Passports | Visas | Academics | Office of Professional and Career Development Resources  | Course Approvals | Cross-Cultural Engagement Program | Pre-Departure Orientation | Supplemental Sessions for Affiliate Programs | Safety Abroad


If you have not already done so, apply for your passport immediately. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the end-date of your study abroad program. If your passport will have less than six months remaining after the end-date of the program, or will expire while you are abroad, apply now for a replacement passport from the U.S. Government.

  • If you plan to study abroad during the fall semester, your passport should be valid through at least June of the next calendar year.
  • If you plan to study abroad during the spring semester, your passport should be valid through at least November of the same calendar year you are studying abroad.
  • If you plan to study abroad on a summer program, your passport should be valid through at least mid-February of the next calendar year.

Passport Application Process
First time Applicants
The current United States passport application requires a true certified copy of your birth certificate, two identical passport photos, $165.00 and a personal ID. For further instructions on obtaining a passport, go to or call the government hotline at 1.877.487.2778. The normal turnaround time is 8-11 weeks. You can expedite this process by paying an additional $60.00.


Many countries require you to have a visa before entering the country. A visa allows you to stay in that country longer than if you were traveling solely for tourism. In order to apply for a visa you must first have a valid passport. The visa stamp for a given country will be placed in your actual passport. Visa processes are up to the discretion of the country where you are studying and can vary in requirements, length of processing time, and cost.

Wake Forest Programs
The Center for Global Programs and Studies helps students with the visa process for Wake Forest programs. Information can be found at this visa website or by contacting your study abroad advisor.

Affiliate Programs
Affiliate program providers and other outside universities will provide visa information to you once you have been accepted. It is essential that you follow all visa instructions as outlined and apply in a timely manner.

IMPORTANT: Until you have received your visa, you are advised to refrain from making international travel plans in the months preceding your study abroad semester.


Wake Forest Programs
If you participate in a Wake Forest program, you will receive course credit that will apply to your GPA. Divisional credit is given if you participate in a Wake Forest program and a divisional course is being taught.

Affiliate Programs
Your study abroad grades of a “C” or better will count as transfer credit and do not apply to your GPA. Divisional credit must be approved by the department chair for Affiliate programs. 

Transfer Hours
You may transfer a maximum of 60 hours to Wake Forest. All attempted courses and earned grades while abroad will appear on your transcript, even if the courses were not approved. Non-approved courses will be designated with an “N” beside the grade.

Receiving Course Credit
Be sure you are taking a full course load according to your abroad institution’s standards of pre-approved courses. Once you are abroad, if you discover that some of your pre-approved courses are not available, see section on Course Approvals below.

Course Approval for 500-Level
The appropriate department chair must pre-approve your study abroad courses. A course approved for 500-level credit will count as an elective in that particular major/minor department unless the department chair notes an exception on your approval form. A written exception is required so the Registrar’s Office can make a manual exception on your WIN degree audit. A course awarded 520 credit will not count toward the major/minor; it will only count toward the credits/hours you need to graduate.

ABO 100
While students are abroad with Affiliate programs they are registered in the course ABO 100 to verify their full-time student status. This course is worth 12 hours during a semester. This course will appear on your grade report and on your WIN degree audit. As soon as your transcript is received from the study abroad institution, the ABO 100 course will be removed from your record and your actual courses and credits will be reported. If you have earned the equivalent of 15 Wake Forest hours abroad, your degree audit will be updated at this time.

Communication Requirements
Once you are abroad, contact the Center for Global Programs and Studies and the Registrar’s Office. Send a copy of your course schedule to your study abroad advisor to verify you are taking pre-approved courses. Set up a forwarding account on your Wake Forest email address or regularly check your Wake Forest email if you plan to use a different account. When it is time to register for the next term, you will be notified via your Wake Forest email. Remember to deactivate any forwarding services upon your return to campus.

Course Overloading
If you want to take more than the equivalent of 17 hours/semester while abroad, you must have permission from the Office of Academic Advising (OAA) before you leave campus. The Registrar’s Office can only award a maximum of 17 hours without OAA permission.

Declaring a Major while Abroad
You must be classified as a second-semester sophomore to declare a major. Each department has its own policy about declaring a major/minor while abroad. Contact the department’s administrative assistant in your prospective major about the policy. If you are accepted into the course of study, the department should include your name on the list of new majors that is sent the Registrar’s Office. This allows the department to have access to your record for registration.

Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD) Resources

The OPCD created the following resource for study abroad tips and resources available while abroad. View these tips on the OPCD Website.

Course Approvals

Students on Affiliate (non-WFU) programs must complete the course approval process to ensure they receive credit for their time abroad. Your study abroad advisor will review this process with you during your course approval meeting. 

