- Planning to Study Abroad
- Travel to the Program Location
- Diversity Abroad
- Race & Ethnicity
- Economic Challenges
- Accommodations & Accessibility
- Women Abroad
- Religion & Spirituality
Planning to Study Abroad
Our office acts as a resource throughout each step of the abroad process:
Interest -> Research & Planning -> Application -> Pre-departure -> Abroad -> Re-entry
Interest: We host a study abroad fair every semester, information sessions, office hours, and by-appointment meetings with interested students to help students get started on their journey abroad.
Research & Planning: The list of programs offered through Marist includes a broad range of opportunities for students to explore and begin to see what type of abroad experience works for their specific academic, personal, and professional objectives. All of our partners share our mission to provide meaningful international study experiences.
Application: All abroad students are required to complete the Marist Abroad application, which consists of an online application, advisor approval, professor recommendation, official transcript, passport-sized photos, application fee, and language forms (if applicable). More information on the application process and deadlines can be found at the link below. Students apply first to Marist Abroad, and then to their respective overseas program.
Pre-departure: Once accepted by Marist Abroad, students enter the pre-departure phase. In this time, students will apply to their overseas program, meet with their abroad coordinators and peers attending the same program, and begin preparations for their time abroad.
Abroad: While abroad, our programs provide on-site 24/7 emergency phones, academic and housing support, and a range of other services based on the specific abroad program. Note that each program is different and thus provides a range of different services, but all Marist partners meet strict safety and security requirements. Additionally, Marist students have access to the services and support of the home campus, including their abroad Coordinator and Academic Advisor via email.
Re-entry: Upon return, abroad students are encouraged to stay involved with the Marist Abroad by attending internationally-themed programming, volunteering at Abroad functions, or participating in workshops designed exclusively for returned abroad students. Our office even hosts an Alumni Weekend Reception for our past study abroad students!
The following links offer additional information and resources on the Marist Abroad Program (MAP). Please feel free to contact the MAP office for further information:
- U.S. Department of State International Travel
- U.S. Department of State Country Information
- Students Abroad
- 'Let's Go' Travel Guide
- Rick Steve's Guide
- Fodor's Travel
- Verge Magazine
Study Abroad in the Press
- Marist College Globetrotter Magazine
- The Atlantic: "For a More Creative Brain, Travel"
- San Diego Union-Tribune: "Kids studying abroad are now never out of touch"
Travel to the Program Location
Flight bookings: options, suggestions, resources
The Marist Abroad Program (MAP) fee does not include the cost of round trip air travel. Students will make their flight reservations and ticket payment directly to the travel agency or airline of their choice. Marist College is not responsible for students' air travel arrangements and will not intervene or interfere in students' ticketing arrangements. All questions related to ticketing, flights, re-bookings, changes, etc. need to be directed to the student's chosen ticket provider and not to Marist College.
Some programs include airport transfer on arrival overseas. Find out if airport transfer is included in your program and how to arrange for it. Please note: Transfer to the airport, on completion of the program, is generally not included.
There are pros and cons to booking with: (1) an agent; (2) directly with an airline; (3) a travel website:
- An agent who specializes in student travel can arrange a group flight, monitor schedule changes and check-in, provide answers and perhaps advice and assistance in some emergencies. There are limitations to what agents are able to do in the event of travel disruptions, including but not limited to emergency situations.
- Booking directly with the airline may yield a lower fare if schedules and fares are researched in advance of calling; airline agents are usually pressed to complete the sale and take the next call. It may also be possible to book on the airline's web site at a lower fare.
- A travel website may offer lower fares with computer-only interaction. Find out if there will be personal assistance in case of questions, schedule changes, flight cancellations, etc., and be familiar with such restrictions on the ticket prior to purchase.
- Do your research and weigh the costs and benefits which matter most to you. It is also recommended that you investigate travel cancellation insurance and/or evacuation insurance if you feel such coverage is necessary.
- http://www.statravel.com/ STA Travel - links to rail passes, travel insurance, International Student ID Card (ISIC), hotel and hostel reviews/bookings, flights, etc.
A visa is usually a stamp, applied to a passport page, showing that a person is authorized to enter and stay in the country for which it was issued. The visa typically has conditions, such as: dates of validity, purpose of stay (e.g. study), whether the visa is valid for multiple entries, whether employment is permitted, etc. Each nation sets its own visa requirements and application procedures. Obtaining a visa can be a long, complicated, and occasionally costly process. Once students are accepted to the Marist Abroad Program, their abroad coordinators will outline additional steps required for the visa application process.
Important Note for Non-U.S. Passport Holders: If you are traveling on a passport other than a U.S. passport, you should check with the nearest consulate of your host country to determine whether a visa will be required. Do this as far in advance as possible. You should also check with the local consulate of your home country to determine whether there are any passport or travel restrictions of which you need to be aware. You should also determine whether you need to apply for a new visa to re-enter the United States.
