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Pre-Departure: Students Going Abroad Spring 2007
Office of Off-Campus Study, Colby College


  • Obtain passport and appropriate visa (check with program sponsors).

  • Be sure you have signed the leave of absence form with Dean Serdjenian.

  • o If you are attending a program in a remote area, you may not have easy or timely email access for course registration. You should contact your advisor before departure to plan your courses and to make sure that a place is held for you in required courses.

  • If you receive financial aid, make sure you have informed the financial aid office of the program you will be attending and the date the program begins. Financial aid is “portable” to all Colby and approved non-Colby programs up to the cost of a Colby semester.

  • Review US State Department information on your country of destination.

  • Review Colby College updates and policies at:

  • Review with your parents your major medical insurance and confirm that your policy will cover you abroad. Also be sure to review any exclusions and procedures for filing claims.

  • Depending on your destination, you may wish to purchase a portable, battery operated combination smoke/carbon-monoxide detector to take with you for your residence. You may review this option with both your family and your program.


  • Carry - DO NOT PACK - the following:
    • Valid passport
    • Photocopy of passport
    • Letter of acceptance
    • Airline Tickets
    • Your copies of the "Academic Policy for Students Studying Abroad" and "Standard Semester Course Loads: England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand"; and "Predeparture: Students Going Abroad Spring 2007".
    • Lists of important Colby phone numbers and emails (advisor, professors, friends, offices)


  • Review your Colby email account during your semester abroad via Colby Web mail:

  • Since registration is completed on the Internet, it is critical that you check your Colby e-mail account while you are away because the Registrar will try to contact you via e-mail to determine if you are able to register on the Web. The curriculum, course descriptions from the catalogue, and registration materials will be on the Web.

  • Housing information will be sent directly from the Dean of Housing at Colby College via email to your Colby account.

  • A newsletter, Colby Calling, will be available to all students abroad mid-way through the semester on the Off-Campus Study Web site (

  • The Colby Echo is sent to Colby programs abroad and is available on-line for all Colby students abroad.


Recent developments in national and international security issues necessitate that you respect safety recommendations and security policies established by your sponsoring organization and the US Embassy in the country of your destination. Remain attentive to information provided to you and stay in contact with your program, Colby College, and your family throughout the duration of your study abroad program. You and your family can monitor State Department updates and review Colby College updates and policies.

In the unusual event that a Travel Warning is issued for your country of destination prior to your departure, the Office of Off-Campus Study will withdrawal approval of participation. We will work with you to locate an alternate plan, if possible. If this is not possible, we will work with other departments on campus to ensure your integration into the regular semester.


  • The educational system where you are studying may be very different from what you are used to at Colby. There may be less assigned work, fewer classes, and different expectations. Be aware that staying up to date on course material is likely to be left completely up to the students. Remember that you are required to complete all your assignments and stay until the end of your program (or until you have taken your last exam).

  • If you are NOT on a Colby program, you should contact the OCS office if you change any of your course selections. Approval for course changes is necessary; your transcript from abroad will be checked against the courses you indicated on your application, and if there are unauthorized changes you may not get full credit for your semester abroad.

  • Students on Colby programs abroad notify their Resident Director of course changes (not the OCS office).

  • If you are doing an independent study project abroad on an SIT program, you need to have a Colby faculty member agree to read your ISP before you will receive credit for it. Remember to bring the project back with you!

  • Be in touch on a regular basis with your Resident Director or the international office of the university where you are studying. Make sure that these contacts know of any difficulties or questions you may have or changes in your place of residence.

  • Take appropriate health precautions, particularly if you are going to a developing country. Check with your program sponsors to determine what inoculations may be needed. Be aware that many of these inoculations must be obtained several weeks prior to departure.

  • Be sure that you and your parents understand the extent of your insurance coverage abroad, and any exclusions on your policy.

  • If your program is not already providing one, purchase from the Registrar an International Student Identification Card (ISIC), which is issued by the International Student Travel Confederation. The cost is $22 plus $5 for two photos. The card offers such benefits as student discounts, travel bargains, 24-hour Help-line, emergency service, and travel and repatriation insurance. All students on Colby programs abroad are required to purchase an International Student ID card (ISIC ).
  • Useful contacts:


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