University of South Florida
- Preparing for your Trip
- Keeping informed before departure
- Taking Care of (University) Business
- Travel Documents
- Getting there
- Health and Wellness Issues
- What and How to Pack
- Personal document safety
- Research Tools:
Knowledge is power, and the more information you arm yourself with, the better your experience will be. There are many ways to prepare for your journey. Visit websites and read books about the history, geography and customs of the countries you are visiting; study maps; read newspapers with good international news coverage; and watch videos of the places you'll visit.
- Review Web sites to access daily issues of foreign newspapers and for helpful information and advice.
- Brigham Young University publishes an excellent series called CultureGrams, which are summary sheets on such topics as the people, customs and courtesies, and lifestyles of countries around the world. USF has hardcopy versions of these in our resource room.
- The Department of State publishes Background Notes on 170 countries worldwide. These are brief, factual pamphlets with information on each country's people, history, geography, economy, government, and current political situation.
- Talking with returned study abroad students or international students from the countries you'll visit can provide invaluable insights.
- Check out the international travel sections of bookstores and purchase one or two good student guides such as Let's Go, Lonely Planet, Berkeley Guides, or Rough Guides. USF keeps a few copies of these books, but we recommend that you purchase your own.
- If you don't speak the language, learn some key words and phrases, and purchase a small phrase book to carry with you when you are out and about. Everyone likes to hear even simple words or phrases in their native tongue.
- Finally, make sure that you know about your own country – in general people are better informed about the U.S. than we are about the host country. In some cases, particularly with foreign, economic and environmental policies of the U.S., your hosts may be very up-to-date on current issues in the U.S.
A true story – a group of USF students were arguing with a group of students in the host country (France) about U.S. policy, and the French students were speaking derogatorily about the U.S. president, when one USF student replied: "If I knew who your president was, I would say bad things about him too!" The French students laughed....
As a requirement of your admission to your overseas program, you must attend one of our pre-departure orientations so that we may provide you with important information regarding safety and travel. There are many dates available, so please find one that fits your schedule – don't wait until the last minute!
You must attend one of the following General Pre-Departure Sessions if you live within a 60 mile radius of the USF campus (If you live outside this radius, please contact your Education Abroad advisor for further instructions). Failure to attend one of these sessions before one week prior to your departure date will result in your obligation to:
- View our pre-departure orientation online.
- Research safe travel tips and the safety conditions of the country you will be visiting on the State Department Website, CDC Website, U.S. News websites, and Overseas News Websites.
- Write a 2 page paper (in your own words) which must be approved by your advisor within the Education Abroad Office.
General Pre-Departure Orientation Dates
|Thursday||2:00-5:00 PM||10/18/2012||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Saturday||10:00-1:00||11/3/2012||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Wednesday||2:00-5:00 PM||11/28/2012||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Thursday||10:00-1:00||1/24/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Saturday||2:00-5:00 PM||1/26/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Friday||6:00-9:00 PM||2/22/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Saturday||10:00-1:00||3/2/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Tuesday||2:00-5:00 PM||3/5/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Monday||6:00-9:00 PM||4/8/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Friday||6:00-9:00 PM||4/12/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Friday||6:00-9:00 AM||4/19/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Wednesday||2:00-5:00 PM||4/24/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
|Friday||2:00-5:00 PM||5/17/2013||General Pre-Departure Orientation||CGS Auditorium|
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Between now and your departure, it is your responsibility to stay informed about developments in the country/countries where you will spend time (including any countries you'll visit that are not part of your study abroad program's itinerary). You can access the U.S. Department of State's Web page for information about the country/countries where your program will take you.
On that page, you will find three different types of information: Country Information Sheets, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings. This information is updated based on current events worldwide. According to the Department of State...
- Country Information Sheets are issued as a matter of course, and are available for every country of the world. They include such information as location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.
- Travel Alerts are issued as required, and are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or transnational conditions posing risk to the security of U.S. travelers.
- Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.
We ask that you read this information carefully before you depart the United States. Please feel free to call the Education Abroad Office (EAO) if you have any questions or concerns regarding the information on this site.Back to Top
Students will be registered for their USF direct enrollment courses by the Education Abroad Office (EAO). For the faculty-led summer programs, this is done in April and May. If the EAO is unable to register a student in their courses, the EAO will notify the student of the existing hold on their account and it will be the sole responsibility of the student to attend to the removal of the record's hold. A registration will be considered late if it exceeds the close of the term's initial drop/add week
- Students who are not registered may jeopardize the release of their Financial Aid funding.
- Late registrations may also carry resultant Late Registration Charges ($100.00), which will be incurred by the student.
If a student makes a change in their course registration either prior to or after the start of their first week of classes overseas, the student must receive the approval of the instructor or program director and make their request in writing to the EAO.
When students are registered or directly enrolled for USF credit, their OASIS account balance summary will show a balance due of the regular on-campus tuition fees. Shortly following the appearance of these fees, the EAO will submit Sponsored Institute Waivers for the waiver (deduction) of these on-campus tuition fees. In lieu of these fees, students will see and be responsible for the Education Abroad Program Cost placed on their accounts.
- OSAP – Will designate the EAO Administrative and Instructional (placed in lieu of on-campus tuition)Fees
- OSAS – Will designate the EAO In-country Program Fees
All fees listed above (OSAS and OSAP) are fees connected with the study abroad program and must be paid by the student by the stated deadlines for their respective program. Students receiving financial aid may receive a payment deferment of their Administrative Fee and Instructional Fees (OSAP) until receipt of their financial aid disbursement. Please note that these fees may be automatically deducted from their financial aid disbursement.
For program fees on summer and spring break programs, the deadlines for in-country payments are generally two months prior to the beginning of the foreign program, the administrative and instructional fees are generally due for summer programs the week that financial aid disburses for summer. For semester exchange programs, students must remit a $500 deposit upon acceptance to the foreign school, and final payment is due the week of financial aid disbursement of the semester abroad.
Please go to individual program sites for program payment deadlines, but be prepared to pay 25% of the program cost 90 days prior to program start date, 75% of cost 60 days prior, and 100% of program cost 30 days prior.
Payment In Person:
Once you have completed the USF Education Abroad application, the Study Abroad Charge will be posted on your OASIS account; generally the charge will be posted within 48 hours of confirmation of program acceptance. The charge will be listed under the term in which the program takes place (i.e. Summer 2012). Students will be given a payment sheet to take to the USF Cashier's office. Payment may be made by check, cash, cashier's check, money order or credit card. Checks should be payable to USF (please indicate the study abroad program and your U ID number in the memo portion of your check).
Credit Cards: Please note that if you are using a credit card and paying online (service fee applies), you may NOT choose how the payment will be applied. For example, if you have housing, parking or library charges, your online payment will be applied to these fees first. You may avoid this and still pay by credit card by going in person to the Cashier's Office.
Payment By mail:
Please confirm that your Application Form has been received by Education Abroad (and that you have been accepted into your program) prior to mailing your payments to the USF Cashier's Office. Checks should not be sent to the Education Abroad Office, but directly to the Cashier's Office:
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University of South Florida
4202 E Fowler Avenue, ADM131
Tampa, Florida 33620-5550
In recent years there has been an unprecedented demand for passports; therefore, you should apply for a passport immediately. You should plan on at least six to eight weeks for standard processing.
U.S. and non-U.S. citizens need a passport both to enter other countries (including Canada and Mexico) and return to the United States. If you already have a passport, make sure it is valid until at least six months after your return date (Note: some countries, such as Russia, require that your passport is valid for 18 months following the completion of your program). New U.S. passports are good for ten years. Apply early to avoid complications caused by misplaced original birth certificates and similar problems.
