Please know that you are expected to be on-site for the entire duration of your program. This means that you should depart no earlier than the departure date of your program. If, for instance, your program runs from July 18 to August 15, you must leave your program accommodation by the designated time on the last day of the program. If you plan to stay abroad after your program ends, make sure to make housing and traveling arrangements in advance. Also, we recommend that you secure additional travel insurance for the extended travel dates that go beyond the dates of the program.
Before returning to the US, think about all the farewells you will be making. Think about all of the last-minute visits and activities that you might want to do before your final departure. Planning for the trip home takes forethought and organization. Also, it is a good idea to connect with friends and family back home before traveling so that return process is less stressful.
For your return flight, you should contact the airline and reconfirm your seat at least 72 hours in advance. If you plan to travel independently before leaving the country, verify with your airline if you are able to change the return date of your ticket. Depending upon ticket restrictions, this may possible for a fee.
Going through U.S. Customs and Immigration
When you fly back to the U.S., you will go through customs in the airport of the first U.S. city on your itinerary. You will need to declare the total value of everything you purchased while abroad (unless you bought it primarily to use there), and you may have to pay a special tax on imported goods, called a customs tax or duty if what you bring back to the U.S. exceeds a certain amount of money. Usually there is no cause for students to declare anything, but you should be aware of these policies.
Do not lie on your Customs Declaration. It is possible that you may have to open your luggage and display your personal items as well as the goods you are importing. Items originating in certain countries are illegal and may be confiscated (you could face fines or other penalties). Review the rules and regulations for customs declaration here: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens.
Shipping Things Home
If you find at the end of your program that you have acquired too many souvenirs for your luggage, you have the option of mailing a package to the U.S. Another option is for you to take an extra suitcase in order to transport the items you have acquired abroad. The rate for excess luggage varies by airline. Review your airline’s luggage policies and compare that to the cost of shipping belongings via mail.
Completion of Courses
You are responsible for completing all courses in which you are enrolled, and are expected to take the exams scheduled for your courses. Failure to do so will adversely affect your grades. As with any university course in the U.S., final exam dates are typically announced early in the term and cannot be modified.
If you wish to extend your stay in the city where you studied abroad after your program has ended, it may be possible to arrange for extended housing. However, this is done on a case by case basis, and you should be prepared to make your own arrangements for lodging.