Students should work closely with their academic advisor, the study abroad advisor, and the Registrar’s Office to have courses pre-approved before departure. It is essential for students to make sure their classes are first approved by their academic advisor and then by the Registrar’s Office before leaving for their study abroad experience. 

  • Students generally take 12-16 credits while abroad, including classes in their major(s), minor(s), general education, or elective requirements.
  • Sometimes internships, student teaching, and clinicals done while abroad may count for Concordia credits.
  • All Concordia Global Ed Courses count for direct Concordia credit if the student is enrolled in the connected course.
  • Upon return from Summer and Semester-long programs, students should have their transcripts sent to the Study Abroad Office in order to ensure that courses taken abroad are properly transferred. 


Country-specific health information is available on the . This resource provides up-to-date information about recommended vaccinations, local food/water conditions, and other relevant health information about the various destinations to which your students might travel. 

In many cases, the most dangerous health hazards students face abroad are not those unique to their destination, but those that students bring with them, such as chronic illness, allergies, asthma and other conditions. If your student has any chronic conditions or severe allergies, you should encourage them to see the Concordia Student Health Center, a travel clinic, or their primary care physician to create a personalized self-care plan to ensure your student’s maintained health while abroad.

*Note: The Concordia Health Center (located at our Mequon campus) offers travel-health services to study abroad students, including travel health consultations, vaccines, etc. The cost for these services is dramatically lower than the costs of third-party travel clinics and most doctor's offices.

Any individual who travels in connection with a Concordia-sponsored study abroad program must have travel health insurance that covers them for the duration of their program. Many summer and semester-length programs include travel insurance, however for those that don't and for Global Ed Courses, students are required to be covered by CISI Comprehensive insurance. If you student needs this coverage, there is nothing extra that he or she needs to do, they will be registered and billed automatically.


While the news media may sensationalize safety issues abroad, hundreds of thousands of American students travel and study abroad every year without incident. However in the interest of ensuring the safety of all of our students, the Study Abroad Office conducts a safety review of the locations to which we send students. Our main resource for this is the  and . Your risk tolerance may differ from that of Concordia University, so we suggest you review these resources and others as well when considering the safety of a study abroad destination. 

Communication while abroad

Lengthy phone calls can become extremely expensive while students are abroad. These cost-effective methods of communication can help family stay connected with their students while abroad:

  • WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, etc - There are numerous smart phone apps that allow users to send and receive text, photo and video messages over wifi for free or very little cost. Some even allow audio and video calls over wifi, like WhatsApp and Apple Facetime. 
  • Skype - Skype is a free, downloadable software application that allows users to make live video and voice calls over the internet. Skype users can also add money to their account and then use the service to call land lines and cell phones internationally at very low rates. For additional information and to download the application please visit Skype.com
  • A local SIM card that your student can add to a dual-SIM phone or swap out for their US plan’s card. They can then pay as needed to text, call, or access data.
  • Letters - Letters can be read and reread and are extremely appreciated by students while they’re abroad.
  • Care packages – Students appreciate their favorite homemade treat or American snack. Keep in mind however that any package sent overseas will go through customs in the foreign country, so avoid sending items that may be flagged, taxed, or confiscated. Students may also be required to pay a fee to collect their package.
  • Emails – Email isn’t always accessible abroad, but it’s a good way to stay connected for simple check-ins.


When traveling it’s said that people should take half as many clothes and twice as much money as they think they’ll need. If you need to send money to you students, there are a number of secure ways to do that:

  • Deposits to their home bank account. In order for friends or family back home to deposit money into a student’s bank account, you simply need the name of their financial institution, their name as it appears on their passport, their account number and routing number. All of this information can be found on a personalized deposit slip, or a voided check. Deposits made by people back home into a student’s account will make funds available to them, provided they have a working ATM card.
  • Banks usually post the current exchange rates and are the safest places for students to exchange their money.
  • Using an ATM at a local bank to withdraw currency is often the cheapest option. Check with your bank to find out the commission fee. A flat rate or a percentage are most common, and will change based on what bank ATM they use.
  • Every time they exchange money they pay a commission.
  • Know the current exchange rate for the country your student plans to visit.
  • They may want to have a little local currency with them upon arrival.
  • They can purchase local currency at international banks or they can work with a local bank that has international bank connections. Getting foreign currency from your home bank can sometimes take weeks or more, so plan ahead.
  • They can also purchase local currency at most international airports either before leaving the United States or upon arrival in the host country. The exchange rate may not be as favorable so plan to exchange only enough for a few days expenses.

Student support

The Concordia Study Abroad Office provides students with a high-level of personal attention during the entire study abroad process: pre-departure, abroad, and re-entry. We assist students in finding a program that meets their academic and personal needs, guide them through the application process, and help prepare them before departure. Students are also encouraged to contact the Study Abroad Office with any questions they encounter while abroad. Upon re-entry, we also have resources available for students to learn how to market their experience abroad.

Passport & visas

Every student is responsible for acquiring a passport prior to their study abroad experience. Certain programs/countries may also require students to obtain a student visa prior to departure.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Contact the Concordia Study Abroad Office and we'd be more than happy to assist you.

Email: Study.abroad@cuw.edu
Phone: 262-243-2132