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Departing For Your Program

Before you depart it is important to prepare for your experience!

Pre-Departure Requirements

Once you receive your acceptance email, you will be instructed to complete and turn in additional materials.

It is very important to complete all the material submissions, required readings, as well as signature documents required for your program in a timely manner. You will be frequently reminded if items are not complete.

Below is a list of typical items that will need to be completed after being accepted in a program:


Though CIE doesn't provide visa advice, we can help you through the process and review application materials. We will provide students participating in a UNC exchange a visa information sheet upon acceptance into their program.

We do not have the capacity to stay up-to-date on country-to-country visa regulations.

More about Visas

Pre-Departure Orientations

All students participating in an education abroad program are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation in which important administrative, safety, health, and cultural adjustment information will be covered. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with other UNC students who studied at their host school as well as with visiting exchange students from their international host institutions. Details about the date and time of the orientation will be included in your acceptance email.

error_outline Failure to attend will result in automatic withdrawal from your program abroad by the Education Abroad Office. 

For more helpful information and ideas as you move through the application and pre-departures and approach your departure date, check out the Pre-Departure Checklist.

Read the Handbook 

Read through the Education Abroad Student Handbook for all the answers to your questions regarding living and studying in another country. Find information on:

  • Financial aid
  • Passports
  • Visas
  • Banking abroad
  • Health & insurance
  • Safety
  • Communication from abroad
  • Packing tips
  • Legal Requirements
  • International travel

Transfer Credit Course Approval

All students going abroad need to work on having credits pre-approved. Students can use the Course Planning Worksheet and should also discuss the courses with and get a signature from their Academic Advisor.

To see a list of courses at specific universities abroad that have been pre-approved, visit the Registrar's Office's International Transferview page. If you do not see the specific course(s) you want to take listed, speak with your Academic Advisor and/or the appropriate department about having the course(s) pre-approved.

Credit Equivalencies

Remember that not all international credit systems are equivalent to the US system used at UNC.

It is your responsibility to understand how your university abroad reports credits. In most cases, 15 contact hours = 1 UNC credit. When in doubt, please contact the Registrar's office prior to departure.

Grade Equivalencies

Any undergraduate course you complete with a grade equivalent to a “C-“ or higher at an institution approved through UNC’s CIE Office will transfer to UNC at a minimum as university-wide elective credit. Official evaluation occurs upon receipt of official transcripts.

International Transcript Evaluation

Depending on the institution, program, or country, some transcripts from study abroad may be issued to UNC in a language other than English. In these instances, it is the student's responsibility to submit the official transcript to a third-party evaluation service for a course-by-course evaluation.

For more details on this, please see the current UNC Catalog entry on International Transcript Evaluation.

For questions, please contact either the Education Abroad & Exchange Office or the Registrar's Office (970-351-4862, transfereval@unco.edu).


Health and Safety Information

  • Health and Vaccinations: We recommend that you consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn about health issues for international travel. Be sure to look for information specific to your region(s) where you will travel.

Additional Resources