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Pre-Departure Information

Before leaving on a USC-approved program, make the following tasks a priority:

  • You must attend one of the mandatory general orientation & program specific sessions run by the Office of Overseas Studies.

    Contact the Main Office at 213-740-3636 if you cannot make these sessions.

    Country specific orientation sessions will be held throughout April (for Fall Semester) and November (for Spring Semester) and are also mandatory. 
  • Read the Overseas Studies Handbook
  • Do you have a passport? Will it be valid for six months AFTER the end of your program? Click here for more information on obtaining a new passport or renewing an old one.
  • Stay informed about developments in the country/countries in which you will spend time (including any countries you'll visit that are not part of your study abroad program's itinerary). Check the U.S. State Department's Web page for the most current information before you depart (and while abroad) at: U.S. Department of State
  • Research health and safety issues particular to your country and obtain necessary immunizations
  • Use the state-of-the-art USC Language Center to brush up on your foreign language skills
  • Get to know international students from your host country here at USC. Contact the Office of International Services (OIS) to arrange a language exchange, participate in OIS activities, etc.
  • Research the educational system in which you will be studying
  • Read online newspapers from your host country to begin to familiarize yourself with issues and current events there
  • Listen to international radio stations online
  • Purchase a good guide book


Familiarize yourself with the following:

  • OVERSEAS STUDIES HANDBOOK - Don't go abroad without reading this handbook!
  • Remember that you must be registered at USC while you are abroad! Refer to the Block Registration Tutorial for details.
  • Visa regulations for your country. Do not wait until the last minute to apply, and keep in mind that international students may have to follow procedures that differ from those of their US-citizen counterparts!
  • The cost sheet for your program, which will be provided during general orientation. If your parents are financing the cost of your studies, please share this information with them!
  • Financial Aid Information