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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

You must submit a Program Confirmation form to the Study Abroad Office by the deadline provided to you in your approval email.

Complete required modules and quizzes on study abroad pre-departure orientation on canvas

The Canvas course consists of detailed Modules covering important topics, such as NU administrative policies, billing and financial aid, as well as topics pertaining to health and safety abroad. Reviewing the Modules and completing the quizzes on Canvas is mandatory. You will receive instructions for accessing the Canvas orientation via email.

Obtain HTH worldwide health insurance

Northwestern University requires all study abroad students to have HTH Worldwide health insurance coverage for the period of time they are studying abroad, regardless of any other coverage from parents, Northwestern, or the study abroad program (some exemptions apply).  

Do not register for NU courses for Term Abroad

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.

Other important reminders:

  • Do not hold registration spots for your friends! This is considered a breach of NU's academic integrity code.
  • We will not be able to register you for study abroad 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.  Per the Student Agreement you signed in your NU Application, you are required to clear all holds on your account prior to the registation period of each study abroad term.  This is mandatory in order to maintain your approval to study abroad and be eligible to transfer credit back to Northwestern.
  • The School of Professional Studies Registrar will register SPS students in a placeholder course. Please complete the SPS Study Abroad Registration Form (pdf) and return it to their office. For appropriate course information, please contact the Study Abroad Office.

Fulfill other Northwestern requirements and contingencies

Academic and program requirements

  • Review academic requirements and identify which (if any) apply to you. You are expected to adhere to these requirements while studying abroad.
  • Review Choosing Courses to Take Abroad to determine transferable courses and enrollment requirements.
  • Check your program page to determine if Northwestern has additional requirements pertaining to course enrollment on your program.
  • If you are planning to pursue an internship or research abroad, review: 
    • Internships Abroad for information regarding credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing internship or service learning placements
    • Research Abroad for students conducting an Independent Study Project or other research

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.

Communication

  • 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.
  • Change your contact information to your permanent/billing address so that offices on campus will send any important materials to your parents/guardians.

Contingencies

Enroll in STEP

  • Enroll your travel dates in the U.S. DOS Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This allows the United States government to act quickly in concert with other governments if you go missing or are a victim of a serious crime. Also, by providing your email address, you will be added to a consular listserv to receive local security updates related to road closures, transportation strikes, civil unrest, etc. 
  • STEP Registration Example

Student Conduct

  • Maintain a clean student conduct record with the Division 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. 
  • Students who will be on disciplinary probation during the term(s) in which they are scheduled to study abroad are not eligible to study abroad for academic credit at NU, even if their NU Application had been previously approved.