Preparing to Leave

Pre-departure orientation


The mandatory online pre-departure orientation will be available through myStudyAbroad after you commit to your program.


In person

The mandatory in-person orientations occur for summer, fall, and academic-year programs during the end of spring semester. For spring and calendar-year programs, orientation occurs during the end of fall semester. More information will be emailed to you after you commit to your program.

The sessions at orientation include:

  • Country sessions. Meet people who have lived in your destination country to have an interactive and informational discussion about country-specific expectations
  • Optional sessions. Being a Woman Abroad, Budgeting Abroad, First Time Abroad, LGBTQIA Identity Abroad, and Race Identity Abroad

Pre-departure handbook and checklists

The pre-departure handbook (pdf) contains a copy of a packing checklist (pdf).

Your destination

Country-specific resources

Researching your host country is an important step. Learn about customs, food, weather, and other major information before you leave. The following links will provide basic resources for advice regarding study, travel, and logistics of living in another country.

  • offers handbooks with country specific information, checklists, and more
  • The Department of State has resources for smart travel and more
  • Wikipedia has a list of sovereign states
  • Check the climate of your destination country before you pack
  • Lonely Planet is an example of travel guides that will help you find entertainment, sights, and more
  • Many news sites, such as CNN, the BBC, and Al Jazeera, provide current stories and information in English about countries around the world

Diversity abroad resources

Accessibility abroad

  • Access Center WSU supports the self-determination and development of students with disabilities through removing barriers to academic success, promoting self-advocacy, and providing support to foster student learning and engagement in all opportunities available at the university
  • Mobility International USA


First Generation abroad

LGBTQI+ students abroad

LGBTQ+ Student Center promotes education, empowerment, and engagement for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and ally (LGBTQA) constituents across the Washington State University system

LGBT Student Guide for Education Abroad (pdf) from the University of South Florida


The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association maintains country-specific information related to legal rights and social climate

U.S. Department of State LGBTQI+ Travel Information

U.S. Department of State Passport Gender Designation Change


Mental health abroad


Multicultural students abroad


WSU resources