Administrative Issues

This section comprises details that must be attended to in order to make your study abroad dreams reality.

Gathering Information Specific to Your Program

Your host program coordinator will send you more specific information as your departure time approaches.  Make sure that you read this information.  Also pay close attention to any forms sent to you and fill them out completely and accurately.  It is your responsibility to make proper arrangements for non-University of Florida programs.   Failing to meet their deadlines or provide them with complete information could prevent you from getting the classes and housing you request. Be sure to seek clarification from them that you have completed all necessary arrangements.  If you have any questions about any forms you receive, please contact Study Abroad Services (SAS).  We are here to help!

Submitting a Completed Application Packet to SAS

The following items are needed by SAS 60 days before your program begins:

  • Copy of host institution acceptance letter
    Your program provider or host institution will send you an official acceptance letter that you will need to apply for a visa (should you study in a country that requires a visa). Please make sure to submit copy to our office so that we can assist you in case you misplace or lose your letter.
  • Copy of photo and signature page in passport
    A passport is a valuable document, especially abroad.  You must be careful with your passport since it is the document that allows you to travel.  Since it is possible that you may lose you passport while abroad, we require that you provide a copy of these pages so we have it on file. In order to travel or obtain a visa you need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your returning date.  All students holding foreign passports must check with the relevant consulates to make sure you are eligible to travel in the country of your program.  Ask UFIC for contact information for the relevant consulate. Remember! check your passport expiration date before you leave.
  • Copy of flight itinerary
    Before you depart you must provide UFIC with the number, time and date of your outbound and returning flights and trains.   If you do not arrive to meet your program host at the specified time, we can track your travel plans to see why you have been delayed.  The same applies for your return flight.  Travel agencies or airlines can provide you an itinerary.  See the Travel Issues section of this booklet for more information on arranging your overseas flight.

Study abroad fees

  • UF - sponsored programs:
    UF Program fees will be invoiced no later than 60 days prior to the program start date.  Payment is due 30 days prior to program start date.  Unpaid program fees will be placed on your ISIS account.  If financial aid is paying all or a portion of your program fee, you may choose to pay only the amount that is not covered by your aid.  Upon disbursement of aid, all charges will be automatically deducted from the disbursement.  Remaining funds will be direct deposited or mailed to the local address on file with the UF Registrar?s office.
    Credit Card payments:  Program fees may be paid by credit card only through ISIS.  Contact the International Center 352-273-1504 to request placement of fees on ISIS. 
     
  • Non-UF programs:
    Non-UF program fees are the direct responsibility of the student.  All financial aid will be disbursed directly to the student with the exception of Parent Plus loans, which are paid to the parent(s).

Registration Issues

  • Registering for classes overseas:
    Each institution and study abroad program has its own unique way to register its foreign students for courses.  At UF, our international students go through the same process of ISIS and drop/add that all other students do.  American bureaucracy is certainly a cultural experience for our guests, and registering abroad will be a unique experience for you as well. Try not to get too frustrated if the process seems lengthy and cumbersome; absorb and reflect on it as a learning experience. Some programs have you sign up before your departure, while others have you do so upon arrival during orientation.  Summer programs usually have you register before you go, while semester and year programs vary.
    If you participate in a non-UF program, you will not be registered at all, but rather receive a comment line on your student record, indicating your status as a study abroad student.
    If you participate in a UF exchange program, UFIC will block register you for your term abroad.
    If you participate in a UF sponsored program, your department will register you for the classes you will be taking abroad. To facilitate this process, please make sure you have cleared your Emergency Contact hold. Every term, UF requires to all students to enter their emergency contact information in myUFL to register for classes. The hold will only be cleared the next time there is action on the system by the student. This means after the student has successfully entered the information, the student must log out. The next time the student logs in, the hold will be automatically cleared.
       
  • Cancel early registration for state-side classes:
    Once you are certain you are studying abroad, be sure to cancel any registration you made for classes here in the U.S. for that semester.  It is your responsibility to do so as early as possible to prevent being fee-liable for courses you will not attend. Also, make sure you clear any holds you may have. Check your ISIS account to check for holds.
       
