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Accepted Visiting Students

Welcome, Global Travelers!

We are so excited to have you join us for your semester abroad! Preparing to travel and study abroad is a great time to begin developing key skills and competencies that will carry with you not only during your time abroad, but throughout your career. While St. John's OIE will be here to help guide you through the process, we encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity and take ownership of each required pre-departure step.

The Accepted Visiting Students Site outlines the steps you will need to take in order to prepare to study abroad. Read the information carefully – some of the steps will require more time and preparation than others. 

It may seem like a lot, but follow our advice and you'll be ready to go in no time! If you have any questions or concerns throughout the process, we’re here to help. Feel free to contact the Office of International Education

 

We’re delighted that you’ve been accepted to study abroad, but please note the following: your acceptance for all study abroad programs is based on your continued good academic and student conduct standing. St. John’s University reserves the right to rescind admission to any study abroad program based on incomplete pre-departure requirements, and/or a change in student conduct or academic status. If you have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation since your acceptance to the program, it may affect your participation—we will only learn of the violation toward the end of the semester from your home school, and may not be able to inform you of a revoked acceptance until shortly before departure. 

 

Refund Policy

The Refund Policy is slightly different depending on whether you are from a partner school or a non-partner school. Each Refund Policy is detailed in the confirmation forms which can be found on this page in dropdown menu number 3. 

If you are unsure if you which confirmation form applies to you, please don't hesitate to send us an email to confirm. 

Confirmation Documents

Programs can fill quickly and your spot is not confirmed until we receive these items:

Confirmation Instructions
Follow the instructions below that correspond to each of the required Confirmation Documents.

1-4. Confirmation Form for non-SJU Students, Assumption of Risk and Release, Authorization for Medical Treatment, Student Code of Conduct
Please closely read through each form, sign and submit them.

5.  Health Disclosure Form
The Health Disclosure Form should be completed to the best of your ability and willingness to disclose. Although you’re not required to tell us anything, we encourage you to be as forthcoming as possible so that OIE is aware of any health conditions in order to best assist you.

6. Emergency Contact Form
Let us know whom to contact in case of an emergency.

7. Passport Information Form
All passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your program end date. Please verify the expiration date of your passport and register your current passport or your anticipated renewal with OIE.

8. Roommate Questionnaire
This survey will help us place you with a suitable roommate or roommates. If there is someone that you already know you would like to room with, please indicate that on the form, as well. You will learn your roommate assignment upon arrival in your study abroad location.

9. Closely read the Data Privacy Notice for Students under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (All Programs in the EU)
The European Union issued new privacy regulations, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, that went into effect on May 25, 2018.  This Notice provides you with information on how your data will be processed under this new regulation. You may contact the University’s Office of General Counsel with any questions about this notice, the University’s data collection practices, or your rights: St. John’s University, Attn: Joshua Hurwit, Associate General Counsel, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, New York 11439
 

*Students from non-partner schools will also need to pay a $250 deposit and submit the deposit receipt with all of the forms list above. To pay the deposit please call 718-990-2000 (ext. 3) and use a credit card to pay over the phone. Please be sure to get a receipt as you will need that to confirm payment. You will also need your XNumber which will be sent to you once you submit your paperwork.

Western European Semester Students: Please note that we're unable to assign a "rotation" (that's the order in which you'll travel abroad) until you complete the confirmation process. 

 

Passports:

  • A passport is required for all St. John’s University Office of International Education programs taking place outside of the United States.
  • Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the program end date.
  • It can take 4 to 6 weeks to get your passport so you will want to start this process now (if you haven’t already).
  • If you are participating in a semester program and are submitting your U.S. passport application between September 15 and September 30, 2020, you should pay the $60 expedited processing fee to have your passport issued within 2 to 3 weeks. The deadline to submit your passport for expedited 2-3 week processing is September 30, 2019.
    • **Important note for students who need a French visa: You need to have your passport in hand in order to book a French visa appointment with VFS Global, therefore you must have your passport in hand by October 15, 2019.
  • After September 30, 2019: If you are within 4 weeks of the date of your visa appointment, or within 2 weeks of your departure date for a program that does not require a visa, you must apply in person at the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency in Manhattan.
  • Visit the U.S. Department of State Travel page for information on how to get a U.S. passport.

Expediting your Passport – Last Resort Option:

Note: Although this service is provided by the U.S. Department of State, the Office of Global Studies does not recommend depending upon it as your primary plan for securing or renewing your passport. When gathering required documents to travel abroad, it is always best to do so as early as possible.

