Taking Care of Business
There are several forms you must return to the International Education office by the end of the fall semester prior to studying abroad:
- Assumption of Risk and Release Form
- Participation Form
- Online application to study abroad (if you originally applied by paper, you must complete the online application to get entered in the I.E. database)
- Alerting other offices on campus, i.e. housing, business and registrar that you will not be taking classes at SMCM but that you remain a matriculated student.
- Paying your housing deposit in advance to secure on-campus housing
- Selecting a proxy to represent you in selecting your classes for the following fall as well as in room draw. It is important to keep in close contact with your proxy as registration and room draw approach. The best way to do this while in The Gambia is through email.
- Register for Study Abroad
Completing the green check-off sheet automatically registers you for the University of The Gambia Exchange Program (IDIS359), so you don’t have to do anything during pre-registration. At first, IDIS359 shows up in SmartNet as a lump of 12.22 credits; you will receive the full 17 divided among various classes when SMCM receives your transcript at the end of the semester.
Mandatory Health and Safety Briefing
As a future study-abroad student, you are required to attend a pre-departure health and safety briefing, presented by the International Education Office and Health Services. You will be notified of the date and time.
Update mailing address and contact information
Return your campus mailbox key to the Campus Center information desk. Confirm with the registrar’s office that your active mailing address during the time that you are abroad is your permanent address. This will ensure that financial aid checks and important mail gets directed to your family instead of your campus mailbox. Also remember to confirm your permanent address with your bank, credit card company, etc.Know what courses you need to complete your major
While in The Gambia, you will have to plan for two semesters of coursework, both at the University at The Gambia and for SMCM the following semester. Therefore, it is important that you have a reasonably good plan of what classes you need to take in order to graduate on time. Meeting with your advisor is certainly a worthy consideration.
Check out of your room
Complete the check-out form and hand in your room key (see your R.A. more information).
Prepare tax forms and absentee ballots
If your federal and state tax returns will be due during the time you are away, make arrangements for completing them before you leave. Likewise, if you want to vote in an election while you are away, you should learn how to obtain and use an absentee ballot by contacting your local board of elections.
Learn more about The Gambia!
Look for resources about The Gambia in the section Recommended Readings, read the latest consular information sheet online at http://travel.state.gov/travel/gambia.html, and talk to students or faculty who have been to The Gambia in the past.
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