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FAQ Post-Approval and during GO

After you are approved to GO Long, and During a GO Long

1. Am I guaranteed admission into the program I have applied to through the GO office?
No.  You must still be accepted directly by the program during the 2nd round application. Program providers reserve the right to not accept any student, but usually only deny students in rare cases. The GO office will work their hardest to help you gain access into the program for which you have been pre-approved.

2. My 2nd round application requires me to provide a transcript; how do I get one?
You will learn during the GO Long Overview Meeting, at the beginning of the semester before you GO Long, how to order your transcript online. There is a link to purchase your transcript in your GO Portal Directions: Application page, and is also available on this site, which also explains the ordering process.

3. My 2nd round application process, or as part of my acceptance into my program, is requiring me to pay a fee/deposit, do I do this or does the GO office?
Students participating in 3rd party provider programs are responsible for paying the application fee, if applicable, and program deposit, directly to their programs by stated due dates.  Then, the amount a student pays for a deposit will be credited to their SU bill later during their GO Long semester; application fees are not credited back to students. Students participating in SU In programs do not have application fees.

In addition to paying program deposits, which secure a student’s spot in a program, students on any GO Long program might be required to pay a housing deposit, which will be returned to you upon move out, assuming no damage has been done to your accommodations. Upon arrival to your GO Long, some programs require a key deposit, which students are responsible for paying and which will be returned to them at the end of their program after they have returned their keys.

4. How do I complete the course transfer process as I am working on my 2nd round application?
As you are applying directly to the GO Long program provider in the semester before your GO Long, you will be responsible for working on your course transfer credit process. You will initially here about this process from the Registrar’s Office during the GO Long Overview Meeting at the beginning of the semester after you are approved.  For reference, HERE is the information provided at that meeting. The process will include completing a course transfer form for SU’s use, and filling out course preferences for your GO Long 2nd round application.  Make sure you are listing the same courses on both forms, and that you gain the needed signatures from the Registrar’s Office and from your department head so that your courses transfer the way you intend for them to transfer.  If something happens with your courses upon arrival to your GO Long, you will have the chance to revisit the course approval process from afar over email, which some students each term end of needing to do.
5. When will I hear about an acceptance from my program/host university?
All programs are different, but in general, you will hear about an acceptance during October or November for spring programs, or in March or April for fall programs. The acceptances are almost always offered over email.

6. I am interested in changing my GO Long program/semester, what should I do?
You can request a program change or semester change request form from the GO office. Changes are not guaranteed and are reviewed on a case by case basis. On the form, you will be required to explain the rationale of your intended switch, and the form must be signed by your academic advisor before you can submit it to the GO office. You can expect a response from the GO office about two weeks after submitting the form. Be mindful of the stated due date on the form.

7. How will I travel to my GO Long site?
For almost all programs, you will need to independently search for and purchase a flight that works with your schedule and budget. Make sure to wait to purchase airfare for your GO Long program until after you have been accepted into the program and have confirmed program and orientation dates directly from the program.

8. Can I arrive to my program site earlier than my start date, or stay after the program ends?
Maybe. If you are traveling on a student visa, make sure you understand the terms of that visa clearly, including any dates that would impact your proposed early arrival or late departure. If you are not traveling on a student visa, make sure to familiarize yourself with the immigration and border crossing policies in the country where you intend to go, as understanding your obligations and options will be important before deciding when to arrive and when to depart.  Because student housing is usually only available between program start and end dates, anticipate that if you are traveling early or staying late, you will need to arrange your own accommodations, and likely will not be able to take advantage of any program sponsored or arranged airport shuttle services. If you are unsure about this, contact your program directly, as they likely have had this question in the past from other students.