Expedited U.S. passport service is available for an additional fee. If you are traveling within 2 weeks, or submitting your visa application within 4 weeks, you can visit an official Passport Agency, which can process your passport in 8 business days. Please note that this is a service of the U.S. Department of State, not a private company, and there should be no additional cost beyond the regular application and expediting fee.

If you need to use this option, please let us know so that we can prepare the required letter you will need to present at the agency.


What happens if I lose my U.S. passport while I am studying abroad?

If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen while you are studying abroad you will need to:

  1. File a police report on the day that your passport is lost or stolen
  2. Inform the local staff or program leader
  3. Apply for an emergency passport at the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Instructions from the U.S. Department of State are available here.

If you lose your U.S. passport while studying abroad, you will no longer be able to travel outside the country where you are studying abroad, and depending on your current location or visa status you may need to return to the U.S.

According to the U.S. Department of State, many countries will not allow U.S. citizens to use a U.S. emergency passport to enter their country.  Here are a few examples of how this could affect your study abroad program:

  • If you are participating in the Discover the World program starting in Paris and lose your U.S. passport in Paris, you will need to secure an emergency passport from the U.S. Embassy in Paris and remain in France until the end of the first module.  You will likely need to return home to the U.S. at the end of the first module.  This is because immigration and airline authorities likely will not permit you to fly from Paris to Rome with an emergency passport.
  • If you are participating in a Paris semester program and lose your U.S. passport in Paris, you will need to secure an emergency passport from the U.S. Embassy in Paris and remain in France until the end of the semester.  You cannot travel outside of France, because immigration authorities in France can refuse to allow you to re-enter France with an emergency passport. 

These are general examples.  Any student who loses a U.S. passport must inform the local staff or program leader right away to discuss your individual situation.

 

In light of recent changes to U.S. immigration law, the Office of International Education recommends that any non-U.S. citizen students contact our office to confirm your visa process.

Paris & Rome Semester Programs

All students will be responsible for submitting their visa applications directly to the appropriate consulate in NYC.

Visa application checklists and guides for Paris and Rome Semester programs are posted on the Apply for a Visa page. Instructions on how to book a mandatory appointment for OIE to review your visa application and other pre-departure requirements will also be posted on the Apply for a Visa page. Note that your Visa document review session will be with Lucy Amon, not through the sign up listed. You do not need to come to Queens for this review session; it can be done remotely.

Important Note About International Travel Prior to Studying Abroad: 

When you submit a visa application to a Consulate you will be submitting your Passport to the Consulate and not have access to your Passport during the processing time, which typically takes between 2 and 8 weeks. Due to the processing time of the Consulates, students wishing to study abroad on a Spring 2020 semester program should not plan any travel outside the U.S. during November and December 2019. 

Closely review the Apply for a Visa page for location-specific visa applications, required documents checklists, and instructions.

Western Europe Semester, Business, and Pharmacy Programs

Although a visa is not required for U.S. citizens to participate in the Discover the World program, there are important travel regulations we would like to bring to your attention.  U.S. citizens may only spend 89 or fewer days in the Schengen territory within a 180 day period.  Your rotation assignment email will include the dates of your specific rotation, and the number of additional days you may be in the Schengen territory.  Please note that Italy and France are in the Schengen territory and Ireland is not in the Schengen territory.  It is your responsibility to closely monitor the days that you spend in the Schengen territory – a useful tool to help with this is the European Commission’s Schengen calculator.  Please keep in mind that it is often challenging to secure a visa stamp when traveling within Europe, therefore you should retain proof of all plane tickets and hotel reservations as proof of the days that you are outside of the Schengen territory.  Any partial day that you spend in the Schengen territory, even on a layover in an airport, is counted as a full day towards your 89 day limit. You should also review the United States and Schengen Borders Agreement available from the U.S. Department of State.

  • Most students who are not U.S. citizens will need to secure both a French and an Irish visa to study abroad on the Western Europe programs. Please contact amonl@stjohns.edu before October 15, 2019 to discuss your next steps.
    • Note: non-U.S. citizens will also need Proof of Legal Residence in the United States to re-enter the U.S. at the end of the program: for permanent residents, a Green Card (valid until at least 6 months after the program end date); for international students, a U.S. visa (valid until at least 6 months after the program end date) and a Form I-20 signed by ISSO prior to departure (valid through date of St. John's graduation). 
    • Travel for non-U.S. citizens in the Schengen territory and Ireland is dependent upon your country of citizenship. All non-U.S. citizen students to discuss their individual situations. 

