Before You Go

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • If you have questions about your financial aid award, please make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office before leaving campus.
  • Obtain a passport and student visa.  Many programs will send you visa information once you are accepted.  Our office cannot obtain your visa for you. 
  • Arrange and purchase your airfare.  We encourage you to ensure that your ticket allows you to change your return date for a low fee.  If you are not signed up for a frequent flyer program, you may consider doing so.  Check your luggage allowance (number of suitcases, weight & size) with your airline(s).  Remember to put your name and address inside and outside all luggage, backpacks, sleeping bags, etc.  Check current Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations
  • Remember that some items should never be packed in your luggage: money, passport, credit/debit cards, medicines, important papers, etc.  Take these items in your carry-on.
  • Photocopy your important documents (passport, credit/debit cards, etc.). Keep one copy in your luggage and leave one at home with family members.   A scanned copy or taking a photo that you email to yourself is an excellent way of keeping a copy!
  • Do not assume that it is legal to bring your prescription drugs into any other country.  Please research your prescription and country for legal advice.  Obtain a doctor’s prescription or note for any medicine you are bringing with you.  Bring a supply of the prescription drugs you need for the entire program, in their original packaging.
  • Consider bringing small gifts from home to your host family or to give to friends you meet.  Something native to your hometown is especially nice, such as a picture book, college T-shirts, baseball caps, cookbooks, calendars, CDs.  Hollywood and Disneyland souvenirs are also good options.

Consulate Information

CMC highly encourages every U.S. citizen to register with the U.S. Consulate in your host country.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, please register with your home country consulate in your host country. Search for your consulate website online.  You should register with your consulate before you arrive in your host country.


CGE will provide you with an airfare stipend towards the cost of a roundtrip student airline ticket from your permanent home's nearest international airport to the nearest international airport of your program site.  It is your responsibility to purchase your airline ticket with this travel allowance. You have the option of buying into a group flight (if your program offers it) or using any airline, website or travel agent that you prefer. All of your required forms must be submitted to CGE prior to dispersement of funds.

Before purchasing your airline ticket we caution you to be aware of any fees associated with changing your flights. Make certain you know what date your program expects you to arrive, and when your program and university final exam dates end. Do not book your ticket for an early departure.

Sources for purchase of discounted student airfare:

Your airline ticket for study abroad must be a round trip ticket. Should you purchase a one-way ticket, you may be denied a visa and/or denied entry upon arrival in your host country.

Costs and Budgets

CMC Invoice

CMC students participating in study abroad or international exchange are charged CMC tuition and the CMC Study Abroad Program Fee (a fee equal to the cost of double room and 16-meal plan at CMC).  The Associated Students Fee is not charged.  Students continue to receive financial aid, grants, scholarships, etc., while studying abroad.  Students are billed in the usual manner.

Sample Semester Bill for Study Abroad based on 2019-2020 CMC Fees:
CMC Tuition                  $28,095.00
Study Abroad Fee         $8,650.00

Total                            $36,745.00

The CMC invoice and the CMC Financial Aid award amounts remain the same whether students study on-campus or abroad, ensuring that all students have equal access to all study abroad programs no matter the location or exchange rate.  Because of this, CMC is proud that our students select their study abroad program based upon individual academic needs and majors of study, personal interests and ambitions, and foreign language ability and goals.  The itemized CMC invoice includes Tuition and the Study Abroad Program Fee. 

Tuition - Students register for a full-semester course load equivalent to four (4) CMC credits.  All pre-approved study abroad courses are taken for credit and count towards graduation requirements, be they electives, general education (GE) requirements, and/or major credit.

Study Abroad Program Fee - The Study Abroad Program Fee covers accommodations, self-catered meals, a round-trip airfare allowance between the student’s permanent home address to the program location, international emergency health insurance, a local transportation allowance, and 24/7 academic and personal support from administrators both abroad and in Claremont.  The Fee also supports the cost of providing study abroad at CMC, including individualized program advising and assistance, program management, pre-departure orientation, academic advising, and pre-arrival counseling.  Finally, the Fee supports the overall infrastructure of the college including information technology, public relations, financial services, on-line library resources, The Writing Center, the Registrar, and the Dean of Students; resources that are available for study abroad students before, during, and after their time abroad. These services may be received by different means, i.e. email, phone, SKYPE, text, etc., but they remain available to the students while abroad. Students are very surprised at the extensive CMC services they receive while abroad compared to other institutions.

