Preparing for Departure

You've been accepted to a program and now you're full of anticipation before your study abroad adventure begins. Below you will find a travel checklist of things that you should have ready and things you should consider having ready for your trip, as well as a list of travel resources that could make your trip much smoother.





  • Finding Your Flight
    • STA Travel: Inexpensive travel deals and adventure packages for students
    • Student Universe: Inexpensive travel deals and adventure packages for students
    • CheapOair: Inexpensive flight deals
    • KAYAK: Inexpensive travel deals
  • Finding Accommodation:
    • Expedia: Bargain accommodation website
    • KAYAK: Inexpensive accommodation deals
    • Airbnb: Alternative housing option
    • HostelWorld: Top hostel booking website
    • HostelBookers: Top hostel booking website
  • Travel Security and Safety:
    • U.S Embassy Travel Registration (STEP)
    • U.S. Department of State
    • U.S. Department of State Students Abroad
    • Centers for Disease Control
  • News and Education:
    • BBC World News
    • The Economist
    • What's Up With Culture?
    • Global Scholars Learning Modules
  • Getting Around:
    • (App)
    • citymaps2go (App)
    • Moovit (App)

*These are non-CSULB programs. This information is provided as a service and does NOT reflect endorsement by California State University, Long Beach. Links to external web pages may not be ADA-compliant.

Studying abroad can help develop and highlight some of the essential intercultural capabilities that future employers or graduate programs are searching for. In order to maximize your study abroad experience, make sure you have your academic and career goals in mind before, during, and after your trip.

Before You Go:
Before you have this life-changing experience studying abroad, you should spend some time contemplating how this could have an impact on your future career and academic profile. Start considering your goals, make them known to yourself and an advisor, and take them into serious consideration while planning your stay.

  • What do you hope to gain from your international experience?
  • How can an international experience make you stand out?
  • What are the skills or proficiencies you hope to acquire or enhance while abroad?
  • What impact (if any) will studying abroad have on my career?
  • How does this study abroad program make sense in terms of my career goals and future employment goals?
  • How will you stay connected to your field of interest while you are away?

During Your Time Abroad:
While you’re abroad it’s your job to take responsibility to meet the goals that you’ve set for yourself both academically and in your potential career area. Keep these ideas in mind while overseas:

  • Network with others in your field on an international scale and create professional contacts and relationships.
  • Try and collect reference letters and/or letters of recommendation from professors or bosses.
  • Document your stay abroad, especially detailing the experiences and skills you are utilizing.

Upon Returning Home:
Now that you're home from living abroad take the initiative to see how you will incorporate your international experiences into the valuable attributes that future employers will be searching for.

  • Start to market your international experience for employers and graduate schools by identifying skills acquired abroad.
  • Update résumé and LinkedIn profile in order to highlight overseas experience and intercultural skills gained.
  • Share your study abroad experience with prospective students by volunteering/participating in workshops or pre-departure orientations.
  • Reconnect with the professional contacts made while abroad.
  • Develop a narrative around your study abroad experience and new skills using the STAR method as a guide.