 

Short-Term Programs

For most Short-Term programs, a visa is not required for U.S. citizens – however, it is your responsibility to find out if you need a visa based on the country you’re traveling to and your country of citizenship.

Visas are almost always required for non-U.S. citizens.  Visa appointments are hard to secure, and visa processing can take several weeks.  You must request and secure a visa appointment at the appropriate Consulate at least 90 days prior to your departure date. Start by checking out the Apply for a Visa.

Note: non-U.S. citizens will also need Proof of Legal Residence in the United States to re-enter the U.S. at the end of the program: for permanent residents, a Green Card (valid until at least 6 months after the program end date); for international students, a U.S. visa (valid until at least 6 months after the program end date) and a Form I-20 signed by ISSO prior to departure (valid through date of college graduation).  

 

Deadlines for each online form for each program are posted within your online study abroad student portal.
 

After completing the confirmation process, all students must complete the designated forms below in order to participate in a study abroad program.

Required Pre-Departure Forms are available through your online study abroad student portal.

  1. Arrival Flight Itinerary Form (All Programs) Provide us with your flight information so that we know when to expect your arrival on your program arrival date. Be sure to cross-check your itinerary with your program’s required arrival and departure dates and times before booking!
  2. International Phone Number Form (All Programs) All students are required to have a cell phone that will work in their host country and remain charged and on at all times in case of an emergency.  You must be able to make make or receive a phone call in case of emergency via a regular voice call. Being able to place a call through WhatsApp or other app that works on WiFi or data is not sufficient. Students are not required to have a data roaming plan. Study abroad students are required to submit the cell phone number you intend to use abroad prior to departure, just to ensure we have a way to reach you (and vice versa) in the event of urgent issues or emergencies. You can re-submit the form again later to update your number if you make a change while you're studying abroad.  In addition, having a cell phone that works internationally is a great way to communicate with all of your friends in the program and a necessity in emergency situations. Review the "Make International Cell Phone Arrangements & Submit Your Study Abroad Phone Number" tab for more information about using your U.S. cell phone abroad or making international cell phone arrangements. 
  3. Transcript Request Form This form will allow us to send your grades from St. John's back to your home school.
  4. Meningitis Form You do not need to have the meningitis vaccine to study abroad but you do need to let us know whether or not you've had it.
  5. Immunization Form and Record Since you are already matriculated at a U.S. college or university, you have all of the immunizations required. We just need the dates you had the shots.
  6. Digital Photo Visiting students must also submit a digital photo so that we can create a St. John's ID card for you. Please take a passport style photo (white background, no sunglasses, etc.) and upload it to your online portal. No selfies, please!

All visiting students will be registered for their courses by the Office of International Education.

Students will be registered for the courses they were approved for on the course option sheet they submitted with their application. If there are any scheduling conflits, we will contact you before registering you for different courses. Once you are fully registered for classes, you’ll receive an email with info on how to check your schedule

Semester Course Descriptions:
View course descriptions for all of the courses offered abroad by visiting the program webpages, under the Academics tab. If you would like to add or drop courses, or if you have any questions about the courses you signed up for, please email Lucy Amon at amonl@stjohns.edu 

Book Lists:

Book lists for OIE programs are different from book lists for courses on the New York campuses.  Please make sure you check the book lists for your program before departing for your semester abroad and arrive with all of the required texts at the start of your program. We will update this section with Spring 2020 booklists after November 15, 2019.

Academic Calendars: 

The Academic Calendar for Office of International Education Semester programs is different from the calendar for the New York campuses.  Make sure you are using the Academic Calendar for your Office of International Education Semester Program before making any travel plans for you or your family.

 

All Programs: November 15, 2019
 

When can I access the course?
Once you are approved to participate in an upcoming Spring 2020 study abroad program.

What does the course entail?

This online OIE Orientation course is comprised of 8 learning modules. It will take 1-2 hours to complete, but you don’t have to finish it in one go. With that said, you must complete each learning module with a perfect score (100%!), but don’t worry: you can take each quiz as many times as you need in order to master the material and get everything right. Please note, if you get a 100% score on a quiz then re-take it and receive a different score (example 80%), it will override your first score of 100%.

How do I access the course?

The online OIE Orientation course is available in your online study abroad student portal under "Assessments."

What will be discussed during the Cultural Mentorship Workshop?