Student Out-of-Pocket

Student out-of-pocket personal expenses not included in tuition, study abroad fee, and additional stipends include, but are not limited to:  program application fees, any refundable security/damage/housing deposits, passport/visa/residence permit fees, cost of obtaining passport/visa/residence permit, immunizations, books, non-academic course feels, optional field trips, cell phones, laundry, postage, entertainment, incidentals, souvenirs, and independent travel

Budget Planning

The sample budget below will help in estimating expenses for study abroad.  Not all categories will apply to every student.  Be sure to read carefully all program information to determine what expenses beyond program fees might be required.

  • Passport, Visa, and/or Residence Permit Fees
  • Immunizations and Medications
  • Housing Security and damage deposits
  • Optional Field Trips
  • Books and Supplies
  • Communication with home including cell phone, internet, and Skype
  • Personal Expenses
  • Independent Travel
  • Entertainment

Financial Aid

Students on financial aid continue to receive their financial aid packages as if they were at CMC, including state and federal aid, private and merit scholarships, and grants-in-aid. Parent or guardian expected family contributions (EFCs) will remain the same as if the student were at CMC. Please remember, however, that personal expenses may be different while on study abroad, and these expenses are not included in financial aid.   For additional information regarding your specific financial aid package, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.


Read your Program Provider’s suggestions on packing before reading this section.

Remember, you will overpack. Everyone overpacks! Remember that you will be carrying your own bags.  You can purchase many basic items abroad.  Follow your program provider packing list.

Many international airlines allow two pieces of checked luggage, but it is your responsibility to check with your airline for specific details. Ask about weight limits in both your country of departure and country of arrival.  Frequently you may also have a small carry-on if it can fit under your seat. Most students recommend taking a backpack which is useful for carrying books or for traveling once abroad.

On the plane

Have a small carry-on bag packed with essentials (toiletries, prescription medications, and a change of clothes) in case your checked luggage is lost.  Keep your passport and acceptance letter from your university/program in your carry-on.  You may have to show these papers when you arrive at customs and passport control. Check current TSA regulations for travelers.

Golden Rule of Packing: Lay out everything you think you will need and eliminate half.

  • In addition to the outside tag, put your name and address as well as a photocopy of your passport inside of each piece of luggage.  Make sure you receive a claim check for each item you check.  Baggage handlers overseas often check if you have a claim ticket for EACH bag.
  • Never leave your luggage or any bags unattended.  Never let a stranger watch your luggage even if you are just going to the restroom or purchasing a meal.  Never agree to carry a bag, package, or piece of luggage for anyone.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport ID page, airline tickets(s) and both sides of your ATM/credit card(s).  Leave one copy at home and bring the second copy with you in case something is stolen abroad.


  • Pack versatile, sturdy, easily interchangeable clothes. Bring clothing that you know is going to last through some heavy use. Dark colors are better than whites and comfortable walking shoes are a must.
  • Pack some nice clothes for when you want to go to the theater, a concert, or a nice dinner.  Pack comfortable clothing, and be sensitive to local customs. Wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts are not appropriate in many countries or when visiting places of worship.  Students should dress conservatively when traveling.
  • Pack clothing that is appropriate for that country’s climate. Find out the traditional weather patterns in the country or region that you are going to be living. When they say “rainy season,” believe them!
  • Bring an extra pair of contacts or glasses. Contact solutions will be different abroad as well as expensive, so talk to your optometrist about alternative options.
  • Take extra passport-size photos of yourself for visas and other official documents you will need to apply for while abroad.
  • Pack a little of yourself! You will want to share with your host family and new friends what you and your home are like. You will be amazed at how interested your new friends and host family will be in where you come from.  Some suggestions:
    • a book of your home state or region of America
    • photos of your home, family and CMC
    • things to decorate your room or flat
  • Consider bringing:
    • A pair of plastic flip flops for use in shower while traveling
    • A small first aid kit
    • Ziploc bags
    • Duct tape—you’ll be amazed at all the things you can use it for, from Band-Aids to luggage repair.
    • A few small gifts from your home or CMC (key chains, T-shirts, books, calendars, dishtowels, CDs) to give to your host family or friends.
    • Adapters (to convert voltage of US appliances):  Be extra careful with computer equipment.  (Check with a computer store to make sure the adapters and plugs you will use abroad are appropriate.)
  • Pack a First Aid kit: Band-Aids, sunscreen, upset stomach medication, gauze, adhesive tape, insect repellant.


