Getting ready

During your studies abroad, keep a record of course descriptions, syllabi, reading lists, papers you produce, and exams. If you are feeling under- or overwhelmed by your coursework, email us at misti [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.

Continue to build on your experiences abroad. Learn more ideas about how to expand your experience on the Abroad and Beyond page.

If you applied for MIT undergraduate housing for your return semester, confirm your return housing arrangements with the MIT Housing Office.

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. 


Please feel free to reach out to MIT Student Support Services for assistance. In the meantime, here are some coping strategies, and also check out Abroad and Beyond for more activity ideas:

  • Get involved in a student club or sport or in a local organization or activities that match your interests
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle (adequate sleep and good nutrition)
  • Get support from other study abroad students
  • Find friends within the host community and discussing your concerns with them
  • Stay in touch with friends and family back home
  • Take time to improve your host-country language skills
  • Maintain 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 misti [at] We are here for you.

You are back from an enriching, challenging, and exciting study abroad experience. Here are some ways to unpack your experience and complete your academic goals.

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.

Get started on the transfer credit process. Review the steps here.

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.

Accepting an offer for a MISTI study abroad placement (whether exchange or direct enroll) is a commitment to both 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.


  • You must notify MISTI of the withdrawal and the circumstances surrounding your withdrawal in writing.
  • You must notify your host program of their withdrawal.
  • You are subject to the host program’s withdrawal and refund policy, so make sure you find out:
    • What is the withdrawal policy of the host program?
    • What is the refund policy?
  • You must organize your own plans at MIT for the semester you were planning to study abroad.
  • You are required to complete the MISTI Study Abroad Withdrawal Form and submit the form to the MISTI Application portal along with a letter detailing the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal. Email Isabelle Bitman, the MISTI Program Coordinator, to notify her that the documents have been uploaded.
  • You must notify your host program of your withdrawal.
  • If you withdraw, you 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.
  • You will not receive credit for any courses taken abroad.
  • Withdrawing may impact your financial aid package. Contact Student Financial Services Office.
  • You are subject to the program’s refund policy (whether direct enroll or exchange). You 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 your visa/residence permit status abroad.
  • Withdrawing may impact your insurance coverage. ISOS and travel insurance will be cancelled.