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Pre-Departure Requirements

Congratulations on confirming your intent to study abroad! This page outlines your next steps as you prepare to leave campus.

All students approved to study abroad must complete the following requirements prior to departure. Additional details regarding program requirements and planning steps will be communicated via email and through GLObal Gateway. It is your responsibility to read and respond promptly. If you do not complete your pre-departure requirements, you risk losing your eligibility to study abroad.

Required Pre-Departure Steps


Apply for a Visa

Many program locations require a student visa for entry. Check your program page to determine if your program location requires a visa. GLO is not responsible for visa complications, delays, or denials; the decision to issue visas rests solely with the consulate or embassy of the host country.

health-insurance-170.pngDetermine your Health Insurance Requirements

Northwestern University requires all undergraduate study abroad students to have GeoBlue Global Health insurance coverage (or a Northwestern-approved equivalent) for the entire period of time they are studying abroad. Review Study Abroad Health Insurance and GLObal Gateway to determine if your program requires you to self-enroll in GeoBlue.


Make Travel Plans

For most programs, except GESI and those with pre-arranged group flights, you are responsible for making flight reservations to and from your study abroad destination. For Northwestern programs, GLO will provide a suggested itinerary and/or arrival times. 


Complete Required Assignments in GLObal Gateway

Once you commit, you will be directed to complete a series of tasks in GLObal Gateway, some of which will be available immediately and some of which will be posted at a later date. Be sure to complete all assignments by the deadlines provided.


Attend Required Pre-Departure Sessions

These mandatory, synchronous pre-departure sessions will cover community-building, allyship, and allow for you to meet others participating on your program. For Northwestern Programs and Exchanges only. 

Pre-Departure Reminders

Learn About Your Host Country

Take significant time to learn about the culture of your host country and the experiences of students who have studied there. Spend time researching your host country and reflecting on aspects of your identity and how these may be perceived and treated in your host culture.

Review Money Matters

Review the Program Costs section of your program page for the estimated cost of attendance. Review Billing & Payments for information on your Northwestern invoice and billing date. If you receive Northwestern financial aid, review information about the various forms of financial assistance available for study abroad. Consider meeting with Krista  to discuss financial preparations, including budgeting, during your time abroad.

Do Not Register for Northwestern Courses for Term Abroad

GLO 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.

Do Not Hold Registration Spots for Your Friends

This is considered a breach of Northwestern's academic integrity code.

Remove Registration Holds

We will not be able to register you for study abroad if any holds are placed on your registration. 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 Northwestern application, you are required to clear all holds on your account prior to the registration 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.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Performance Before Going Abroad

Complete any outstanding incompletes. If you are placed on academic probation after your application was approved, you may not be permitted to study abroad.

Maintain a Clean Student Conduct Record

You may not be permitted to study abroad if you (a) were on housing or disciplinary probation when you were approved and did not successfully complete the probation, or (b) incurred housing or disciplinary violations after your application was approved.

If you will be on disciplinary probation during the term(s) in which you are scheduled to study abroad, you are not eligible to study abroad for academic credit at Northwestern, even if your Northwestern application had been previously approved. Review study abroad eligibility policies for more information.

Maintain Full-Time Enrollment

You must be an active, enrolled student to be able to participate in study abroad. You are not eligible to study abroad through GLO if you take a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) during the quarter(s) immediately prior to your term abroad, you are on leave from Northwestern, or you have graduated.