Pre-Departure Visits to Doctor and Dentist
It is strongly recommended that you have a thorough medical and dental checkup as soon as possible and at least two months pre-departure to allow time for any tests your doctor may order, or for scheduling follow-up visits for treatment, vaccinations, etc.
Study abroad can be stressful both physically and mentally. A healthy mind and body are essential to a successful study abroad experience. If you are experiencing any physical or emotional problems, please address them before leaving the U.S. and have a realistic plan for ongoing treatment if required. Marist Abroad staff are available to discuss what types of ongoing support may or may not be available overseas.
If you anticipate any dental work (e.g. extraction of wisdom teeth), get it done well before departure; if you are experiencing any emotional, eating, or substance abuse problems, seek professional advice and consider deferring your participation in an overseas program until you have the problem well under control. Certain types of pressures can be heightened overseas in a study abroad setting, and this can interact with current or potential eating disorders, emotional, and dependency problems. Leaving the country does not make problems go away.
On balance, the range of counseling services available to students on the Marist College campus and most U.S. college campuses will likely not be available overseas. For your safety and well-being, it is vital that you inform us of any physical, emotional, or psychological difficulties or special needs you may have on your Marist Abroad study abroad application. Of course, if you are nervous about some of the challenges of experiencing a different culture, realize that you are not alone. Stop by or call our office to talk about your concerns.
Since medications tend to be expensive and because it sometimes can be difficult to obtain USA medications overseas, we strongly recommend that you bring an adequate supply of necessary medications to last your entire stay. Do not plan to have medications shipped to you; importation laws will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for you to receive the shipment.
Medications should be in the original, pharmacy-labeled containers, and you should bring copies of your doctor's prescription(s) (or a letter from your doctor) in case you are questioned by immigration officers or other authorities. It is unlikely that an overseas pharmacy would fill a prescription issued in another country. You may wish to research your host country's laws for importation of medications to determine if the amount you wish to take into the country is allowable (some 'controlled substance' medications prescribed in the USA are not dispensed in other countries). GeoBlue's web site offers drug translation advice.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, consider bringing an extra pair in case you lose or damage your original pair. Bring an extra pair, or a prescription from your eye doctor in case of loss or damage.
GeoBlue International Student Health Insurance
GeoBlue Worldwide Insurance Coverage is provided to every Marist Abroad participant as part of the Marist Abroad Program Fee. Students are automatically enrolled in the coverage for the entire duration of their study abroad program. All students studying abroad are required to have the insurance, and it is thus not possible to 'opt out' of coverage. The insurance covers medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, emergency family travel arrangements, repatriation, and accidental death & dismemberment. In addition to the medical coverage, GeoBlue also includes Political Security and Natural Disaster Evacuation Services.
Each student receives a welcome email once enrolled with instructions for registering and accessing their profile. Their online profile has links to print their Insurance ID card, recommended physicians, hospitals, claim forms, drug translation, country information, and benefit information. The GeoBlue ID card includes emergency phone numbers students should carry for Health and Safety abroad. This 24/7 number is a resource for students seeking assistance with medical emergencies, in addition to the student's 24/7 on-site program emergency support. Students are able to download and register with the GeoBlue mobile app for even more convenient access to GeoBlue's services.
GeoBlue International Student Health Insurance links:
- GeoBlue International Health Insurance - Parent's Page
- GeoBlue International Health Insurance - Summary of Coverage
- GeoBlue International Health Insurance - Political Security and Natural Disaster Evacuation Services
- Geo Blue Mobile App
Many students may have supplemental health insurance coverage, or can choose to secure additional insurance if deemed necessary. Keeping in mind that all students have varying medical needs and that each host site will not have the same health care services, you need personally assess your needs. A few important questions:
- Does the insurance cover students engaged in international education while outside their home country? Are there limitations?
- What is the maximum sickness and injury benefit?
- Are pre-existing conditions covered?
- Does the policy cover emergency medical transportation/evacuation and if so, what is the maximum payable? Are there limitations?
The following links offer additional information and resources on health abroad. Please feel free to contact the MAP office for further information:
- CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Vaccines, Medicine, Advice, Travel Health Notices
- CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Studying Abroad
- NAFSA Association of International Educators: Responsible Study Abroad - Good Practices for Health and Safety
- International Travel Health Consultants (Office in Poughkeepsie)
Marist Abroad prioritizes student safety and security, and we do not hesitate to make changes to our programs where necessary. We are in ongoing contact with sources of safety and security information, including information from the US Department of State, the leading Education Abroad professional organizations, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), in-country and local affiliates and organizations, and other sources including our institution's risk management team and Marist's international medical insurance partner GeoBlue, which covers political and natural disaster evacuation.
