Welcome to the IP Online Orientation. You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime and we are excited for you! Before you go, you will need to make lots of preparations. Taking this online orientation seriously will help you better prepare yourself for your year abroad.
You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime and we are excited for you!
Before you go, you will need to make lots of preparations.
Taking this online orientation seriously will help you better prepare yourself for your year abroad.
We encourage you to read each topic carefully. Refer to your Participant Guide for more information.
This online orientation is only one part of the study abroad orientation process. In addition to this online orientation, we strongly encourage you to attend one of our regional orientations. Two are conducted each year, one in northern California and one in southern California. This year, the orientations will be:
Sat., May 5, 8:30 – 1:00: San Francisco State
Sat., May 12, 8:30 – 1:00: Cal State Fullerton
Information about these orientations was mailed to you in the acceptance e-mail.
If you are applying for a passport for the first time, you must apply in person.
More information: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.
A visa is an immigration document that gives you permission to enter a country for a specific purpose and for a specified period of time. (We’re not talking about a
Read your IP Participant
Guide for specific information
about the visa application
procedures for your host
In recent years, applying for and obtaining a visa has become increasingly complex. The United States and many other countries have strengthened their requirements, increasing the scrutiny they give all applications and, as a consequence, lengthened the processing time.
OIP does not set the rules or control the visa application process. This is a request from you to a foreign government. The California State University cannot act on your behalf or intervene with the foreign government and will not be able to speed up processing or alter the rules.
In nearly all cases, CSU students are issued visas in time to participate in their study abroad programs. In some cases there may be delays; in very rare cases, students have been denied visas. The visa application process is entirely your responsibility. Please follow instructions provided by OIP exactly and carefully. Also read your host country’s Consular website for updates. Remember: no one has the right to a visa.
Because visas can take a long time to process, you are advised not to travel internationally prior to your IP program start date.
Work carefully with your travel agent to ensure that your airline ticket is changeable, just in case you do not have your visa and passport back when expected.
You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to your host university abroad.
There are group flights to five countries: China, France (Aix-en-Provence, not Paris), Ghana, Japan and Spain. Information is included in the online packet students receive from OIP. It is also available at: www.travelcuts.com/csip.
Participation in the group flight (where it is offered) is voluntary, except for China and Ghana.Students going to China or Ghana are required to participate in the group flight.
If you want to participate in the Group Flight, you must contact Travel Cuts, submit your reservation form and pay for your flight yourself.
Click on “Study Abroad Group Participants” in the top right-hand corner
If your IP program does not offer a group flight, you are responsible for making your own flight arrangements.
Travel Agencies Specializing in Student Travel that you may want to consider are:
Travel CUTS STA Travel
The Resident Director or a host university representative will meet the group flights at the airport and provide ground transportation.
Students who travel independently must arrange their own ground transportation. Read your IP Participant Guide for more information.
Some host institutions offer an
airport pick-up service. If your
host university offers such service,
they will tell you about it in your
letter of admission.
The USA operates on 110 volts. Most of the rest of the world operates on 220 volts. This means that, when you plug an American appliance into a foreign outlet, the result is a damaged appliance. In order to use your electrical appliances in most foreign countries, you will need to use converters and adapters.
Note: Most modern technological devices, such as laptops and cell phone chargers, have dual voltage, so you most likely will not need a converter for such things. You may only need the adapter to plug it into the wall.
World Electric Guide:
The CSU International Programs is a study abroad program. IP is not “travel abroad,” it is “study abroad.”
All coursework taken abroad will appear as regular CSU resident credit on your CSU transcript.
Grades earned on IP will be calculated in your CSU cumulative GPA.
While studying abroad as an IP participant:
You are concurrently enrolled at your home CSU campus and your host university.
You do not register for any classes at your home CSU campus while away. CSU home campus registration is handled by OIP.
You cannot enroll in on-line courses offered by any CSU campus while an IP participant.
By now, you should be familiar with the IP Bulletin, the IP “catalog,” which provides a listing of the kinds of courses offered at our program sites overseas.