In the Cultural Mentorship Workshop, we’ll talk about preparing to study abroad not just in terms of logistics (packing, etc.), but also the mental and cultural aspects of preparation. What do you want to get out of your time studying abroad? How will your encounters with different cultures shape your experience? How will you promote your health and safety while studying abroad? 

What can I expect to get out of the workshop?

The pre-departure Cultural Mentorship Program Session encourages students to develop the tools needed to understand the concept of culture and to create goals and an action plan to facilitate your development of intercultural competence while abroad.  The Cultural Mentorship Program Session also encourages students to prepare for aspects of adjustment that can be challenging or scary.  Along the way, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about what to expect.

Who is required to attend one of the workshops?

Every student who studies abroad through St. Johh's will have to attend a Cultural Mentorship Workshop.

Semester Programs

This workshop will serve as the foundation for the Cultural Mentorship Program that will continue throughout your semester studying abroad. The Cultural Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate the process of cross-cultural awareness and adaptation of students as they live, study, and serve communities abroad. 

Depending on your home school, you may be able to attend a session on your home campus. If we are not offering a session on your campus, you will have the option of an on-line session or you can attend a session on our Queens campus if you live within driving distance. We'll communicate the dates of the sessions via email throughout the spring semester.

Short-Term Programs

For students participating in a Short-Term Program, your Cultural Mentorship Workshop will be in addition to your program’s Site-Specific Orientation if your faculty organizes such a session. We'll communicate the dates of the sessions via email throughout the spring semester.

Session dates for Spring 2020 will be announced through email.

Airlines

When looking for flights on your own, St. John’s University strongly recommends that you do not book any flight that is operated on an airline that is in bankruptcy proceedings.  For example, AirBerlin recently ceased operations.  Airlines in the bankruptcy process may not honor plane tickets for future flights.

Departure and Arrival Times

When to arrive at the airport in U.S.:

When selecting the time your flight will depart, remember that you need to arrive at the airport in the U.S. (e.g., JFK) at least three hours prior to the flight time!

Semester Programs:

  • Arrival Time - Students need to arrive on campus by 8:00pm on the date of arrival. Plan at least two hours to go through immigration, collect your bags and travel to campus.
  • Return to U.S. Departure Time - Students need to depart campus by 8:00am on the date of departure.

Discover the World Participants – you need to be assigned your rotation prior to booking your flight.

Short-Term Programs:

  • Arrival and Departure Times will be posted on your individual program webpage.

Booking Your Flight Online with STA Travel

All students participating in a St. John’s semester-long program are encouraged to book their flight through STA Travel. 

STA Travel has created a list of proposed flights for each semester-long program.  If you would like to travel with other students on the program, it is suggested to book these flights to increase your chances of seeing a familiar face on the plane! How does the process work?

  1. Submit a flight booking request through the St. John's University STA Travel booking portal
    • ​​Students are responsible for providing STA Travel with their program information through this form. 
    • Remember to review your Academic Calendar and required departure and arrival times before purchasing your plane ticket.
    • Your program must also be confirmed to run, and you must be confirmed to participate in the program. 
    • Western Europe Semester students are also responsible for providing STA Travel with their rotation.
    • STA Travel will respond to your booking request within 1-2 business days
    • Please note: You cannot book your flight through the STA Travel Toll Free number or general website.
  2. An STA Travel Agent will then send you an itinerary with instructions on how to contact STA Travel to pay for the flight.
  3. Once your payment has been made, your flight will officially be booked and STA Travel will email you an electronic version of your ticket.
Book early, as rates will be subject to change without warning! 

 


Short-Term Programs 

Don't book your flight until OIE informs you whether or not the program will run!

If your program is confirmed to run, you will receive a "green light" email from OIE approximately 6 weeks prior to the program departure date, which confirms that the program is running and what the next steps are - including detailed flight information and instructions. Do not book your flight until you receive this “green light” email. 

 

Having a cell phone that works internationally is a great way to communicate with all of your friends in the program and a necessity in emergency situations. 

You are required to submit the cell phone number you intend to use abroad prior to departure, just to ensure we have a way to reach you (and vice versa) in the event of urgent issues or emergencies. The short version: we’re strongly encouraging you to keep your phone turned on and charged at all times, just to ensure we’re fully able to support you. Here are the basics:

  • Submit a Cell Number Today - Use the phone form in your portal provide a number today (likely to be your current, U.S. number), then use it again later to update your number if you make a change while you’re studying abroad. You will find more details on phones abroad below.
  • Follow Us on Social Media Today - We may choose to reach out to the group by social media, so we strongly encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram today. And we don’t just communicate information on emergencies, of course — you’ll also get the latest on fun stories related to study abroad!

