Pre-Departure Orientation

wing of an airplane in flight

Pre-Departure Education Abroad Training: UI International Programs administers a mandatory online pre-departure training for all students who will be departing for an education abroad opportunity. The training must be completed prior to departure.

The course, Education Abroad Pre-Departure Training, can be accessed via ICON and all students registered for international travel under the auspices of the University of Iowa will be added to the course list automatically. The course will appear on the home page of the student’s ICON account under "Ongoing" courses. The course consists of 10 modules and quizzes that cover a wide range of topics of which students need to be aware before they go abroad.

Once you have finished the training, download this Pre-Departure checklist to use as a quick guide.

In-Person Pre-Departure Training: In addition to the required training online, study abroad advisors will inform students of any mandatory in-person orientation sessions specific to the intended program abroad.


visa and entry stamps in passports

A visa foil is typically a sticker that is affixed to a blank page in your passport, obtained from a foreign consulate or embassy, that grants you permission from that foreign government to enter and remain their country for a limited period of time. Sometimes visas (or entry stamps) are obtained from passport control/customs as you enter a foreign country, but most of the time the visa is something that must be acquired in advance and while in the U.S. The U.S. State Department keeps track of the types of visa requirements other countries have for U.S. citizens through their country-specific information pages.

For many reasons, it is important to begin your visa application process as soon as you are eligible to do so (typically coinciding with acceptance into your study abroad program).

How to get one: Your Study Abroad Advisor can help you determine if a visa is necessary, and help you set up an appointment with the Participant Services Specialist in the Study Abroad office for assistance.

Slice of Advice

pizza with veggies

Slice of Advice is an event held each semester for students studying abroad through the Study Abroad office. The Study Abroad office matches outbound study abroad students with study abroad returnees. Do you have questions about what you'll need to pack, how much money to bring or what to do while you're in-country? Are you having trouble setting goals or just want advice about the experience? RSVP below and we will match you with a returned student from your program, city, country or region, to the best of our abilities.

Upcoming Slice of Advice event

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 
Location: UCC 1117
RSVP here