You can view the IP
Bulletin for your
country on the IP
Prior to departure, confer with your home CSU campus advisors regarding your academic plans for the year abroad and agree on how you will communicate during the year.
During the year, the Resident Director, the IP Onsite Program Assistant or the host university staff will assist you with course registration.
The CSU academic advisor’s role is to:
Suggest appropriate courses that you can take abroad.
Determine how those courses will be credited towards your degree.
Guide you through the petitioning (course substitution) process at your campus.
OIP’s role is to:
Report all courses attempted to your home CSU campus.
It is your responsibility to collect course information including syllabi and other materials from your instructors at your host university abroad. Upon return, you may need to show these to your home CSU campus advisors to secure CSU credit.
Even with prior approval, you are strongly advised to keep your course syllabi, term papers, exams and any other pertinent materials from the courses you complete overseas, until you graduate.
You are subject to all academic regulations of your home CSU campuses as well as those of IP and the host institution abroad.
Home CSU campus rules for academic probation and disqualification apply while you are an IP participant.
You are expected to make normal academic progress and to maintain a GPA of at least 2.0. (Graduate students 3.0). Students who fail to meet these requirements or who do not successfully progress in the program are subject to probation or disenrollment.
OIP converts grades earned abroad to CSU equivalent grades.
A grade will be reported for EACH course attempted abroad. Grades earned will be averaged in the cumulative GPA on your CSU transcript.
No “incomplete” grades are awarded to IP participants. You must complete all course requirements in order to receive a regular grade. Students who fail to complete all course requirements by the end of the academic year at their host institution will receive a grade of “WU”, which is equivalent to an “F” and shall be computed as such in your CSU overall GPA.
It can take a minimum of four months (and sometimes longer, depending on specific circumstances) for courses taken at your host university to be reported to your CSU campus.
Graduating Seniors are given priority but seniors must go with the understanding that it may not be possible to graduate the term following their last semester abroad.
Your Academic Report will be sent to your permanent home address. An official report will be sent to your home campus registrar/record’s office. Once they post your courses, units and grades, your CSU transcript becomes the official record of coursework taken abroad.
Students whose graduation depends on specific courses should note that course availability abroad cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, graduating seniors must be open to the idea of returning to their home campus for additional terms following their participation in IP. The rewards gained by studying abroad tremendously outweigh the disadvantages of a delayed graduation.
Remember to check your e-mail account on a regular basis for important messages from OIP. If you change your e-mail address, please inform OIP.
Be mindful of academic deadline dates (i.e. add/drop deadlines, deadlines for submission of academic forms, such as credit/no credit grading forms).
Read and review the Academic Arrangements section of your IP Participant Guide, as well as the IP Bulletin, now and while you are abroad.
Exercise & Eat Right.
Limit Yourself to Your Own Abilities.
Understand Your Health Insurance.
Learn the Local Customs and Laws.
Discuss Health and Safety Issues with your family before you go and with the staff overseas when you arrive.
Make Wise Choices.
Be aware that whenever a serious incident occurs to a CSU student abroad, nine times out of ten, one of these is a leading factor:
Late at night…
Alcohol diminishes your ability to make good decisions. Avoid doing activities alone or late at night if you can do them with friends or during the day.
Your personal health situation.
Your personal habits.
The activities you choose to engage in.
The places you choose to go.
Ultimately, YOU are the most qualified person to keep yourself HEALTHY and SAFE.
If you are a financial aid recipient, talk to your Financial Aid Office at your home CSU campus and find out when and how you will be receiving your financial aid.
Be sure to submit a copy of your financial aid award letter to OIP, and send OIP a new copy if your award is changed before you go abroad.
You should have a back-up plan in case your financial aid is delayed.
OIP provides every participant with a copy of Maximizing Study Abroad: A Student’s Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use. We highly recommend that you make use of this resource to better understand culture.
Take it with you and
refer to it from time
to time. You will find it
more helpful than you
Please print: First name Last name
IP Country: _________________,__________________
Signature: __________________ Date: ____________