.

Travel Advisories

Travel Advisories are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Advisory.

Department of State Resources and Registering your Travel with Department of State

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 may be found at and 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.

Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency. Americans residing abroad can also get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Cultural Adjustment

For students living abroad initial adjustment is often difficult as one must become familiar with a new culture and and city. Cultural adjustment often includes a series of highs and lows that are quite normal and often experienced universally.