Passport forms are available at many Federal and state courts, probate courts, some county/municipal offices and some post offices. They can also be downloaded at the U.S. State Department Web site. This site will also link you to the procedure and form for renewing your passport. This can take the same length of time as issuing a new passport.
For first-time applicants, age 16 and older, a ten-year passport is $135.00. This includes a passport fee ($110), and an execution fee ($25). Note that the cost of purchasing a passport book AND card is $165.00, but that passport cards are not required nor can they be used in place of a passport book.
Passport applications and directions for submitting your passport are available from the USF Education Abroad Office or from most post offices. With your completed application you must also have the following:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e. certified copy of your birth certificate).
- Proof of identity (i.e. a valid driver's license).
- Two (2) identical photographs (2" x 2" with white background).
- Appropriate fees.
- A social security number.
You must submit your application to a post office. Please note that most post offices require that you have an appointment when applying for or renewing your passport. We recommend that you DO NOT send your application by mail. The local post office branch that accepts passport applications:
Ehrlich Post Office
14910 N Dale Mabry
Tampa, FL 33618
Phone Number: (813) 264-2107
Passport photos can be obtained by consulting the yellow pages of your phone directory, at CVS, or at many post offices that handle passport-processing.
Once you have your passport, be sure to sign it and fill in the emergency information page.
A visa is an entry/residency permit and official permission granted by the authorities of the countries where you will study or travel, which allow you to enter and remain in that country. The visa itself is frequently a stamp in your passport, not a separate document. You will need a passport before applying for a visa and the passport plus visa process may take three to four months, so start early. If you are a U.S. citizen (carrying a U.S. passport), a visa is not required by most Western European countries if you are spending fewer than three months in the country visited. However, the regulations change frequently, so check with the embassy/consulate of your host country.
The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad; this includes countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by consulting with a travel agent, calling the consular offices of those countries, or checking the U.S. State Department Document Requirements website or the Travel Document Systems website.
You may be denied entry into, or be deported from, a country for which you have not obtained a required visa. The Education Abroad Office and the University of South Florida are not responsible for obtaining visas nor are they in any way responsible for visa or entry denial. For some countries, certain medical requirements must be met before a visa will be issued. Many countries will not issue visas to persons with any type of police record!Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You should check the U.S. State Department Web sites for Foreign Consular Office listings and for the listings of Embassies and Consulates. The procedures that you will follow may be different from those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures. International USF students must visit the USF International Services Office to obtain a signature on visa documents to permit re-entry to the United States.
Your regular student ID may not be honored in some countries. The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gives students a single, uniform document recognized worldwide as proof of student status. ISIC cards are $23.00 and available for purchase from many travel agencies and the USF ID Center to any student in a degree-seeking program during the current academic school year.
The ISIC card benefits vary widely from country to country, but may include student discounts on airfare, transportation, and accommodations, as well as reduced admission to museums, theaters, cultural events, and other attractions. When you purchase an ISIC, you will be given an ISIC Handbook that lists exactly which nations recognize the card, types of discounts, and the addresses and phone numbers of student travel offices around the world. Besides the student discounts, the ISIC provides free travel insurance (good for before and after your program dates), an emergency help line, and a communications system (phone card). If you should need to use the insurance benefits, you will need to have a copy of your card and proof of purchase for any claim.
Please note that there are varying reports on the usefulness of the ISIC. In some cases, the card was not honored as expected. The phone card can only be used at public phones. Usually the greatest benefit to having the card is getting the reduced airfare.Back to Top
Booking an overseas flight is one of your first challenges when traveling abroad. It can be the easiest thing you do or the most complex, depending on how early you start planning. While we strongly encourage you to purchase your flight early, please do not do so until you have been officially admitted to the program, and for USF's faculty-led programs, that you have been informed by the Education Abroad office that the program has the minimum enrollment to ensure that it will take place. If you start early, you will save yourself time and money, since the closer to your trip you get, the higher the fares generally become. Flights also become filled, so start early to ensure yourself a flight when you want it.
