Congratulations on your study abroad acceptance! Find important pre-departure, in-country, and returnee information below.

Jump to:

Prepare for your Trip

While Abroad

  • Academic Work: During your studies abroad, keep a record of course descriptions, syllabi, reading lists, papers you produce, and exams. If you are feeling underwhelmed or overwhelmed in your coursework, email us at We might be able to help. It is also a good idea to talk to your professors at the host institution if you need additional support or if you are encountering challenges in a particular subject.
  • Confirm Your Return Housing: If you applied for MIT undergraduate housing for your return semester, confirm your return housing arrangements with the MIT Housing Office.
  • Feeling Culture Shock?: Living and studying abroad is an exhilarating and challenging experience. In the first month, students usually feel excited about the program, the environment, the people, and the culture. For some, this feeling continues. For others, however, it can change into frustration, mild depression, fatigue, and homesickness. These feelings are normal and are known as culture shock, a natural response to a new culture, language, values and attitudes, food, and climate. Dealing with these challenges may make you feel overwhelmed, irritated with the host culture, and stressed. Usually, the most difficult stages of culture shock pass after the first few weeks or months, although this varies from individual to individual. Here are some coping strategies:
    • Getting involved in a student club or sport or in a local organization or activities that match your interests
    • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (adequate sleep and good nutrition)
    • Getting support from other study-abroad students
    • Finding friends within the host community and discussing your concerns with them
    • Maintaining a good sense of humor
      ​If you do not feel better, reach out to the program administrators in the host country or contact MISTI at We are here for you
  • Here are additional ideas for activities while you are abroad.

Once You Return: Transitioning Back to MIT

You are back from an enriching, challenging, and exciting study abroad experience. Here are ways you can keep connected and continue to build on your experiences:

  • Welcome back workshop:  Many students who went abroad want to talk about their experiences. Sharing your thoughts with other students who have also studied abroad is a great way to do that. Returned students are invited to a Welcome Back Workshop at the beginning of each term to reflect on academic and personal experiences.
  • Receive transfer credit for your study abroad coursework, meet with the transfer credit examiner in each department granting you credit. Have your official transcript from your program sent to MISTI. Gather the syllabi, graded papers and exams, reading lists, and other relevant information from your courses and a Request for Additional Credit Form (pdf). The completed form must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the drop date of your first term back. Transfer credit will be processed when both your transcript and the signed Request for Additional Credit Form have been received by the Registrar's Office through MISTI (you cannot submit these items directly to the Registrar’s office).
  • Attend the annual New England Study Abroad Re-Entry Conference: Students from universities around the region discuss their experiences. This conference usually takes place in late February.
  • Be a Catalyst for study abroad: Returned study abroad students are the best ambassadors. Share your experience with prospective study abroad students across your academic area, living groups, and student groups. 
  • Click here for more opportunities when you return home. 

Study Abroad Withdrawal

Accepting an offer for a MISTI study abroad placement (whether exchange or direct enroll) is a commitment to MISTI and to the host program. MISTI considers reneging your commitment in the absence of extenuating circumstances to be a serious ethical breach. Failure to honor your commitment to your host program may result in the forfeiture of your right to participate in future MISTI opportunities and/or other campus recruiting, including access to MIT’s online recruiting system, Handshake (per MIT Student Recruiting Rights and Responsibilities).

If you are experiencing extenuating circumstances that prevent you from participating in the program, please follow the below processes and keep these questions in mind.  

Withdrawal Before Departure:

  • Students must notify MISTI of the withdrawal and the circumstances surrounding their withdrawal in writing.
  • Students must notify their host program of their withdrawal.
  • Students are subject to the host program’s withdrawal and refund policy.
    • What is the withdrawal policy of the host program?
    • What is the refund policy?
  • Students must organize their own plans for the semester they were planning to study abroad.

Withdrawal In-Country:

  • Students are required to complete the MISTI Study Abroad Withdrawal Form and submit the form to the MISTI Application portal (Terra Dotta) along with a letter detailing the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal. Students must email Isabelle Bitman, the MISTI Program Coordinator, to notify her that the documents have been uploaded.
  • Students must notify their host program of their withdrawal.
  • Students who withdraw must take a Leave of Absence, Medical Leave, or Personal Leave from MIT through Student Support Services (S3). MISTI will notify S3 of study abroad withdrawals.
  • Students will not receive credit for any courses taken abroad.
  • Withdrawing may impact a student’s financial aid package. Contact Student Financial Services Office.
  • Students are subject to the program’s refund policy (whether direct enroll or exchange). Students are responsible for any withdrawal charges and/or non-recoverable costs (tuition, travel, housing, etc.) of the program and understand that these costs may be significant.
  • Withdrawing may affect a student’s visa/residence permit status abroad.
  • Withdrawing may impact a student’s insurance coverage. ISOS and travel insurance will be cancelled.


Additional Questions? Email us at