Steps for Using Your U.S. Cell Phone Abroad:

Many students choose to use their U.S. phones while abroad, largely because they only use the phone itself for emergencies, while using WiFi — rather than data — for all the phone’s smartphone functions to keep in touch with family and friends.

  1. Check with Your Carrier - If this option sounds good to you, be sure to find out how much it would cost if you received or made a call or SMS text from abroad (simply having the phone turned on, with data roaming off, costs nothing). Top carriers’ info can be found at these links: VerizonAT&TSprint, and TMobile. Be sure to call your carrier, however, to make sure you’ve got accurate details for your individual phone, SMS text, calling, and data plans.
  2. Keep Cell Coverage On, Data Off - Most students will find that it’s essential to keep data roaming off to control costs. But that’s fine. The key is to have your cell network on so that you can make and receive short calls, wherever you are, in the event of an issue or emergency.
  3. Use WiFi, Rather than Data - Though your carrier may have a great plan, most tend to charge a lot for international data. But you’ll find that most cafes, restaurants, and other locations have free WiFi that you can use for messaging. And of course, you’ll have internet access at our abroad campuses and most hotels where you’ll stay with SJU programs.
  4. Embrace Messaging Apps — And Tell Your Friends to Avoid “Regular” Texts While You’re Away - Use apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber to communicate with family and friends while you’re abroad through WiFi. Just make sure your family and friends download whatever app(s) you’ll be using before your departure date; that way, you’ll ensure that all the messages you receive are free! In that same vein, tell your friends and family not to send you standard SMS texts, which could cost money while you’re away (see above!)

Here are some additional cell phone options:

Local Pre-Paid Cell Phones:

It's generally cheap and easy to find a pre-paid/pay as you go phone in each location that you'll be studying in, and you'll have the comfort of knowing that you won't be shocked by a large phone bill at the end of the semester. Buy as much phone credit as you think you'll need at the beginning and re-fill as necessary. Keep in mind, though, that you will not be able to get your money back for pre-paid minutes that you do not use. Note: most countries call “cell” phones “mobile” phones.

If your U.S. cell phone is “unlocked” and has the capability to run off a SIM card, you can also purchase a local pre-paid SIM card to use in your U.S. cell phone.

Review these fliers for more information about local cell phone options in Rome, Paris, and Seville.

Traveler Cell Phone Providers:

Some companies specialize in providing cell phones to international travelers. Many of these companies will offer you a cell phone and/or SIM card for use abroad, a local phone number in the countries you'll be traveling in.  Rates can be competitive with local providers.

 

Important Reminders

  • If you decide to get a local pre-paid cell phone or traveler cell phone/SIM card, remember to provide us with your local number on the International Phone Number Form.
  • Whatever cell phone option you chose, you need to keep it charged and on at all times! The St. John’s staff abroad and in Queens will not be able to help you in the event of an emergency if we do not have your local working phone number, and/or your phone is not charged and turned on!

What will it cover?

A newsletter will be published each week with important information on upcoming deadlines, advice on visa applications, program announcements, travel tips, and fun activities/events starting October 9. It is vital that you read the newsletter each week in order to stay up-to-date on important deadlines and announcements.

How will I receive it?

The Worldwide Wednesday Newsletters will be sent to your home school email address - so make sure you check it regularly! If you're not receiving this newsletter (and you've checked your junk mail), please let us know as soon as possible to ensure we have accurate contact information for you.

What else can I do to prepare for my time studying abroad?

You’re about to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity, but in addition to all the fantastic academic, cultural, and personal experiences you’ll have, study abroad comes with challenges. In addition to learning about your program, our campuses, and all the places you plan to visit, be sure to research culture shock and anything else that may be of help to you. This can include race, gender, religion, politics, diet, or dating abroad. You’ll be better prepared when you arrive and more able to enjoy the high points while meeting difficulties as they arise. Now is the perfect time to start striving towards the goals you identified during the Cultural Mentorship Workshop!

Where can I go to learn more about my program location?

For excellent safety and health information, we encourage you to visit the U.S. Department of State’s general travel and “Students Abroad” websites, among others. 

Where can I find tips and advice for my specific Office of International Education program?

Our Student Guide was created by students who returned from Office of International Education programs and wanted to pass on the wisdom they gained to future participants. It includes helpful tips on preparing for your experience, making the most of your time abroad and dealing with the challenges that travelers sometimes face - it’s a definite must read!