Programs deal with flight plans differently. Some programs will arrange to have the entire group fly together while other programs will have no participation in your travel plans. Make sure to find out how involved your program is before you start looking into flights. You do not want to make a flight reservation if you have already paid for one through your program. Also, make sure you find out when and where your program wants you to arrive. Changing tickets can cost you anywhere from $50 to the cost of another ticket. We recommend that all students traveling abroad purchase trip/travel insurance. In some cases programs have changed their start date or even been canceled due to various circumstances. Travel insurance can cover the cost of any unexpected changes in plan.
If you, or your parents, want to track a flight overseas or at your destination, www.flightview.com will allow you to see where the flight is and whether it's on time or delayed. All you need is the flight number and the airline and the website will track the flight for you!
If you have any special diet requirements, you must notify your airline within a week of your departure in order for them to secure arrangements. Vegetarian, light and kosher meals are possible on most flights.
Airports can be confusing places. This is especially true when you are in a country where you do not speak the language fluently or understand the culture yet. There are a couple of things that you can do to help yourself. One, if possible, is to travel with other people going on the same program. Another suggestion is to talk to your ticket agent or travel agent and try to get a copy of the layout of the airport you will be arriving at. If you are making a connection in a foreign country, find out what gate you will be coming into, what gate you will be going out of and how to get from one to the next. Even if you do all of the pre-planning in the world, complications will likely come up. Almost all airports have information counters where the staff will often speak English.
If you want to gather information about the airport (good idea for connections), go to the following site: http://wwp.international-airports.com/, or simply search for the name of the airport in question.
You must also keep in mind that airports are potential crime areas. Please be careful with your baggage; never leave it unattended, and stay away from any unattended bags or packages in public places. Do not check luggage for anyone else onto airplanes, railroads, or buses. Do not borrow suitcases and do not allow anybody, not even a newfound friend, to put anything in your luggage if you want to avoid the risk of becoming a carrier of drugs or other illegal or dangerous materials.Back to Top
Prior to your departure, you should review worldwide health information and country-specific health requirements for all countries in which you will study, as well as those you think you will visit. One of the best sources of information for international travelers is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Note the special section under travel tips tailored to study abroad students.
Another helpful resource is the Travel Health Video from USF Student Health Services - also check out their website to make an appointment to obtain the immunizations you might need: http://www.shs.usf.edu/travel-health.aspx
If you have any questions regarding medical problems, immunization requirements, or other health issues that may affect your successful and complete participation in the program, you are expected to consult with either your personal physician or a local travel clinic, such as the Hillsborough County Travel Clinic (www.hillscountyhealth.org). Even if the countries you plan to visit have no required immunizations to enter, but you have a pre-existing medical condition or are on regular prescription medications, you should visit a health practitioner to discuss managing your condition and/or your medications abroad. This discussion may also include obtaining recommended, but not required vaccinations.
For higher health risk areas where required or recommended vaccinations are likely, (i.e. Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Russia and the Middle East), plan to visit a health care professional at least three months prior to departure.
Students traveling to countries with low health risks (i.e. Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) should discuss getting your routine vaccinations up-to-date with your physician or the Hillsborough County Health Department.
All countries recommend that travelers be up-to-date on routine immunizations (but check with your doctor or health care professional before getting any vaccine – particularly if you have allergies or other health conditions which could cause complications):
- Tetanus-diptheria-pertussis (DTP)
- Hepatitis B
- Chicken pox (Varicella)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
Some immunizations require a series or spacing for protection (as long as three months for a series of shots), so allow as much time as possible for immunization.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition that may require treatment or need prescription medication while traveling, be sure to bring an adequate supply in the original container as well as a prescription with your physician's explanation of the condition and generic and brand names of the medication and dosage information. Also, know that some common prescription medications in the U.S. are illegal abroad. Check with the embassies of the countries you expect to visit to make sure your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are permissible.