9. Will I be homesick?
Studying away can start out challenging and stressful for many students, and it is very common to have a strenuous first few weeks as you are adapting to a new way of life.  For most students, it will be the first time they have been so far away from family. Homesickness is normal, and so to best anticipate these challenges, GO suggests that you start planning ahead for what things or activities will help you feel calmer and more situated in your new environment: getting outdoors? Exercising? Bringing a journal to use, or your favorite book? In the semester before you participate in GO Long, you will be prompted by the GO office to consider a wellness plan for yourself, in addition to requiring you to provide pertinent health information.

10. How can I keep myself safe?
Before you leave to study away, it is important to look up the emergency phone number to call in an emergency (the country’s equivalent to the US’s 911), places that experts deem unsafe in that location, and tips for how to stay safe. If you stay attentive, travel in well-lit areas, practice safeguarding your belongings, and use the buddy system, you will be providing yourself the best chances to stay safe you’re your GO Long.

11. What happens if I have a medical emergency?
Hopefully you will not have a medical emergency while on a GO Long, but if you do, you will need to be aware of the emergency phone number(s) in your location, and use them. You should also know if your first point of contact will be local/national emergency response personnel or an onsite housing or program director. For example, on a third-party program, you may contact the on-site director before calling the country's version of 911 depending on the emergency. Once you have informed the authorities, make sure to let the GO office and your family/friends know of your situation so that we can all best support you.

12. What do I need to pack?
It is important to look up the typical weather patterns in the location of where you are going, and pack accordingly. If you are traveling to a location where you anticipate doing a lot of physical activity, for example, make sure to pack clothing for that purpose. If you will be taking part in an internship, plan for clothing/footwear that is appropriate. It is also helpful to look up the cultural clothing norms for the location that you are traveling to so that you do not stick out too much, and are not subject to harassment.

Look up the accommodations of where you will be staying so that you know if you need to bring towels and bedding and related things. It may also be beneficial to talk to others that have been on your program in the past to hear from them what they think is the most important things to pack. Remember, you will be limited to how much will fit in your bag(s), so know that some things will need to be purchased upon arrival.

13. What classes are available in my GO Long Program?
If you are an SU-in program participant, you can find some information on classes that are usually taught through your program in your GMS portal under Directions: Courses page.  However, most GO Long institutions do not release final course schedules until very close to the semester start dates. 
Most programs do not have you do final course registration until after you arrive on your program.  We suggest you be as flexible as possible with course selection, choosing around 10-12 possible courses that might be offered which will also meet your degree audit needs. Keep in mind the GO Office and our partners cannot guarantee the course you need will be offered until you are actually there and registering.  Even then, a course could be cancelled due to low enrollment, so make plans for back up options.
If you are a third party program participant, check the website of your program for information on courses available, and if you cannot find them on the website, request assistance from your third party provider program advisor.
14. How do I register for my prep course?
You don’t, the GO office will enroll you for one based on your availability that you shared at the GO Long Overview Meeting, which takes place at the beginning of the semester before you GO.
15. What are the dates of my GO Long program?
You will receive exact arrival and departure dates sometime after you have been accepted to your program.  This will give you plenty of time to book flights.
16. How can I contact home & my family while I am away?
Some students use their phone service from home with an international plan added, though this might be a pricey option.  Most students bring their devices and then buy and insert a local SIM card upon arrival and use their primary devise for all their communication needs. Other students keep their primary devices with them on GO Long, and rely on wifi for service, and also get/use a small local phone for calls to other program participants at their site. WhatsApp is a good resource to contact home; it’s a typical instant-messaging app for all platforms that allows you to text, share pics and videos, for free, but you and the people you are contacting need to all have the app. Sometimes Facebook Messenger works, too.

17. How should I manage my money while studying away?
There are many methods of handling money while studying away. First, it is important to save up before you go and to be familiar with the budget sheet, containing estimated costs, for your program. GO suggests creating a detailed budget for yourself before departure, keeping in mind currency fluctuations, see XE, and unanticipated costs. Use NUMBEO to see specific cost estimations of anything from a meal to a pair of jeans in your GO Long destination.  If you are the kind of person who is not good at creating of following a budget, there are many apps out there to help you figure out how to manage your money effectively. Some of these apps include Mint, Acorns and YNAB. GO also suggests that you attend the pre-departure budgeting workshops, run by students who have completed their GO program already.