  • Do not pack anything you cannot afford to lose.
  • Don’t pack anything that you can buy in your destination (i.e. large amounts of toiletries, school supplies, towels, etc.).
  • Don’t pack as many clothes as you can jam into your suitcases. Laundry is generally very expensive to do abroad, so hopefully you will do as those in your host country do and wear your clothing more than once. Bring clothes that will dry quickly at room temperature or draped over a warm heater.

Passport and Visas

In accordance with international consular practice, all passports must be valid for a minimum of six months after your return date to the U.S.


If you do not have a passport, apply for one immediately.  The regular processing of a passport will take several weeks to a few months and you must have a valid passport before you can apply for a visa (the stamp in your passport that allows you to enter your host country).  U.S. passports may be obtained through selected central U.S. post offices, county courts, and U.S. Government Passport Agencies.

You can apply for your passport at the following location:           
Claremont Post Office (in Claremont Village)
140 N. Harvard Avenue, (909) 625-7161

State Department information on obtaining a passport 

Your passport is the most important document you have when outside the United States.  Know where it is at all times. Keep it in a safe place.  Make copies; keep one copy with you and give one to your family at home. Photocopy the front pages of your passport, your visa, and your entry stamp, and keep them separate from your baggage. Once in a foreign country, keep these copies in a safe place. This will facilitate replacement if your passport is lost or stolen.


A visa is an endorsement made in your passport that allows you to enter another country. Each country has different visa requirements. Your program provider should send you up-to-date information on obtaining a visa for your country.

Visa requirements tend to include applying and picking up your visa in person, at which point you may have to relinquish your passport.  Apply for your visa early if you are traveling abroad for summer or winter break because you may need to surrender your passport.   If you must send in your passport with your visa application, be sure to send it by certified return receipt mail, along with the appropriate pre-paid forms for return certified mail.

Student visa requirements may be different from tourist visa requirements, so check with the appropriate consulate or embassy to see what will be required for the country in which you will be studying.  Visa procedures and customs requirements are different for students who hold non-U.S. passports.  You must inquire directly at the consulate to learn which rules apply to you.

Because each consulate has varying requirements that change periodically, and because consulates prefer to work directly with visa applicants, CGE cannot obtain your visa for you.  You must contact the consulate in the jurisdiction of your permanent residence in order to verify requirements, fees, and any specific guidelines for the application process.  Your program provider can assist with specific visa inquiries.

Some countries require a residence permit, such as Denmark and Greece.  This is not to be confused with housing for your program.  Depending on your program, fees for a residence permit may be paid in advance or upon arrival.  Your program provider should send you detailed information if you need a residence permit.

Learn about your Host Country

You are going to be living in your host country for many months, so it is helpful to know as much information as possible prior to departure.  Read local newspapers and find out current events in your host country.  Gather information about political, cultural, religious, legal, safety, health, and environmental conditions.  Conducting your own research will be helpful when starting conversations with hosts in country.


Before you leave, you should have a complete physical as well as dental checkup.  Students whose medical problems are not easily recognized (such as diabetes, allergic reaction to antibiotics or bee stings, heart conditions, or epilepsy) should consider obtaining a MedicAlert medical ID tag.  This tag is internationally recognized. Check with your doctor or hospital to learn how to obtain a MedicAlert medical ID tag.


