Make sure that you have adequate health insurance and that you know the procedures for accessing benefits while you are outside the US (or your home country).
Register with AIG/Travel Guard and sign up for e-mail updates and alerts for your destination; be sure to print a membership card and carry it with you at all times. Use the extensive website to obtain city- and country-specific information and resources. (See links from the Five College Risk Management website for Student International Travel.)
Set your MHC email account to forward mail to whatever other account you will be using.
Ascertain that your emergency contact information is up to date and has been clearly communicated to your family and to the appropriate offices and departments. Have a plan about how you will contact your family in the event of an emergency abroad or at home.
For Students Studying Abroad for a Year or Semester
Turn in your academic status notification form confirming that you will be going abroad, for what period of time, and on which program. Deadline: May 15 (for fall or full year), November 15 (for spring).
Review your plan of study with your academic adviser, particularly in regard to any courses that you wish to use to fulfill requirements.
Declare your major (if you have not already done so!).
If you have been awarded a Laurel Fellowship and/or expect to use any federal, state, or other outside aid, or parent loan or payment plans, toward your program abroad:
Send the Consortium Agreement to your program or university. Completed Consortium Agreement forms are due in Student Financial Services by June 1 (for fall and full-year programs), or December 1 (for spring).
Check with Student Financial Services before you leave campus to ensure that your file there is complete (if applicable).
Submit the Disbursement Form to Student Financial Services to authorize Mount Holyoke to release funds to you (same deadlines as for the Consortium Agreement).
For Students Participating in Summer or J-Term Projects Abroad
Find and confirm your housing well in advance of your departure. If applicable, ask your host to fill out the Housing Questionnaire.
Complete all pre-departure forms and make sure you understand what is required before, during and after your program to ensure your funding.
If you plan to do an independent study based on your project abroad, make arrangements with your major department before you leave.
Clarify your arrival and departure times with your supervisor, as well as your responsibilities during your project, to the extent possible.
Establish other local contacts (through other students, alumnae, faculty, family, etc.)