Students can review active course approvals on study abroad programs using the Global Transfer Credit system, located in WIN under Virtual Campus.

Sometimes a pre-approved course is no longer offered when you register abroad. In this case, you may log in to the Global Credit Transfer System and choose an alternate course from the approved courses list or submit a new course for approval. 

If you have any questions about this process, please contact your study abroad advisor or email

Housing Considerations for Return to Wake Forest

For students who study abroad/away in a fall semester, there will be limited WFU housing options for return in the spring semester. These returning fall study abroad students are often placed into rooms with open beds, meaning they may be living with new roommates.  For students who are abroad/away in a spring semester, they will choose housing in the same manner and timeline that they would if they were still on campus.

Cross-Cultural Engagement Program

Wake Forest has designed three courses to help you prepare for the cultural aspects of studying abroad. These cross-cultural engagement courses (1 hour each) are taken in succession and will help you develop skills necessary to study, live and work effectively in cultures other than your own. These courses are optional (not required).

See the Cross-Cultural Engagement website for more information about the courses and reflections from Wake Forest students who have taken them.

  • CGS 150 (“Preparing for Cross-Cultural Engagement Abroad”)
    Introduces you to cultural basics and skills needed for understanding and interacting with people in other cultures. Assignments are designed to familiarize you with host-country specifics and prepare for a successful stay – whether in a homestay, dorm, or WFU house. Half-semester course, taken the semester before you study abroad. (1h P-POI)
  • CGS 151 (“Cross-Cultural Engagement Abroad”)
    Gives you the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained from CGS 150 to develop a better understanding of cultural variables such as value orientation, communication styles, and nonverbal communications. This course also helps you maximize cultural immersion and exposure to different aspects of the host culture. Taken while abroad. (1h P-POI)
  • CGS 152 (“Cross-Cultural Engagement and Re-entry”)
    Helps you reflect on your experience abroad and develop strategies for re-entry. You will learn how to leverage your learning and experience in other types of situations – interpersonal, cross-cultural, academic and career-related. This is a half-semester class, taken in the semester after you studied abroad. (1h P-POI)

Pre-Departure Orientation

Download the WFU Pre-Departure materials and resources below:

Region Specific Information:

All students studying abroad on Affiliate programs are required to attend one of the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) sessions mentioned below. (Students on Wake Forest-administered programs will have separate meetings with their resident professors.)

Pre-Departure session dates can be found in Events & Announcements.

Supplemental Sessions for Affiliate Programs

In addition to attending the Pre-Departure Orientation presented by the Center for Global Programs and Studies, you are invited to attend a program specific orientation meeting offered by representatives from the Affiliate Programs listed below.  These sessions will provide you with an excellent opportunity to learn more about your specific location, program logistics, course registration, etc. Please see announcements and events for all upcoming events and orientations.

Safety Abroad

Wake Forest University and the Center for Global Programs and Studies are committed to the safety of our students abroad. Active steps have been taken to provide students with a healthy and safe abroad experience.

Tips for Safe Travel
Here are some travel safety tips:

  • Practice situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to leave any public space you are visiting if you see signs of danger.
  • Know before you go. Learn about the places you will visit so you will be comfortable and knowledgeable about the surroundings and methods of travel.
  • Keep your cell phone fully charged, on and with you at all times. Respond immediately to any calls/texts from your program staff or WFU study abroad advisor.
  • Review the communication plan and emergency procedures for your program.
  • Talk with your family about how often you will be in communication.
  • Travel with others you know and watch out for each other.
  • Plan ahead for weekend travel. Leave your itinerary with your program staff, friend or family.
  • Carry important information with you, such as emergency contact cards, health insurance information, etc.

WFU International Travel Clinic
The WFU Student Health Service Travel Clinic is available to all currently enrolled Wake Forest students who will be traveling overseas. For more information, visit International Travel Clinic and see the information below.

Study Abroad Health Insurance
All students studying on Wake Forest-administered abroad programs are required to have international health insurance through GeoBlue. Coverage is included in program fees. The GeoBlue requirement will be waived for WFU students participating in an Affiliate study abroad program that has insurance coverage equivalent to the GeoBlue policy. For more information, visit GeoBlue Member Guide & Policy.

Student Guide to Sexual Assault & Harassment Abroad
While you begin learning about the host culture and features of your chosen study abroad program, it is also important to prepare for safety by addressing a variety of potentially problematic issues that may be faced abroad, including sexual misconduct. Student Guide to Sexual Assault & Harassment Abroad discusses the issue in depth. The purpose of this information on sexual misconduct is to raise awareness of the issues, highlight some of the ways in which entering another culture may increase vulnerability, and advise students on available resources.

Travel Warnings and Emergency Information