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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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FAQ: Study Abroad for International Students

Can I study abroad as an international student?

Yes — we encourage all students to take advantage of international academic experiences. As an international student studying abroad, you will work with both an immigration coordinator, for questions regarding your status here in the U.S., and education abroad coordinators, who will assist you with program-specific questions about visas and entry requirements for the destination you wish to visit.

When, where and for how long can I study abroad?

You must be a currently enrolled, degree-seeking student, and you may study abroad anytime in your academic career except for the last semester prior to your graduation. Please meet with an immigration coordinator to discuss visa regulations and restrictions according to your status here at The Ohio State University. Remember that immigration coordinators can only advise on your status here in the U.S., and cannot provide any visa or other entry information about the country you wish to visit for your study abroad program.

Do I need a visa to get into my study abroad destination country/transit country(ies)?

Your admission into another country – including transit countries – will depend on your country of citizenship, as well as your specific country of destination. When researching your possible visa needs, don't forget to factor in connecting flights. Some destinations may also have requirements about the length of validity of your U.S. visa.

Visa service providers, like Travisa, may be able to assist in visa requirements and processing to your study abroad destination. If you are traveling as part of a group (U.S. and international students) who will all require visas for entry to your destination, regardless of nationality, the Office of International Affairs will assist you in applying for your travel visa. If you are applying for entry to a country where U.S. citizens do not require a visa for the duration of the program, you will need to research and apply for the appropriate visa independently.

To find out if you will need a visa for the country you wish to enter, please visit Travisa and/or the appropriate consulate or embassy website for that particular country.

Do I need a valid F-1/J-1 visa to return to the United States?

You will need a valid F-1/J-1 visa in order to return to the United States. Meet with an immigration coordinator to discuss visa requirements and additional travel information. For information regarding visa renewal, please visit the U.S. Embassy website for a list of U.S. embassies around the globe. Valid travel signatures will be required upon returning to the United States. It is your responsibility to obtain a travel signature on your Form I-20/DS-2019 prior to departing the United States for your study abroad.

Can I take a different flight from the group flight?

Group flights are required for most short-term programs and their itineraries may not be altered. Some Ohio State study abroad programs, however, require that you make your own travel arrangements. The program information sheet on the study abroad website will note if a group flight is required for your program.

What are my payment responsibilities?

Program fees may be paid differently for various types of programs. If you are participating in non-Ohio State sponsored program, you may pay some fees directly to host institutions or third party providers. All programs have some fees paid directly to Ohio State, which will be posted on your Ohio State Statement of Account. Please meet with your education abroad coordinator to discuss how fees are paid. What you pay directly to Ohio State is due on the same date as your tuition and fees are due for registration for the semester in which you will study abroad. Any financial aid awarded to you will be deducted from the total charges.

Program costs vary. Please see the program information, the university's student tuition and fee tables or your education abroad coordinator for more information.

Importantly, if you wish to withdraw from your program or are unable to obtain a travel visa for your program destination, you should be aware that the Office of International Affairs education abroad cancellation policy will apply.

What do I need to do before I leave and what do I need to carry with me?

Be sure to consult an immigration coordinator in the Office of International Affairs to have your immigration documents reviewed and signed before you leave the U.S. Walk-in advising hours are held Monday through Thursday, 1-4p.m., and by appointment on Fridays.

Do I need insurance?

You are required to carry GeoBlue international medical insurance through Ohio State while participating in an Ohio State study abroad program. The Office of International Affairs will process your enrollment in this insurance if you are studying on an Ohio State faculty-led program, in which case the fee is included in the study abroad program fee.