Do not plan on sending medications abroad since it will require customs paperwork and may be delayed in delivery. Be sure to maintain your usual dosage and pattern of taking your medication while you're abroad and ask your physician how to make adjustments due to any time zone changes.
More and more students with mental health conditions or histories are attending college. Today's students report struggling with bi-polar disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress management, family or other relationships, career decision-making, cultural identity, interpersonal concerns, and sexual assault among others. With a combination of medications and therapy, the vast majority of these students have productive and enjoyable experiences at home and abroad.
View our Mental Health Wellness Abroad Guide
Experiencing another culture is an exhilarating, but often stressful, experience that can sometimes cause symptoms or conditions to worsen, even if only temporarily. For these reasons, we recommend discussing the rigors of your program with your therapist and physician so that you are more prepared to handle them abroad. Things to think about:
- In many study abroad programs you will not have your own space, may not be able to choose your roommate, and may be surrounded by more people than you are accustomed to. You may be living with a host family, and continually traveling with the same group of US students. Your access to private bathrooms and showers may be somewhat limited or non-existent.
- You are likely to have far less down-time and must often keep to a regimented schedule.
- You may have difficulty sleeping due to the change in time, full-schedule, change in diet and climate, and unfamiliar and potentially noisy surroundings.
- You may not have the benefit of understanding what is being said around you. Even if language is not a barrier, cultural differences are significant, and being a foreigner can be somewhat alienating at times.
- Over the past few years, there has been growing anti-American sentiment in some places around the world. Generally this has been directed at U.S. policy rather than individual Americans, but it can be difficult to remove yourself, as a U.S. citizen, from the criticism you may hear.
The benefits of study abroad far outweigh the difficulties, and if you find coping mechanisms to deal with these and other issues, you will have a very positive experience. In addition, we recommend that you identify ways of keeping in touch with support systems at home – family, friends, and your therapist – in the event that you are experiencing difficulties.
Recognize, too, that experiencing some level of depression or anxiety about your study abroad experience prior to departure can be expected. However, if you begin to doubt your readiness to participate or you fail to complete pre-departure requirements, you should discuss your feelings with a medical professional.Back to Top
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All students in a study abroad program must have emergency health coverage during the study abroad program. Most of the USF-sponsored programs have this included as part of the program cost. This coverage is primarily for emergency treatment, and those students who will require on-going treatment for a condition while abroad should consult with their regular health insurance provider. For full information on the policy, please go to the CISI website and review the basic and comprehensive plans which cover emergency medical treatment, evacuation in the event military or terrorist events, or natural disasters: http://www.culturalinsurance.com/cisi_forms.asp
If you plan to travel before or after your study abroad program, it is very important to obtain additional medical insurance coverage as the medical insurance provided by CISI provides coverage only during the dates of the study abroad program. While you may believe your domestic health insurance policy will cover the costs for any medical care needed abroad, it is likely you will be required to pay upfront and later seek reimbursement. Keep in mind that hospitalization or evacuation abroad can cost as much as $40,000. Do you have immediate access to that much money on a moment's notice?
If you would like to purchase coverage for your additional travel, there are dozens of companies that specialize in international medical insurance policies. You can research them on the web or you can purchase an individual study plan from CISI for up to a month before or after your program at http://www.culturalinsurance.com/students/downloads.asp.
Remember, you will need to independently purchase this separate insurance coverage (you cannot extend the USF study abroad coverage -- a "new" policy must be obtained).
Students are strongly encouraged to purchase travel and trip cancellation insurance which covers you for any problems/costs associated with your travel – stolen luggage, delayed /cancelled flights, etc.Back to Top
PACK LIGHT!! Really, we mean it. There will not be porters available, so you must be able to manage your bags yourself. Particularly for those programs which require travelling from location to location, you should only take what you, by yourself, can carry for 2-3 city blocks. Also it is important to note that fewer and fewer airlines are allowing travelers to check luggage for free. The more bags you have, the more costly it will be to fly, anywhere from $25-100 per bag. International flights have very strict limitations on baggage size and weight. If you are travelling on domestic flights within your host country, the restrictions are more stringent. Do not waste money on paying for over-weight baggage. Mark your luggage tags ahead of time with a clear indication of your name, address and phone number of your destination. Also keep this information inside your bags.
