International Engineering Program

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Preparing for Your Year Abroad: French IEP

IEP students completing the overseas component of their degree program will work closely with the appropriate IEP Director/Coordinator  in order to obtain admission as an exchange student at a partner institution, secure an internship placement, and otherwise prepare for their time abroad.  In addition to the documentation and processes required of IEP, there are materials that all URI students must also complete and submit to the URI Office of International Education (OIE).

For information on OIE paperwork, processes and deadlines, visit and review the following webpage: Please be advised that the website also provides dates and times for information sessions the OIE will be hosting for those with questions related to the paperwork that must be submitted.

See also for important safety and security information for travelers.

Most students leave for the year abroad at the end of July and return a full twelve months later.  Students studying at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC) participate in the four-week immersion French class in Compiègne during August, then the Fall semester from mid-September to mid-January, then the internship from February through July.

Preparing for the year abroad in a stress-free way takes nearly nine months of planning. Follow the timeline below and also check out the French IEP Study Abroad Survival Guide, created by FIEP Student Ambassadors to help prepare you for the year abroad.


  1. Passport application or renewal. If you do not yet have a valid passport, you need to apply for one (  If you already have a passport, you need to ensure that it will not expire within six months of your planned RETURN date: e.g. if you will be abroad until August 2012, your passport should be valid until February 2013.)
  2. Demers and other scholarships. Complete your application for the Demers Scholarship before leaving for the winter break. Contact professors and teachers to write the required two letters of recommendation. Submission deadline is mid-January. Verify the eligibility requirements for other Scholarships such as the Gilman Scholarship and the Boren Scholarship.
  3. Discuss fees and dates with your family. The fees and dates of the year abroad are posted on the French IEP Sakai site. Discuss these with your family so everyone knows the timeframe and the expenses related to the year in France. Please note that fees are subject to change.


  1. Financial Aid Questions. If you have questions about financial aid during the year abroad, you should contact or make an appointment to see Victor Gaspar in the Office of Enrollment Services:
  2. Submit your Demers application. This is a great opportunity for a prestigious fellowship.
  3. UTC application due to French IEP Director January 31st. Submit the application to the French IEP Director who will send it on to UTC for you. Make sure you include transcripts, a photo, and a CV (resume).
  4. Office of International Education Step 1. By January 31st, complete the General Information Session available here.


  1. Office of International Education Step 2. By February 15, complete your URI application for IEP study abroad and submit it to the Office of International Education. You may contact Tom Hospod from OIE for questions on the application.
  2. Meet with your French advisor to plan courses. Discuss with your advisor the courses you need to take in France and the courses for your fifth year. Planning is important.


  1. Prior Approval Forms. Complete Prior Approval Forms for all of the courses you would like to take while abroad and submit electronic copies via e-mail of the complete forms with all appropriate signatures to the French IEP Director by March 31st.  Make one photocopy for your own records. You must submit the final original copy with all appropriate signatures to the Study Abroad Office along with your Off-Campus Study Fee by May 1st. Please note that you should complete one form with all courses from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences (and that your French advisor and the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will need to sign) and another form with courses from the College of Engineering (that your engineering advisor and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering will need to sign). The Prior Approval Form is uploaded on the French IEP Sakai site. For information about the Off-Campus Study Fee, click here.


  1. Health Insurance. Discuss health insurance coverage with Tom Hospod and submit proof of insurance. All IEP students will need to obtain medical evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage through the provider that OIE recommends.

Proof of enrollment in a Travel Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan: The University of Rhode Island requires that Education Abroad participants obtain medical evacuation and repatriation insurance for the duration of the overseas program. You will be expected to enroll in the URI authorized Travel Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan if your program provider does not provide travel medical evacuation and repatriation coverage that complies with the URI Office of Risk Management’s regulations. Participants uncertain if their program provider automatically enrolls them in a plan should consult their URI Education Abroad Advisor.

Learn more about the HTH Worldwide Insurance Services coverage, estimated costs, and find a link to the self-enrollment portal via the URI Office of Risk Managment’s International Travel Insurance page. For information on the University’s Health Insurance and insurance requirements please contact Health Services at: 401-874-4756 or


  1. Office of International Education Step 3. If you have not already done so, you must submit the final original copies of your Prior Approval Forms (that you completed in March) with all appropriate signatures to the Study Abroad Office along with your Off-Campus Study Fee by May 1st.
  2. French IEP Internship Application. Complete your internship application (CV in French, cover letter in French, list of engineering courses taken with actual English course title and French equivalent) and submit to the French IEP Director by May 15th.
  3. Receive letter of acceptance from UTC. In early May, UTC will send out the official letters of acceptance along with an information pack concerning housing, health insurance, and arrival information.   Once you receive this, you need to begin immediately the application procedure.
  4. Register with CampusFrance. This is the first step in the application process for the visa. Once you registration is processed, you will receive a PIN, which you will use to make an appointment with the French consulate. Your appointment can be made at the Consulate closest to where you live or closest to where you study, which is the one in Boston. The French Consulate in Boston is preferred since we have close contact with them.
  5. Visa Application Appointment. Make your visa appointment as soon as your CampusFrance PIN arrives. The timeslots fill up fast over the summer at the Consulate. Do not delay! To ensure getting your visa on time, make your appointment for any day in June.
  6. Gather your paperwork for the visa appointment. There is a lot of paperwork to bring so plan ahead. Bring copies of everything. Please note that in addition to UTC’s letter of acceptance you need a letter of acceptance to the program signed by the French IEP Director. You should also bring a letter from URI’s registrar certifying that you are an enrolled student at URI. Consult the Consulate’s website for the most up-to-date requirements. Here is the link:
  7. Housing at UTC. The information packet that comes from UTC with your official letter of acceptance has information on housing. Complete your arrangements for housing by May 31st to ensure best choice of accommodations.
  8. Travel arrangements. Make travel arrangements by May 31st. Many students like to make arrangements together so that you travel with some URI friends.

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