Preparation & Planning
The Pre-Departure Preparation List provides a checklist that outlines the following tips for easy reference!
Passport & Visa
Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visa, if required.
Before you leave, fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
Share Your Itinerary
Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visa with the Study Abroad Office and family or friends at home so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Create a list of emergency contacts and keep these numbers with you at all times.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the U.S. Department of State (DOS)
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free online service that helps the U.S. Department of State contact U.S. citizens abroad if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or if there is a crisis in your study abroad destination.
When you sign up, you will automatically receive the most current information the DOS compiles about the country where you will be traveling or living. You will also receive updates, including Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts (where appropriate). You only need to sign up once, and then you can add and delete trips from your account based on your current travel plans!
Locate and Register with the Local U.S. Consulate Office
Be familiar with the location and contact information for your local U.S. consulate offices. They can serve as a resource and assist in emergencies.
A full listing of consulate offices, addresses and contact information can be found on the U.S. State Department website.
Contact your Bank & Credit Card Company
Let your bank and your credit card companies know that you plan to be abroad. Provide them with the dates you intend to be abroad and the destinations you intend to visit. International purchases may trigger fraud alerts, if banks and credit card companies are unaware of your international travel plans.
Research your Travel Destination
Familiarize yourself with the cultural, political, health, crime, and other safety-related conditions prevailing in the host country and specific locations within that country. Review Country Background Notes, Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and any Travel Warnings available at www.travel.state.gov.
Learn Local Laws & Customs
You are responsible for understanding and obeying the laws of the country you are visiting. Please remember that you are subject to the laws and regulations of the country you are visiting, and these laws and regulations may differ significantly from those in the United States.
Review your International Health Insurance Policy
Thoroughly review your international health insurance policy and locate eligible health providers in the destinations to which you are traveling.
Review Emergency Procedures for Host Country
Not all countries use "911" as their emergency contact number, as we do in the United States.
Familiarize yourself with the procedures for obtaining health and law enforcement services in your host country. Carry all important addresses and phone numbers with you at all times.
Maintain open communication with your family, friends, and any others who may need to know, about your participation in the study abroad program and provide them with accurate emergency contact information. Contact family and friends on a regular basis and keep them informed of your experience on an ongoing basis.