Students are encouraged to maintain close contact with the staff of their overseas programs, and to follow their recommendations for staying aware and minimizing risk. Being aware of surroundings, staying well-connected and knowledgeable of new developments, steering clear of marches and protests, not drawing attention to oneself, and ensuring access to a reliable cellphone are important risk minimization strategies. The U.S. State Department maintains their website with updates and advisory information, and it is important that all students ensure they have registered with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to or living in a foreign country. Marist recommends all students register prior to departure. Registered members receive important information from the local U.S. Embassy regarding safety conditions abroad. STEP facilitates Embassy contact in an emergency (natural disaster, civil unrest, family emergency.
The following links offer additional information and resources on safety abroad. Please feel free to contact the MAP office for further information:
- U.S. Department of State
- US Department of State: Advice for Students Planning International Travel
- U.S. Department of State: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
- NAFSA Association of International Educators: Responsible Study Abroad - Good Practices for Health and Safety
- Marist College Title IX & Sexual Misconduct
Marist Abroad is dedicated to supporting students from diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, categories of race/ethnicity, socio-economic background, physical ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Promoting diversity is fundamental to the mission of offering rigorous, reflective study abroad experiences. Not only is it our mission to serve and promote access to education abroad for all students, but also to prepare students for their experiences abroad, and encourage them to become intercultural ambassadors upon their return.
Access to study abroad is the first challenge, and Marist strives to identify abroad opportunities for all students- regardless of background or need. Our pre-departure process is vital to our aiding students and equipping them to succeed in their chosen abroad program, and we continue to support students during the experience wherever we can. On its own, living in a new environment can be a challenging experience. Intersections of culture, identity, and new experiences abroad all affect the way you perceive yourself, your home culture, and your host culture. This journey of discovery continues once students return to their home country as ambassadors for the value of intercultural experiences and self-discovery abroad. Indeed, one of the primary learning outcomes of studying abroad is the knowledge of diversity found in the world in terms of values, beliefs, ideas, and worldviews. Our students of diverse backgrounds are uniquely positioned to achieve this goal, and Marist is excited to support its students on this mission.
The following links offer additional information and resources on diversity in study abroad. Please feel free to contact the MAP office for further information:
- Diversity Abroad
- Center for Global Education: Resources to Support Underrepresented Students
- All Abroad: Helping all Students to Study Abroad
- Diversity at Marist College
- Marist College Center for Multicultural Affairs
Race & Ethnicity
Students of different race or ethnic backgrounds may have distinct experiences while abroad. While in the United States, part of your identity can be based on heritage, race, or ethnicity. However, while abroad, students may find that they are identified primarily as Americans, with other elements of their identity coming after. In some instances, people you meet may make assumptions based on your physical appearance or their own perceptions of America – whether true or false. With such a broad range of abroad destinations, Marist Abroad students should investigate their host country and work with the Abroad staff to identify what they may expect. In some more remote locations where people have not had extensive contact with minorities, people may ask students about their heritage, ask to touch hair or take photos, or simply stare. Young people in particular can be very curious if they have never been exposed to someone of a student's physical features. Many people are genuinely curious about you and your culture, and political correctness is less common in many countries. It will be important to identify whether someone comes from a place of curiosity or is being inappropriate, and you must always remember to put your own safety first. Talking to abroad staff and other students who have attended the program before, speaking with program staff from your program, and researching your host country ahead of arrival are all useful tools to prepare you for your time abroad.
Below are several resources related to navigating race and ethnicity while abroad:
- Marist College Center for Multicultural Affairs
- Diversity Abroad: Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad
- Diversity Abroad: Article on Challenging Conversations Abroad
- Diversity Abroad: Article on Racial Identity Abroad
- Diversity Abroad: Minority & Students of Color Abroad
- Center for Global Education: Resources to Support Underrepresented Students
Students are often concerned by the cost of studying abroad, but it does not always have to preclude participation. In most cases, financial aid received in Poughkeepsie can be applied to support study on a Marist-approved program overseas. Study abroad students are eligible for a range of unique scholarship opportunities based on merit, need, type, and area of study.
The MAP office supplies students with cost sheets for each program outlining the Marist Abroad fee (which is set to be roughly equivalent to on-campus tuition and housing), and additional, out-of-pocket expenses students will encounter such as their airfare. Further, we discuss budgeting tips and personal expenses during pre-departure orientation meetings.
Students can visit the Marist Abroad Scholarship page for more information about funding opportunities, and stop in to the Marist Abroad office to discuss their plans to study abroad with staff. Each location has unique costs given the program type, inclusions, and host city cost of living. Collaboration with Abroad staff can aid students in determining which programs are most affordable for students.