Be sure to have your doctor write out any standard prescriptions which you use with both brand and generic names. This includes your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions, allergy medicine, birth control, and asthma medicine. You should take an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses with you.  If your medical plan and your host country regulations allow you to do so, take enough prescription drugs with you to last the entire stay overseas.  Make sure it is legal to bring your medication into your host country.  Pack medications in their original packaging and have the prescription with you in case a customs officer requests it.

Advice on how to handle doctors or insurance companies that refuse to give more than 3 months’ supply of a medication:

  • Medications in different countries (even when the generic and/or brand name is the same) are not necessarily constituted in the same way, which can cause medical complications for those who switch.
  • Doctors in some countries are unwilling to prescribe medications for certain conditions (especially psychiatric or behavioral conditions or eating disorders), so a student who does not bring a sufficient supply may not be able to obtain it locally.
  • While customs officials may be unlikely to confiscate medications, in some cases they are legally obliged to do so if there is no accompanying documentation, and in other cases may have the discretionary power to do so.
  • Even if a shipping company will send medication overseas, it can be held up (sometimes indefinitely) at customs, and if refrigeration or other environmental conditions need to be maintained for the integrity of the medication, students can run into serious problems.


Your routine immunizations should be up to date. In addition, certain countries require particular immunizations, such as yellow fever, cholera, or proof of freedom from tuberculosis or HIV for entry into the country. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (404-332-4559) also has recommendations for travel immunizations and malaria prophylaxis for every area of the world. These recommendations might include vaccination against hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, and an anti-malarial medication depending on your travel itinerary and living circumstances. Some vaccinations need to be given in a sequence well before departure. Plan accordingly.

You can get immunizations done at the CUC student health center. An alternate location for immunizations in the Claremont Village is Hendricks Pharmacy.

The World Health Organization has information on health topics.


The incidence of tuberculosis is higher in many parts of the world outside the United States. We recommend a tuberculosis screening test before traveling and upon return to the USA. 


It is important to note that the range of counseling services available to students at CMC will not be available overseas. Many insurance policies, if they reimburse for counseling services at all, may not do so for services provided overseas. For your safety and well-being, it is vital that you inform your program provider of any physical, emotional or psychological difficulties or special needs you have.

iNext Insurance

In additional to students program insurance, all CMC students are issued an iNext – International Travel Insurance Card, offering a complete network of international travel insurance. Coverage and benefits are available for all CMC students traveling outside the United States. 

CGE requests activation through an iNext portal.  iNext will contact you directly through email.  You are invited to upload a photo and submit a mailing address to iNext for receipt of your actual iNext card.  You are insured whether you have the card on you or not; however, in case of emergency, faster service can be obtained with your iNext card in your wallet.

For additional information and a comprehensive description of iNext plans, please visit their website.

Insurance Providers

Each student, in collaboration with family and/or friends, is required to assess the level of insurance provided by his or her personal health insurance coupled with the emergency international health insurance provided by CMC and/or the student’s program provider, to determine whether this level of insurance is adequate.  Any increase of the iNext International Travel Insurance beyond the provided level or purchase of supplemental insurance through another provider is at your own discretion and expense.  CMC requires medical and accident insurance for all students, whether provided by the program provider, through iNext, or through an insurance carrier of the student’s choice.

These providers specialize in Study Abroad coverage. This list does not signify CMC endorsement.


Higher Education Abroad

You may be taking all or some of your courses at a foreign university, and you will find the teaching methodology very different than in the U.S.  The concept of a broad-based liberal arts program is unknown in many countries; it is not unusual for university students outside North America to study only one subject.  Students often are expected to take much more responsibility for shaping their academic program, and instructors provide relatively little guidance (for example, students may be expected to read widely from a long list of resources, with no specific daily assignments).  Expectations about the style and form of essays may be different, and grades often depend on one exam, written or oral, given at the end of the semester or year.

Learning about another country’s educational system is one of the reasons for studying abroad, but these differences can take some time to assimilate, and thus may interfere with unprepared students’ ability to benefit fully from the experience. 

