Now that you’ve gotten started and are accepted to a program, this section of the website will guide you through next steps and give you some guidance and resources as you prepare to depart.

It may seem overwhelming now, but remember you can always reach out to Study Abroad staff to ask questions or get assistance and advice. If you have a lot of questions or a want to have a meeting, you’re welcome to schedule an appointment with your Study Abroad Advisor at any time. To do so, email study.abroad@valpo.edu, call 219.464.5333, or stop in.

Application Process

All students must apply to study abroad. Application does not guarantee participation. Our main goal is to ensure the students we send abroad are ready to go abroad, and are set up to be successful through the duration of their program.

The study abroad application is facilitated through our online application management software, TerraDotta. When applications are open, program pages will have an Apply Now button. Simply click the button to begin your application.

Logging in

Valpo students will log in using their normal campus log in credentials, just as they would do when logging in to DataVU. It’s important to make sure you’re using your campus username NOT your full e-mail address, and your Valpo password. If you are having trouble with your Valpo log-in, we are not able to reset your password or offer support. The IT HelpDesk would be able to assist you with that.

TerraDotta, while integrated with our campus systems, is not constantly connected and pulling information. It does a batch refresh overnight. For some, when they begin an application, they may see that they need to show proof of ID. You do NOT need to do so. The system uses the date of birth entered in the student’s campus record to verify they are an adult and can legally sign documents, but it may not connect and pull this until it refreshes overnight. If you see this, it should correct by the next day. If you have any issues, contact the study abroad office.

Non-Valpo students will be able to create a log in and password through the site using their e-mail address. You will need to show proof of ID to verify your date of birth, but if you are uploading a passport copy, that will be sufficient. If you are in the process of applying for a passport, please e-mail a copy of a photo ID verifying your date of birth to OIP Study Abroad and we will mark that requirement for you.

Application Requirements

Each program page will outline application requirements.

Meeting

For all semester & year programs, as well as Non-Valpo programs, students are required to have a meeting with a study abroad program advisor to go over details of the program, cost and funding information, and how the process will work. Students will also have time to ask any questions or share concerns.

Students are welcome to meet with their program advisor as many times as they like, but must meet at least once as part of the initial application.

Personal Statement

Some programs will require a personal statement outlining your motivation for studying abroad, why you chose the program you are applying to, and how you think it will impact you academically, personally and professionally.

Unofficial Transcript

Many programs will require students to submit an unofficial transcript. Students do not need to request and pay for an official transcript, but rather may take a screenshot/pdf of their Academic/Course Record showing the courses they’ve taken on campus and grades earned with the cumulative GPA listed at the bottom and upload that to the application.

Recommendations

Many programs will require at least one recommendation. There are different kinds of recommendations depending on the program requirements. The recommendations are facilitated by the online software and done in the form of a survey. Recommenders do not need to compose a formal letter, but can simply fill in responses to the questions. They are welcome to be as brief or detailed as they like, but the recommendation is not intended to take longer than 15 minutes to complete.

  • Academic Recommendation: This is a general recommendation and can be provided by anyone who has taught the student at the college level. They will be asked general questions about how the student is doing academically on campus, and how they think the student would be set up to be successful abroad.
  • Academic Advisor Form: Approval from the student’s primary academic advisor to study abroad.
  • Language Evaluation: For any program with a language requirement or those looking to take advanced language will require a language evaluation to be submitted by a faculty member in the Foreign Language Department.

Study Abroad Course Planning Worksheet

This form helps determine the connection between degree requirements and study abroad coursework. Having a documented conversation with your academic advisor(s) prior to studying abroad will help you make a more informed decision about which courses to take while you are overseas and provide you with a record of the decisions made. Your academic advisers may be able to point out additional considerations for you that are specific to your major, minor, or college of enrollment. Being aware of how your study abroad coursework can potentially fulfill requirements can help you complete degree requirements efficiently, ensuring you graduate on time.

Passport

All programs will require a valid passport. Students who do not have a passport at the time of application, must have applied for their passport by the application deadline to ensure it arrives with plenty of time prior to arrival as some destinations will require that students obtain a visa prior to departure, and this information is needed for other processes as well.

Other Requirements

Some programs may have different or additional requirements. Consult the program page and your study abroad program advisor to determine what is needed.

Deadlines

For most programs, deadlines are the same each year. Specific deadlines are listed on the program page. It’s important to check as some may have earlier deadlines. The general deadlines are:

For Summer, Fall semester and Academic Year programs: March 1 (the semester before traveling)

For Spring semester programs: October 1 (the semester before traveling)

For Spring Break programs: October 15 (the semester before traveling)

Post-Acceptance

What happens once you’re accepted? Below is some information on the post-acceptance process. For specific program process information, be sure to read all materials in your online application and in any emails or handouts our staff gives you.

Acceptance Email

Your acceptance email will be your indicator that you have been formally invited to participate in the program by Valpo (note that for some programs, such as exchanges, you must also receive formal acceptance from the host institution). This email will also contain important information on any next steps, items to be completed, important deadlines, and specific orientation information. Be sure to read it carefully and ask any questions you have.

Online Application

The first thing you will do once you receive your acceptance email is follow the instructions to confirm your participation in the program. This is done by logging back into your application and pushing the “Commit” button. Please note that this indicates you have committed to participate. It also indicates financial responsibility for the program, as the office may be paying for some program-related expenses on your behalf prior to the payments you make to your student account. Should you choose to withdraw from the program after hitting Commit, the office will make every effort to get refunds, but you will ultimately be responsible for any nonrecoverable costs.

Additional Materials Collected Post-Acceptance

Once you commit your participation, you will see more materials listed in your online application for you to complete. Many of these will be listed and detailed in your acceptance email as well. These items, such as emergency contact information or an application requested by your host school or program provider, are often very important as we prepare students to go abroad, and it is important that students pay attention to deadlines so we can continue to support the group as a whole. Not completing these items may jeopardize your participation in the program. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to reach out to your program advisor.

Orientation

All students who study abroad are required to attend pre-departure orientation. There will be two general orientation sessions as a large group and at least one site-specific orientation for information pertaining to your particular location/program. Topics are comprehensive, including academics and enrollment, health and safety, culture shock, and more. Not attending orientation may jeopardize a student’s participation in Study Abroad.

Apply to Become a Blogger for Study Abroad

Each semester, OIP Study Abroad seeks current study abroad students to contribute to our Study Abroad Blog. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a blogger, please contact our office (study.abroad@valpo.edu). Typically the call for applications goes out around orientation time. To apply, students will submit a short application form and a sample post. Selected students are expected to attend a training session.

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