18. Should I get a credit card?
It is a good idea to get a credit card or debit card before going abroad, especially one with no international fees. Depending on the location that you will be in, the norm may or may not be to use credit cards or cash when purchasing. You can look up your if it is more common to use credit cards or cash in your program location. Even if it turns out that cash is the main means of purchasing things in that place and you will not need daily access to a credit card, they are helpful in an emergency, and at the very least, you will likely need an ATM/debit card.

19. What travel & support documents do I need to provide for participation in my GO Long?
At minimum, all programs occurring outside of the US will require that you have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your program’s ending date. You may also need to apply for a visa for the country where you will be studying, and you will learn about this during the application process either from GO or from your program provider’s materials. There is some helpful general information HERE. In applying for a visa, and even in many cases just for border crossings not involving a visa, you will need to have additional personal documents accessible, such as your acceptance letter from your program. For more specific information, SU In program participants should contact the GO office, and 3rd party program participants should contact their program advisor directly.
20. Can I contact the GO office while abroad? Can my family contact GO with Questions?
Yes, we are here to support you, even if from afar.  The best way to contact us is by email, in non-emergency situations, at Family members can reach GO by email or by phone during business hours (M-F, 8:30am – 4:30pm) at 570-372-4697. For family members, we also arrange a GO session during family weekend which we encourage attendance at, and provide a GO Long pre-departure webinar in the spring for families and supporters.  The latest one is accessible HERE. We also provide a supporters guide to understanding GO, and suggest you forward to those in your support network.
21. Can I work abroad/can I be paid for working abroad?
Usually the answer is no, but you should review the terms of your student visa closely to understand the particulars of your situation. For most students, the only paid work opportunity during their GO Long would be if they apply to and are selected to be a GO Blogger. These are students, about ten per semester, who work three hours per week maintaining blogs with pictures, stories, videos, and answers to GO Office prompts, both to highlight and chronicle their experiences, but also to serve as a reference to others at SU considering those programs.  Applications for GO Bloggers are available near the end of your preparation semester, so be on the look-out. To become more familiar with the program, check out the current bloggers HERE.

22. Insurance
All GO Long program participants are enrolled in SU’s emergency insurance, which covers students in emergency situations. Some GO Long programs also include general, or maintenance, health insurance coverage (for example it is required from the New Zealand Government as a stipulation of the student visa application, so the universities provide student insurance automatically). Make sure to find out from your program provider if your program includes this general health insurance, which would be used in the case of visiting a health clinic or doctor with a sore throat or flu like systems, for example.  If not, then it is your responsibility to contact your home insurance provider to see if you will be covered while abroad.  If that coverage will not extend to your time abroad, you can purchase short term coverage through the GO office for the time you are on your GO Long program. Learn more about health insurance while abroad, HERE.

23. I am interested in having an international internship as part of my GO Long experience, what do I need to do?
Some GO Long programs offer internships, you can see the list HERE. If you are participating in a program that offers internships, you make this known to your program during the 2nd round application, which is the application directly to your program provider. Make sure you tell your program advisor, and in the case of SU-ins, the GO advisor, about your interest in an internship.  In order to qualify, in most cases, you will be required to submit supplementary application documents, such as a CV/Resume and a cover letter.  Most often, internships during a GO Long are for credit, and take the place of one course.  They are unpaid, but offer an excellent opportunity to gain highly coveted skills in the work force. There is additional information HERE.

24. Can I have friends or family come to visit me?
Family and friends are welcome to visit you during a GO Long, but we recommend that they wait until at least the midpoint of your program before visiting, in order to allow you time to get situated in your new environment. Keep in mind that they will need to have their own accommodations reserved, as most GO Long housing protocol does not allow for overnight visitors. Most often family and friends choose to visit students during GO Long when they are on a break from classes and most able to focus on their visitors.