Credit Transfer

Academic credit is granted only after you return from abroad, provided that:

  • you received letter grades of C or above (Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail is not an option)
  • your academic course load has been approved by the Registrar and Off-Campus Study (CGE)
  • GE and Major courses are approved by the Department Chair(s)
  • you follow all relevant CMC academic policies 

Placeholder course

During your semester abroad, the Registrar will enroll you in a 4 credit “placeholder” course called “Off-Campus Study”.  This course is a placeholder for registration and transcript purposes, and does not reflect what you will actually earn for credits while abroad.  When your original transcript is received from your program provider, the Registrar will add your actual credit earned and list coursework taken along with the grades you received. 


Students enrolling in an internship abroad for academic credit may receive one-half (0.5) CMC credit provided that the internship includes an academic course approved by CGE and the CMC Registrar, the student enrolls in the internship for a letter grade, and receives a C or better in the course.  Internships that fail to meet these criteria are not eligible for credit. Receiving compensation for the internship does not preclude the granting of credits. 

Independent Study

Independent studies will only be approved if there is a valid academic reason for the student to take an independent study.  Independent study must be approved before leaving for study abroad.  Students can do no more than one independent study each semester.  Independent study must follow CMC guidelines (see CMC catalog). 

Courses completed toward major

Most departments accept up to two major elective credits for study abroad courses with pre-approval from the chair of the department.  Economics and Government majors are only allowed one major elective credit per semester.  Core courses must be completed on campus. 

GE Requirements

Some academic departments will allow students to complete a GE requirement abroad.  Please check with CGE and the chair of the department for specific departmental requirements.  Remember that students may not complete more than four general education requirements off campus, including any combination of summer school, advanced placement and study abroad. 


Students’ grades from abroad will not be computed in the CMC GPA, but they will be reflected on students’ transcripts, including C-, D, D- and F. Many graduate programs will recalculate the cumulative GPA to include the study abroad grades.

End-of-Year Exams

Students must take all exams, including end-of-year or session exams at the university prior to returning home. A student will not receive credit for a course in which he/she chooses not to take an examination that he/she is required to take.

Frequently end-of-year or semester exams may be the primary or only basis upon which grades are determined. Many students find this end-of-year exam system very difficult because it requires an extensive amount of time studying in the library and it is so heavily weighted. Don’t hesitate to ask your tutors or other advisors for advice about how to prepare for them (sometimes you may be able to review exams from previous years, which will help give you an idea of the approach taken and the kinds of questions asked). The vast majority of students do well on the exams, but returning students advise that you take them seriously and keep up with your work throughout the year. 

Exam Re-Sits

Based on CMC’s own Incomplete Grade policy, CMC will not permit an off-campus study participant to re-sit final exams except when documented circumstances beyond the student’s control have prevented completion of the regularly scheduled final exam offered at the host institution.  Students who wish to request permission to re-sit for an exam must petition the Global Education Committee Committee (GEC) in advance of the regularly scheduled final. The student’s petition must include the following:

  • A written request, including a full explanation of the student’s circumstances
  • Appropriate documentation of those circumstances necessitating the re-sit
  • A letter approving the re-sit from the host institution’s sponsoring department and/or program director

In rare circumstances, such as an emergency hospitalization, the GEC may consider a petition filed after the regularly scheduled final exam. If a student’s request is approved, CMC will not proctor the re-sit. The student must make arrangements to complete the re-sit at the host institution and will be responsible for any associated costs (airfare, fees, and accommodations). Upon receipt of a revised transcript from the host institution or program provider, CMC will record the revised grade on the student’s CMC transcript.

Last Minute Doubts

It is not uncommon for students to have last minute doubts about whether studying abroad is the right thing at this time. In fact, we often worry when students aren’t at least a bit nervous about their study abroad plans. There may be concern about missing family and friends while so far away, worries about credit transferring, and nervousness about travel in general. This is quite normal and we encourage you to contact our office before changing your plans at the last minute. Every semester there are a few students who have some anxiety and consider withdrawing, but most eventually do go and are very glad they did so. Voicing your doubts and concerns will help us to better support you as you prepare to go abroad as well as while you are abroad.  We are often able to connect students to resources they did not know existed to help them make the most of the experience and have a happy, safe, productive, and enriching semester.