Apply and Prepare
Students should check the deadlines of Hamline and any specific program to make sure applications are completed on time. ISEP Exchanges and a few other programs may have deadlines before Hamline's.
Once you have found your program, you can start your application.
|Academic year||April 15|
|Fall semester||April 15|
|Spring semester||November 15|
|Summer program provider||April 15|
|Spring break/May term/summer faculty led||January 15|
Hamline will review all applications several weeks after the deadlines. Approval from Hamline is necessary for credits to return to Hamline.
Unless you are doing a Hamline Faculty-led program, you will need to complete two applications.
Once accepted by Hamline, you will get information on next steps, including reminders on program-specific applications, scholarships, and orientations. Remember that some programs will need you to complete their application first, or at the same time as your Hamline application.
Once approved by Hamline, you will start the next part of the process: Preparing to go on your program. This may include steps like a second application outside of Hamline’s application.
Hamline’s approval does not mean you are going on the program, so don’t buy your plane ticket just yet!
The GEC will send you information on if you need to apply to the program directly. Please note this means there might be another round of deadlines and steps that you must follow.
The following items are a general list of things you may want to look into before you depart. There is no requirement to complete this checklist, but we highly recommend looking into them.
Complete your pre-travel checklist
- Submit your Hamline application form.
- Check to see if there are any program specific applications to complete and note their deadlines
- Program Providers (IES, HECUA, CIEE, etc.) will have a program-specific application on their website.
- ISEP exchange programs will also have a second application on their website
- Hamline exchanges will have another application, see the GEC for details.
- If you have questions about the applications, check in with the GEC or program-specific advisor
- It's always a good idea to talk about finances, create a budget with the GEC, and connect with the Office of Financial Aid as you prepare
Hamline creates both international and national program opportunities. Please check your program’s application page or program provider application to make sure you know if you need to obtain additional documents to get out of or into another country.
Is your program outside of the US?
- In order to travel abroad, students must hold a valid passport. Make sure it will be valid at least six months after your return date.
- US Citizens should apply for a passport, or renew their passports (as needed) by starting the process at the US Department of State’s website (travel.state.gov) or you can also use the information from the USPS (usps.com) site.
- Please note that the processing times vary and some airlines require a passport number at time of flight bookings. Plan early or be prepared to pay for expedited services.
- Non-US citizens should contact their home country’s consulate for passport renewals.
DACA students and other special groups of students should contact the GEC and/or an immigration lawyer with questions about options of leaving the country for the purpose of study.
Visas are special permissions for an individual to enter/exit a country. Not all study abroad students will need a visa. Short term programs generally don’t need anything beyond a US passport to travel. See your program’s application site or program provider site for more details on if you need to apply for a visa.
The GEC are not visa experts and students should read over program documents regarding visas.
For general requirements on which countries have entry/exit visas, see that county’s page on the International Travel page of the US Department of State’s website (travel.state.gov).
Visit our visa FAQ for more information
Hamline and your program will have different resources to help you prepare for your journey no matter the destination.
These cover topics like packing tips, culture shock, goal setting, and risk reduction strategies. Some are in person, while others have material you can review online at your leisure.
Crossing Borders Pre-Departure Orientation (takes place the semester before your departure)
Program specific orientations (can include)
Hamline faculty led orientation(s) (Planned by the faculty before departure and once in country)
- Meet your cohort
- Learn more about the program details and host country
- Program provider/exchange orientations (online and once you arrive in your host country)
Before you go, and even when looking for the right program, it is good to think about goals you want for your time on your program. Think of the experiences you want to have, skills you want to develop, places you want to visit, things you want to learn, and things you want to try. Take some time to really find those important items you want to accomplish while away.
It is always a good idea to talk to your academic and faculty advisors about the courses you are taking while away or abroad. You can work with them anytime in the process to see if your program’s courses can come back to Hamline as fulfilling a major/minor requirement.
You may want to save coursework or syllabus from abroad as well if you want to have a class count for a specific one here at Hamline.
Registration while away and abroad
Depending on when you go away or abroad, you may need to register for the next semester’s classes while in a different time zone. Make sure to speak with your advisor about any registration times that might be coming up (this will affect fall students the most).
You are responsible for keeping all holds off your account before, during, and after your study away or study abroad experience.
Hamline University needs to be able to enroll you in placeholder credits and bill your student account for program fees. If there are holds, we cannot do this. Please work quickly to take care of any holds on your accounts.
It also doesn’t hurt to stop by the Financial Aid Office before you depart to make sure your awards and cost of attendance are accurately reflected.
If you have not done so, check out the study away scholarship options for your study away or study abroad program.
Make sure to know what items will be billed to your Hamline account and what are your responsibility to pay directly to the program.
If you have questions, ask!
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other regulations prohibit the Global Engagement Center from releasing your educational records unless you agree to release the information. Other than in limited cases, including health or safety emergencies, the Global Engagement Center needs this release to inform your family or emergency contact regarding your participation in this program.
If you wish to grant access to your study away protected information to other parties, please complete the study away protected information form (Google Doc) and return it to the GEC.
Be a savvy traveler
Most programs will require you to purchase your round-trip airfare independently.
Hamline faculty-led programs tend to book group flights from Minneapolis to help offset the costs of studying away and studying abroad.
If you need to purchase airfare, make sure you are accepted into the program and accepted by Hamline before your purchase the flight. The Global Engagement Center also recommends purchasing travel insurance on your flight. It's not mandatory but is highly recommended.
There are sites online that assist students in finding low-cost airfare. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
Youth hostels are a great way to save on safe and clean places to stay. Make sure to read the reviews to make sure you find the best fit for your travel needs.
