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Identity-Based Resources for Study Abroad: International Students Studying Abroad​

 Spring Break: Math, Art, and Italy, spring 2023

Students at Meredith who come from international backgrounds are an integral part of our community and can bring many wonderful perspectives to study abroad. At Meredith College, international students can and have studied abroad on short-term and semester programs. This page mainly discusses considerations for F-1 visa holders. Students in other immigration statuses who are interested in studying abroad should connect with a study abroad and international student advisor in the OIP directly to discuss any potential visa requirements for international travel. 

Spring Break in Italy group, spring 2023

 Spring Break: Math, Art, and Italy, spring 2023

International students at Meredith may already be completing a “study abroad” experience by studying in the U.S. However, taking advantage of study abroad opportunities through the OIP can be yet another way to enrich your educational experience.

During the study abroad planning phase, F-1 international students should research visa entry requirements for their travel destinations. It is important to communicate with the OIP about your study abroad plans so that we can assist with travel documentation and F-1 visa requirements. Additional points to consider:

  • You may be required to obtain a visa to enter your host country. 
  • You may need to travel to and appear in person at a U.S.-based consulate or embassy to apply for a visa to your host country. 
  • In some cases, international students may have to return to their country of citizenship in order to apply for a visa to study abroad.
  • If your F-1 visa is set to expire while you are abroad, you will want to speak with an advisor in the OIP about the necessary steps for renewal. 
  • In addition to an entry visa to your host country, you will need to travel with a valid passport that expires at least six months after you return from study abroad, a valid U.S. visa, and your most recent I-20 with a valid travel signature from a DSO for re-entry into the U.S.
  • Before studying abroad, make photocopies of all your documents, including passport, I-20, visa stamp, and I-94 record. The OIP recommends saving digital copies of these documents, as well. You may also choose to leave a set of copies at home or with a friend and carry a copy with you separate from your originals. 
  • It is recommended that you speak with an international student advisor about requirements for maintaining your F-1 visa while abroad. 

 

As you prepare to go abroad, think about researching your host country. It will be beneficial to understand the relationship between your home country and host country as well as the U.S. and host country. It’s also important to think about how different racial and ethnic groups are perceived in your host country, and how that may be different or similar to what you’ve experienced studying in the U.S. or at home. Take a look at the resources for your other intersecting identities before you depart in addition to considering the points and questions brought up in this section to ensure you are as well-prepared as possible for your study abroad experience.

Questions to Consider

  • What is the relationship between my home country and host country?
  • Does my host country have any visa requirements for travelers from my home country?
  • What immigration documents will I need to carry with me when I travel?
  • Have I communicated with the OIP about my plans to study abroad?
  • Do I need to speak with an international student advisor about my plans to study abroad?
  • What steps do I need to take to stay in compliance with my F-1 student visa while studying abroad?

Resources

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