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Pre-Departure Requirements

All approved study abroad students must complete the following requirements prior to departure. 

If you fail to complete them, you risk not earning credit for study abroad.

University's Use of Email: As indicated in the Undergraduate Catalog, "email is the University’s mechanism for official commun­ication with students, and Northwestern has the right to expect that students will read official email in a timely fashion." Failure to receive or read communication from the Study Abroad Office does not absolve a student from knowing and complying with the content of the communication.

Submit a Program Confirmation form

Students studying abroad on Summer 2014 programs that are administered by the Study Abroad Office or the CASB Fall/Full-Year 2014-15 program must submit their Program Confirmation form to the Study Abroad Office by Friday, April 4, 2014

Students studying abroad on other Fall/Full-Year 2014-15 programs or Non-NU Summer 2014 programs that are administered by the Study Abroad Office must turn in their Program Confirmation form to the Study Abroad Office by Friday, April 25, 2014.

Students studying abroad on Winter/Spring 2015 programs that are administered by the Study Abroad Office must turn in their Program Confirmation form to the Study Abroad Office by Friday, November 14, 2014.

watch required videos on the pre-departure orientation blackboard site

The Blackboard site is made up of several videos covering important topics, such as money matters, health and safety, and cultural adjustment.  Reviewing the videos and other material on the Blackboard site is mandatory. The Study Abroad Office will contact you with more information. 

Attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation, if applicable to your program

This orientation will cover important program-specific health, safety, and cultural adjustment issues and will also give you the opportunity to meet and talk with other Northwestern students going abroad on the same program.  Your Study Abroad Adviser will contact you with more information. 

Obtain HTH health insurance AFTER May 1

Northwestern University requires all study abroad students to purchase HTH Worldwide health insurance coverage for the period of time they are studying abroad, regardless of any other coverage you have from your parents, Northwestern, or your study abroad program.  NU's HTH policy is renewed annually so Summer and Fall/Full-Year study abroad participants who need to purchase HTH should wait until after May 1 to do so.

  • If your study abroad program provides insurance coverage other than HTH, you must still purchase HTH through Northwestern. Please forward a copy of the HTH confirmation email to the Study Abroad Office.
  • Exceptions:
    • If you are studying abroad in your country of citizenship, you are not required or eligible to purchase HTH.
    • Students on some programs are not required to purchase HTH because their program already requires it (view exemptions).

Log into your NU Application and complete the pre-departure section

Once you have logged into your NU Application, navigate to the Pre-departure section and complete it.

Fulfill other Northwestern requirements and contingencies

  • Academic and program requirements
    Northwestern has a number of academic requirements that students are expected to adhere to while studying abroad. Read over these requirements carefully, identify which (if any) apply to you, and make sure you understand and adhere to them.
  • Northwestern also has additional requirements for some programs, which can be found on your program page
  • Academic performance
    Maintain satisfactory academic performance before going abroad, which includes completing any outstanding incompletes. Students placed on academic probation after their applications were approved may not be permitted to study abroad.
  • Student conduct
    Maintain a clean disciplinary record with the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Student Affairs. Students may not be permitted to study abroad if they (a) were on housing or disciplinary probation when they were approved and did not successfully complete the probation, or (b) incurred housing or disciplinary violations after their applications were approved. 
  • Contingencies
    Fulfill any contingencies listed in your approval email. Contact the Study Abroad Office for additional information or if you have lost this email.
  • Ensure that your NetID remains active the entire time you are abroad. Passwords must be changed (this can be done online) every four months.
  • Change your contact information to your permanent/billing address, so that offices on campus will send any important materials to your parents/guardians.
  • Do not register yourself for NU courses for the term(s) you will be abroad! The Study Abroad Office will register you for a “placeholder” course for the duration of your time abroad (view exceptions), so you should not register for any classes at Northwestern.
    • We will not be able to register you for study abroad if you are already registered for any classes on campus.
    • If you register for NU classes after we register you for the placeholder course, you could be double-billed. While this might ultimately be corrected, double-registering will affect your standing as a full-time NU student and your financial aid, and it could prevent you from being able to register on time the following term.
    • We will not be able to register you for the study abroad placeholder if any holds are placed on your registration. So update your emergency information on CAESAR and pay all bills due to Student Accounts, Student Loans or the library.
  • Note: The School of Continuing Studies Registrar will register SCS students in a placeholder course. Please complete the SCS Study Abroad Registration Form (pdf) and return it to their office. For appropriate course information, please contact the Study Abroad Office.
  • Pay any outstanding fees from Student Accounts, Student Loans, or the library. If you don't, there will be a hold placed on your registration, we will not be able to register you for study abroad, and you may have trouble registering for Northwestern classes the quarter you return from abroad. You can view your NU financial accounts in CAESAR.
  • If you primarily use a non-Northwestern email account, you can set up your Northwestern email to forward to your other address. In your @U Webmail, click Settings, then Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
  • If you are planning to pursue an internship or research abroad, read the following information:
    • Internships Abroad for students interested in an internship or service learning placement
    • Research Abroad for students conducting an Independent Study Project or other research