- Hostelworld.com has reviews, photos, and online booking
Hostels not your thing? Try discount sites like Hotels.com to find cheaper prices for hotels worldwide. Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, and more also have hotel services worldwide.
If you plan on extending your adventures away or abroad, or travel during your free time, make sure to budget lodging, food, transportation, and other costs. See money management for budget templates and online cost of living estimators.
Depending on your program there might be a daily commute to your school or you want to explore other places while abroad. You can use international student discount rates for all kinds of travel.
Some resources include:
- In Europe: Eurail passes (tripsavvy.com), Ryanair, and more
- In Japan: Rail Pass (japanrailpass.net), Skymark Airlines, overnight buses, and more
Do some research on your destination and discounts on getting around. Check out websites like:
Remember to be realistic with your time and budget on how much do or see. Make sure to take time to relax during your time abroad as well!
The US State Department has put together important information specifically for students going abroad. Please take a moment to browse the Students Abroad (travel.state.gov) site to read up on information ranging from what kinds of travel documents you will need to how to stay health to driving abroad and much more!
Don't forget to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov) so they may reach you in the event of an emergency in the country you are visiting.
If you are going on a Hamline faculty led program, the GEC will enroll you prior to departure.
It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before going abroad. Hamline University also strongly recommends that all students going abroad complete a travel medicine consultation prior to departure.
To schedule a consultation, Hamline has a partnership with the Health Partners Travel Clinic; Health Partners has two sites with travel specialties in the metro area, including one just off of Phalen Boulevard in Saint Paul and one in St. Louis Park. The telephone number to make an appointment at Health Partners location is 952-967-7978.
Though Health Partners is recommended for travel medicine consultation, students may also visit an International Travel Health Facility approved by the State of Minnesota. The Ramsey County Department of Public Health also provides travel consultations.
Check the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) and the US Department of State’s website (travel.state.gov) for official recommendations on vaccines and health related tips for international travel.
If you need to bring prescription medicine into another country, please plan ahead and work with your local doctor and insurance company.
- Check country laws and limits on prescription drugs
- Obtain dose and prescription information from your doctor in a signed letter—keep the medications in their original bottles
- Check with your program official or the GEC if you need special accommodations or assistance with your prescriptions
- Always have your medications and related documents in your carry on bag
You might not always have internet access while abroad. There, we said it. That's part of the adventure!
Make sure that you check your phone’s international plan and capability. Sometimes it might be cheaper and easier to get an international SIM card or buy a pre-paid phone when you arrive.
If you need to communicate with family while abroad, come up with a plan on how frequently you'll talk and what times work.
Don’t go into international travel without doing a bit of research on things like weather, basic country information, and things to do while there.
These links can be helpful to browse:
- StudentsAbroad.com—handbooks and good information for many countries
- Travel.State.Gov—US Department of State’s site with information on entry documents, vaccines, and country history.
- Weather.com—know what to pack with average temps and other items to bring.
- International News—News platforms like CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera have news keep you and your family in the know about current happenings in your new home country.
Cash, check, or plastic? How do people use money in your destination country?
Understanding how to use money in your host location is critical to know, as it can help you plan ahead for shopping abroad.
- Bring an ATM card and a few credit cards
- Tips for using a card in Europe (thesavvybackpacker.com)
- Visa TravelMoney (usa.visa.com) (check with your bank for availability)
- Exchange US dollars for local currency ahead of time at your bank or at the airport
- Use ATMs for getting cash in-country
- Traveler’s checks are still available at most banks but are no longer widely or easily accepted
- Always have emergency funds in the form of cash and/or a credit card
- Don’t place all your money in one place—spread out the money in different bags and place
- Use hotel safes to lock up large amounts of money
- Notify your bank and credit card company of your travel—you can submit a travel itinerary with most companies online
- Make a budget
- Knowing your spending limits and sticking to a budget will help you to enjoy your full program. We don’t want you eating PB&J for the last week of your program!
Is this your first time going international? Even if it isn't, going through airport security and immigration can be a stressful experience. Here are some tips to consider when packing and heading to the airport:
Know the Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov) policies for items that are allowed or prohibited to pass through security in a timely manner. If you want a faster TSA experience, there are paid services to help expedite the process like Global Entry (cbp.gov) or TSA precheck (tsa.gov).
This first time traveling video (youtube.com) from a blogger that walks you through US security, airports, and much more. You can search YouTube for other videos or blog posts to help easy any anxiety about international travel.
Carry-on versus checked bags
What to store in carry-on items What to store in checked items Passport and travel documents
Copies of place itinerary
Address of hotel/program location
Medications & medical documents
Travel size liquids (3-1-1 TSA policy)
Clothes (change of clothes)
Charger/external battery packs
Clothes and shoes
Larger items like hair dryer (if needed)
Always make sure to label your bags with your contact information. A lot of bags are black, so add something distinctive to your luggage like a colored luggage tag or ribbon for easy visibility.
Sample packing listImage
It is a good idea to have a folder with you that contains all your important documents and have it handy when getting into any line for security or customs. Have you passport ready to hand over at the counter or when asked.
Always be polite and answer customs officials' questions. It's fine to take a minute, once off the plane, to refresh and then head to the customs area—it can be a bit of a wait in certain airports.
Important documents include (but are not limited to):
- Passport (consider keeping a copy in another bag or online for easy access)
- Visa or travel documents (letter of invitation/program information)
- Plane itinerary
- Contact info for home, program officials, and Hamline GEC
- Insurance information/medication documents