Logistics: The Reality of Going Global (by Kathy Tuma, International & Off-Campus Studies Office)
Flight Planning: Expedia, Orbitz, etc. don’t always work well for international tickets. Feel free to check these student travel agency resources but don’t assume they will offer you the best prices:
If you already have a passport, check to make sure that it has not expired. If you need to apply for a passport, you can get the information you need here.
Note: Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after the date you plan to return to the United States. So, we recommend that you apply for a new passport if yours is about to expire – or at least check the website of the country you plan to visit.
Check to see if you need a visa (permission to enter) for the country you plan to visit. You can do that by accessing a State Department website that tells you about foreign entry requirements.
Health & Safety
The Centers for Disease Control has up-to-the-minute information regarding health issues in the country to which you’ll be traveling.
Check U.S. State Department’s website which provides you with good information about the country to which you’ll be traveling and in-country contact information should the need arise. This site will also provide you with country-specific State Department Announcements.
It is recommended that you register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to your location. By doing so, you will be notified if there are issues of concern related to United States citizens specific to the country you are in. Register online here.
Health/Medical: It is important that you have insurance that will cover you while abroad, as well as when you return to the U.S. In the event that you should return to the U.S. with a case of malaria or a broken bone, you need to be sure that you will have insurance here to cover your treatment.
Evacuation/Repatriation: It is good to have insurance that would cover an emergency evacuation back to the United States or, in the worst case, the return of your remains. Prior to graduation, you are eligible to obtain an International Student Identity Card that carries such insurance. They are issued by the IOS office at a cost of $22.00 and are well worth the peace of mind. If you wait to apply after you’ve graduated, we cannot issue the card to you – they are only for registered students.
Personal Property: Some people have opted to have insurance that covers their possessions. Before you purchase a policy, check to see if you are covered by your parents’ homeowners insurance.
Trip Cancellation: This is insurance to reimburse you should you need to cancel or cut short your time abroad for a number of reasons. Read the fine print carefully; we’ve found these policies to be pretty restrictive.
Access to Funds:
- Bank accounts in-country
- ATM card (be sure to check fraud protection on your particular card)
- Travelers Checks (somewhat outdated but a good backup)
- Call your credit card company and let them know you plan to use your card while outside of the U.S.
- If you have bills or finances that will need attention while you are away, designate a power of attorney before you go so that person can legally handle those matters on your behalf.
Student Loan Issues: No definitive answers – depends on your situation and your lender.
- If you qualify, it means that you make no payments and interest does not accrue during the period of the deferral. Since you will not be enrolled in an educational institution during your internship, you are not eligible for an “in-school” deferment.
- You may qualify for an Economic Hardship deferment – for this you need to prove that you cannot afford to make the payments.
- Forbearance: payments are deferred but interest accrues. This is easier to get – in either case, you need to contact your lender to apply.
- Questions? Talk with Lynn Torgerson in Financial Aid.
Learn About Your Site
To maximize your experiences abroad in all ways, it is important that you research the culture and customs of the country(ies) you will visit. Some suggestions:
- Intercultural Press has some excellent publications.
- Guide books can be an great resource. The Lonely Planet series is particularly excellent.
- U.S. State Department Background Notes give some helpful information.
- Use on-campus resources:
- Faculty/staff with experience in the places you’re going
- Libraries (ask the reference librarians for help)
- Regulations about what you can and cannot carry onto an airplane are changing regularly. It is a good idea to check the website of the Transportation Security Administration as you are planning your packing.
- The State Department also maintains a website, Tips for Students. It is designed for student advisors and for their students who plan to travel and/or study abroad.
- The Center for Global Education contains a great deal of information regarding students studying and traveling abroad. From the home page you can click into a great deal of helpful information regarding your travel plans.