  • Registering for classes for the semester you return:
    Remember, if you are returning to your home institution for the following semester, you will need to register for classes while abroad.  If you are not a UF student, be sure to check with your University about the best way to register for classes while abroad.
    For students returning to the University of Florida, you must follow these procedures:
    The UF web site
    has the Schedule of Courses about 2-3 weeks before advance registration.  The web site is updated several times a week with new information.  You should consult this site in order to make your course selections.
    Registering yourself:  You will receive an appointment time by email and can register online as you have done in the past. If you need assistance with registration or if you do not receive your email registration appointment, contact your UFIC Study Abroad Advisor by e-mail.

Transcripts

All course work that is taken for academic credit will have to be reported back to UF. Please have an original, official transcript from your host institution sent to Study Abroad Services upon completion of the study abroad program. 

University of Florida International Center
Study Abroad Services
ATTN: Transcript Processing
PO Box 113225
170 Hub - Stadium Road
Gainesville, Florida 32611-3225

Please be aware that transcripts may take two months or longer to be sent from your host institution.  If you have special needs (like graduating upon return), make sure an original transcript is sent to the UFIC office immediately before you leave your program.  You can arrange for courier service from the host school before you return home or bring the original in a sealed envelope to UFIC upon return.  Leave an addressed, paid courier envelope with your host institution if you cannot bring the original back with you. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

If you are participating in a semester or Academic Year Program such as Lancaster University, Utrecht University, Bonn University, etc. please be aware that transcripts from these schools often do not reach us until the Academic Year is over.

If you are receiving scholarships such as Florida Undergraduate/Bright Futures, National Merit, etc. your scholarship in the following year will not be released until the courses and grades are posted.  This is because some scholarships require that students demonstrate that they have completed 24 hours of course work during the previous year and passed all courses.  In most cases, the scholarship will be released sometime in the middle or end of the semester.  It is therefore critical to arrange to bring an official, sealed transcript home with you or to have your transcript sent as soon as possible.

Tying Up Loose Ends

There are a few more things you should arrange before leaving the country to ensure that administrative paperwork goes smoothly while you are away.

  • Academic Advising Approval:
    Before going abroad it is important to make sure that you have completed the UFIC academic advising form accurately.   When this process is properly completed, it ensures that the courses you take abroad will transfer back to the University of Florida or your home institution and be applied to your degree.   Keep in mind that you may not get all the classes you request, so you should get approval for alternates as well. 
    Your Program Advisor will be happy to meet with you and make sure everything is in order. 
    If you change majors before leaving, be sure to obtain approval from your new department and/or college so that when you return you won?t have problems applying your overseas courses to your degree.
  • Change your Address with the Registrar:
    Make sure that you have updated both your local and permanent address with the UF Office of the Registrar.  Choose one state-side address to serve as both local and permanent.  In most cases, this is a parent or spouse address.  In addition, important information about academic tracking, football tickets and University events are mailed to the address listed with the Registrar.  You can change your address by filling out a form at the Registrar?s office, or you can change it via ISIS at
    .  Do not request that the Post Office forward your mail to an international address.  Some mail, such as Financial Aid checks, cannot be forwarded.
  • Power of Attorney:
    Because you will be living abroad and may not be available to handle personal matters that arise in the U.S., we strongly encourage you to sign financial and medical power of attorney forms.  These forms give a designated representative, such as a family member, the power to sign most documents, financial and medical, on your behalf.  These documents can range from financial aid checks and lease agreements to medical decisions.  Many unexpected situations can arise while you are living abroad.  It is best to be prepared by signing a power of attorney form.  This is more important for academic year participants than summer abroad students.  You can pick up power of attorney forms from UFIC.
  • Purchase all needed materials for classes:
     Check with your program advisor or sponsor to find out what materials you will need for your courses.  If you can purchase any of these materials in the U.S., do so.  It will most likely save you money.  Notebooks and paper should be purchased abroad.  The paper and paper hole size vary by country.

Housing for the Term You Return

If you plan to return to your home institution for the next semester you will need to think about housing.  Find out what your home institution?s procedures are for housing once you return.  For UF students, you must notify housing before you leave Gainesville that you want to be in the lottery for the term you return.  This is especially critical for the fall semester.  There are usually opportunities to live in on-campus co-op halls.  Contact the Housing Office for more details at (352) 392-2161.  For off-campus housing, try Apartment Hunters or the Alligator classifieds.  Housing is ultimately your responsibility; UFIC does not secure living arrangements for you in any way, but we are happy to answer questions and assist you however we can.

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