Below are a few resources for students facing economic obstacles to study abroad:
- Marist Abroad: Scholarship Page
- Marist College Scholarship and Fellowship Office
- Institute of International Education: Study Abroad Funding Search Engine
- GoAbroad.com Scholarship & Financial Resources
- GoOverseas.com Scholarships
- Diversity Abroad Scholarships
Accommodations & Accessibility
Students with disabilities who have questions about study abroad should feel free to contact the Marist Abroad office for further discussion and information on available support while abroad. Students are encouraged to approach our office early in the admissions process for discussion of program choice and the types of support available at various study abroad locations.
Specific factors may exist in the international context that do not exist in the domestic context. Therefore, it is important for students with disabilities to reach out to the Marist Office of Accommodations and Accessibility early in their program search. It is important to remember that just as culture differs from country to country, so do the attitudes, accommodations and disability services available to students. Planning is the key to having a successful study abroad experience!
Below are a few resources for students studying abroad interested in learning more about Accommodations and Accessibility:
Marist Abroad is commited to promoting international engagement and experiential learning for students of all identities and backgrounds. To that end, our staff are dedicated to working with students to identify and prepare for the unique opportunities they may face while studying abroad.
It is important to investigate the host country's cultural attitudes towards gender issues and sexual orientation. Cultural norms, local customs, and laws may differ between the host country and the United States, and students should familiarize themselves with their host country during the application and pre-departure process. Students are encouraged to reach out to Marist Abroad and on-Campus Allies to discuss their study abroad plans and how to best prepare.
Below are a few resources for students studying abroad interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ support:
- Marist College: LGBTQ Resources
- Marist College: Health Services
- Diversity Abroad: Sexual Orientation Abroad
- U.S. Department of State LGBTI Travel Information
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Info for Transgender Passengers
- Ithaca College Pamphlet on LGBTQ Students and Study Abroad
- Planned Parenthood Info on LGBTQ
- Planned Parenthood - Services for LGBTQ
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- The Complete Guide to Studying Abroad and Living in the UK as an LGBT Student
- Airport Security
- The Council for Global Equality
- Outright International
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) LGBT Resources
- LGBT Youth
- International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA)
- IES Abroad: LGBTQ+ & Ally Resources
- Michigan State University's LGBTQ International Travelers Site
- The Advocate
- GLAAD Transgender Resources
Studying abroad will expose students to a new culture and a wide range of attitudes about women. Prior to departure, it is prudent to investigate your host country's culture, behavior, and expectations regarding gender. Gender roles across the various cultures students encounter may differ, and behavior considered acceptable at home may be misinterpreted while abroad. It is important to research the host country and culture in advance to prepare, and also important to continue this research by observing local women, speaking with women from the host culture, and speaking with other students who have studied abroad in the same location. Learning about behavior (both public and private), interpersonal relationships, communication styles, dress, and expectations of genders prior to departure to best prepare. For example, is catcalling a problem? Is it appropriate to keep eye contact with a stranger? How best do you develop relationships while abroad?
While it is normal to experience some degree of culture shock when entering a new culture, this should never mean physical or emotional harm. It is also important to know in advance that adapting your behaviors to fit to the host culture can be frustrating, as we are used to having the license to be individuals and express ourselves here at home.
It is also important to know that program staff are there to assist you, and the resources of Marist College remain available while you are abroad, including the Marist Title IX Office. If you are the victim of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault, notify the authorities and/or on-site program staff as soon as possible.
Below are a few links to additional resources about women abroad:
- Marist College Title IX Office
- Diversity Abroad: Women Abroad
- U.S. Department of State Advise to Women Travelers
- University of Chicago: Women Abroad
- Rick Steves: Tips for Solo Women Travelers
- IIE Passport: Article on Study Abroad for Female Students
- Solo Female Travel: Lessons Learned by 33 Expert Women Travelers
Religion and Spirituality Abroad
In many countries, religion can play a critical role in day-to-day life. During pre-departure meetings we encourage students to investigate what the dominant religion is in their host country and what practices or customs they may encounter. Researching a country's religious beliefs can be a way to prepare yourself based on your own religion, as well. It could be that you are part of the most popular religion in your home country, but will be in the minority abroad. Conversely, you could be in the minority at home and majority at your host country. There is a significant intersection of religion, ethnicity, and culture – all worth investigating as students begin to explore and prepare for time spent abroad.
By doing this research ahead of time, and by engaging with the culture when you arrive, you will have a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of your host country's belief system and cultural values when you return, and likely even have a new perspective on your own.
Below are some links to additional reading on religion and study abroad:
- Diversity Abroad: Religious Diversity Abroad
- U.S. Department of State: International Religious Freedom
- The Pluralism Project
- University of Chicago: Religion Abroad