Office of International Education

Living Abroad


Life abroad can be both markedly different and surprisingly similar to life in the United States. You should familiarize yourself with various issues that will impact your day-to-day living experience abroad.

Your daily life will be impacted by people, events, and activities beyond the classroom as you integrate yourself into another society. To ensure a successful time abroad, you should be informed about general health and safety issues as well as concerns specific to your destination abroad.

Preparing for Life Abroad

You may find that attitudes about race, religion, and sexual orientation that you take for granted in the U.S. are viewed differently abroad. Race, gender, and sexual identity issues in the host country will be approached and viewed differently from those with which you are familiar in the U.S.

It will not be uncommon for you to learn about different religious practices while also trying to understand where your own beliefs fit in to the wider scheme of things. And should you have special needs, you will have to consider what types of accommodations are available to you to minimize your challenges. 

Learn about your Host Country

Going abroad will give you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture, language, and eat different foods. However, there may be huge differences between life there and in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Office of International Education implores you to research the culture and customs of your destination country. Things to consider are:

  • What is the weather going to be like?
  • How does the host country perceive Americans?
  • Are there any safety concerns?
  • Is the water ok to drink?
  • How does the host country view women?  

U.S. Government Resources

The OIE suggests a range of resources for day-to-day life abroad as does the U.S. government. Familiarize yourself with these resources before embarking on your journey so that you prepare yourself for more than just an academic experience.

Register Your Trip

Visit the U. S. Department of State’s travel registration website to register your trip. You will enter your name, destination, address, and emergency contact information. If anything happens in your host country while you are abroad, then the U. S. embassy will contact you. It will also make it easier to replace your passport should you lose it.

Links for Students and Parents