Keep your luggage close to you and locked with a TSA-approved lock!
If you intend to travel before or after your program, make arrangements for storage of your luggage. Do not assume that your luggage can be stored at your housing location during dates outside of the program. Daily storage charges in train stations and airports can be quite costly.
Get a backpack – they do not weigh much, are durable and it makes moving with your luggage easier. Wheeled bags can be good at airports, but in-country you may be walking on uneven cobblestone walkways and climbing stairs, which makes them very unpractical. Don't bring anything you can't easily replace or is of high-value.
Don't bring many items that require dry cleaning or ironing; bring items that are easily washed and that dry quickly. While most locations will have laundry facilities, they may be limited, and you want to spend as little time as possible doing laundry and finding dry cleaners, which can also be very costly.
Speak with your faculty director or Education Abroad advisor about acceptable clothing for your destination. What is "in" here may be unacceptable in many countries, or may serve as a way of accentuating your national identity in an unflattering way. For example, in many countries, most people do not wear shorts unless at a beach, and in some, particularly for women, showing your legs is categorically unacceptable. Men should not wear pants that show undergarments, hats are not to be worn inside buildings, and very baggy and loose t-shirts and jeans are not to be worn in many places around the world. Particularly for women, knowing where you are going and what is acceptable is very important; often in many countries and cultures, men will take what you wear as an open invitation. If you have the opportunity to speak to someone from the country to which you will be travelling, ask how the styles here differ from those in their home country.
Electrical service varies throughout the world. Most outlets will not accept the two- or three-pronged plugs that are standard in the United States. Therefore, if you intend to take small appliances you will need a set of adapter plugs that will "adapt" U.S. plugs to the plug system of your host country. Additionally, you will need a voltage converter to "convert" the U.S. voltage of your electronic device to the local voltage. These items can be purchased at electronics stores such as Radio Shack or Best Buy. Electric appliances, such as curling irons and hairdryers do not normally work well on foreign voltages even with a converter. If you are going to be in a country for some duration, it is often advisable to purchase these items abroad.
If you are bringing expensive electronic equipment such as a computer, obtain all necessary conversion information from a professional before departure.
All medications in original bottles with back-up prescriptions. Remember this goes for vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter drugs too – do not condense into smaller packages or you'll risk confiscation or difficulties getting through customs here and abroad. Make sure that everything that you are bringing is legal in the country to which you are going. Check out www.embassy.org/embassies to make sure that all of your OTC and prescription drugs are allowed.
Prescription glasses (2 sets preferred) and contact lenses and contact-lense solution. These can be difficult to find in many countries so bring more than you would normally use just in case.
Contraceptives, feminine hygiene products (in countries where these items are not easily found), etc. Remember that AIDS and STDs are world-wide epidemics – condoms in some countries may be of sub-standard quality.
First aid kit: band-aids, alcohol swabs, anti-bacterial lotion, skin lotion for any conditions you may have, anti-diarrhea medicine, small quantities of aspirin, or pain-relief medicine, preferred cold treatments, insect repellent, sunscreen, etc. (Please also speak with your faculty director, EA advisor and Hillsborough County Health Department for required travel medicines – malaria prophylaxis, salt tablets, water purification tables, etc.).
Toiletries: bring whatever you will need (deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hand and body lotion, sunscreen, cosmetics), but remember that if you are going to be in-country for a long period of time, most of these items are easily purchased abroad.
Minimum amount of clothing that is appropriate for your destination and type of program (e.g. if you are an archeological dig in Italy, you would bring very different items than if you were studying in Florence).
Bring an empty bag to bring what you have purchased in-country home.
