Most governments require students to have a student visa to study abroad. This is a very important step toward your abroad experience. Make sure you very carefully follow the instructions provided to you by your program.
You will find housing options listed as part of the information for each program. Options can range from homestays to student housing or apartments.
Follow your program's instructions for requesting housing.
You may be responsible for arriving to your destination on your own. You also will be responsible for any damages that may occur.
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Global Learning has a returned students contact list, which includes the names, contact information, and program information for other Cornell students who have studied abroad and agreed to share their experience. Additionally, our Global Learning Ambassadors are always a great resource if you have questions that you think only a Cornell peer can answer. Feel free to visit our "Get Advice" section to learn more.
The Office of Global Learning does not manage enrollment for your courses abroad. Pay close attention to any instructions sent to you by your host institution/program. Some programs will instruct you to pre-enroll before you arrive. Others have an enrollment process once you arrive.
It is important to understand how study abroad fits within your major or minor. Many departments on campus do allow students to go abroad and earn credit that directly applies to major and minor requirements. Other departments are stricter. It is important that you talk to your faculty advisor or college advisor and find out what is and is not allowed.
Some older apartments abroad may not have elevators, so you may need to climb one or more flights of stairs. Students who require ADA-compliant housing should inform their Global Learning advisor or program advisor for assistance as soon as possible.
It is common for students to have internet access in their housing, but connectivity may be slower than you are used to at home or Cornell. Heating may be building-controlled (and government-regulated), and central air conditioning is not as common.
Storage for personal items may be limited. Beds may be smaller than in the U.S. Most housing options will either provide bedding and towels or will offer you an inexpensive bedding and towel pack for purchase upon arrival. You should not have to pack these items.
There will be laundry facilities on site or nearby, but students should expect to pay to use the machine. It is possible you may only have access to a washer and will need to hang your clothes to dry.
Living with a host family can be one of the most enriching ways to learn about a new culture. Host families volunteer for the opportunity and are carefully vetted by your program, which pays them for your stay. Host families are genuinely interested in sharing their home and their culture—and often their language—with visiting students.
Your host family will expect you to share some meals and conversation with them, but they understand that you are an adult and will want time to see friends and travel. In the event of irreconcilable difficulties, students can be moved to another family. Host families are typically the most highly rated housing option by students because of the close relationship students can form with their hosts.
Your Cornell study abroad application includes mandatory online modules about health and safety, and other key topics. Your program also will provide more specific location-based information.
Before you go abroad, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with both sets of information.