We suggest you include:
- an extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning solution (less than three ounces)
- a map or directions to your destination
- any medications you use (keep medications in their original labeled container to make customs processing easier; carry a letter with you from your physician attesting to your need to take them, especially if your medications contain narcotics)
- basic toiletries (containers must be less than three ounces each and all must be placed in a quart-sized, clear plastic bag)
- a sweater or sweatshirt
- a change of clothes.
- Do not pack any sharp items such as jackknives, scissors, etc. in your carry-on luggage.
- Do not pack personal documents (passports, visas, airline tickets, etc.) in your carry-on luggage.
Leave at home all keys and other items not needed abroad. Make photocopies of your valuable documents and maintain an "emergency file" at home containing: airline ticket, passport, traveler's checks, driver's license, blood type and Rh factor, eyeglass prescription, name of doctor and dentist, supplemental insurance policies, and the credit cards you take abroad. Leave one set at home and keep another with you in a separate place from the originals. Leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with family or friends at home. Prior to departure you will be provided with the address and telephone number of where you are going to live. We highly recommend scanning important documents, so that original copies can be retrieved in the event of loss or theft.
NEVER pack your passport or any other important documents in your checked-in luggage or your carry-on luggage. Passports (including visa page), credit cards, and money should be worn in a pouch or a money belt as close to your body as possible. Be aware that certain reading material or literature may offend officials of some countries.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.Back to Top
Before you go:
- Call your bank and credit card companies to let them know that you will be travelling.
- Make sure that you have made arrangements for your bills to be paid while away.
- Have a source of funds for emergencies: extra credit card, back-up ATM card, ways that parents or friends can put extra cash into your checking account or wire to you if needed.
- Get traveler's checks – American Express or similar brand ($300 –depending on destination). Traveler's checks can be purchased at a bank or local travel agency (American Express, AAA, etc.) in a variety of denominations and currencies. They can be used for payment at many local establishments or can be exchanged for cash at any bank or exchange agency. Traveler's checks come in both US Dollars and in many foreign currencies and can be replaced if lost or stolen. Make sure to keep a list of the serial numbers from each check in a safe place so it can be given to the bank representative for replacement! More information about traveler's checks can be found on the American Express website or from your bank/AAA.
- Get $75-100 in the foreign currency from your bank or at the airport from a Cambio/Currency Exchange kiosk.
- Create a budget – talk to the faculty director, read books and talk to other students who have been to where you are traveling to understand financial needs.
- Inquire with your bank regarding partner banks in the country you will be visiting – this could reduce fees charged to your account for withdrawals.
- Research your host country's policy regarding credit card usage. Many countries have now switched to "chip-and-PIN" cards, which include an encrypted chip in addition to the magnetic strip. Most American card companies do not include the chip on their cards. It is important to know if your host country has regulations regarding whether or not you can use cards with or without the encrypted chip.
- View travel warnings and area information: www.travel.state.gov
- Traveler's Health from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
- Emergency Notifications and On-site contacts: www.osac.gov/Posts/index.cfm
- U.S. Embassy and Consulate Abroad: www.usembassy.state.gov
- State Department Safety Tips for Going Abroad: www.studentsabroad.state.gov/html-site/Emergencies.html
- CISI Insurance: www.culturalinsurance.com
- See the Hillsborough County Health Department: www.hillscountyhealth.org
- Different Cultures: http://kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html
- Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/menu-eng.asp#C
- U.S. Customs: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/
- Links to Foreign Embassies: http://www.embassy.org/embassies/
- http://www.globalscholar.us/ This site is highly recommended. It has exhaustive information about countries and studying abroad.
- View a Country Specific Website for your Program: http://studentsabroad.com/ You will need to select which country web site you wish to view at the top right-hand corner.
- Mobility International: http://miusa.org/
- U.S. border security information: http://www.homelandsecuritydegree.com/resources/homeland-security-immigration-and-the-border/