All countries require visitors have a valid passport so if you don’t have one yet, apply for one right away! Passports should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended date of departure. For U.S. Citizens, visit travel.state.gov to renew or apply for a new passport. For Non-U.S. Citizens, visit the embassy/consulate website of your destination country to find out your specific requirements.
Most countries typically require students studying in programs longer than 90 days to have a student visa. Visas are essentially "entry tickets" into a country for a particular purpose and a pre-determined length of time. It is imperative for students to apply as early as possible for a visa; as such students in need of visas will prepare paperwork with support from the International Programs office as well as their program provider to apply through the embassy or consulate of their host country. Some students may be able to take advantage of a "batching" group service through their provider.
Pre-departure Planning and Tips
A successful global experience starts with good planning and preparation. Knowing you’ve paid attention to these details will make all the difference once you’re abroad! Here’s a list to help you get started:
Apply for or renew your passport
Check whether or not you need a student visa. If so, meet with the OIP director or consult your program provider portal for more information
Packing up your life and moving to a foreign country can be a daunting and stressful task if you don’t know what to bring. Luckily, many students before you have been in the same boat and we’ve asked them to share their insights! Here are some basic tips to follow:
Over pack- easier said than done, but you will want extra room to bring back souvenirs from all the cool places you will travel!
Bring clothes that wrinkle easily.
Plan on wearing sweatpants on a daily basis.
Wear leggings except UNDER shorts.
Wear shorts besides extreme heat in summer months.
Bring workout clothes, unless you plan to join a gym.
Stress about what clothes to pack! You will be able to buy any clothes you are missing there.
Bring clothes you can easily layer for various climate conditions. Monitor the weather trends of your host city before departure.
Bring the basics! Instead of bringing a bright shirt that you can only wear with those one pair of jeans, bring neutral colors that you can easily mix and match.
Pack jeans! Most students found that they wear jeans significantly more abroad than they typically do at home.
General Packing List for Clothes
Sweatshirt-one or two
Sweatpants/leggings/joggers- one pair
Flip Flops- one pair for hostels/beach
Jackets- one winter jacket (if applicable) and one light jacket.
Pajamas- a few pairs
Socks/underwear- Enough to get you through a week or two. You will have to do laundry!
Scarves- one or two.
Nice Outfit- Bring a few that can be mixed and matched
Walking shoes- you will be walking A LOT! Comfortable shoes are a must.
(tip: You can save a lot space by bringing only two or three neutral colored shoes. Example, one black shoe, one brown shoe, and one white shoe. Leave bright colored shoes at home!)
You can save space in your luggage by buying a majority of your toiletries once you arrive in your host city.
Bring blow dryers/straighter from home. These products use a high voltage and can fry the circuit. A lot of apartments/homes will already have these when you arrive! If not, you can split the cost between roommates to buy for the semester.
Bring big bottles of shampoo and conditioner from home, they take up a lot of space and weight when you can easily purchase upon arrival.
Bring feminine hygiene products. If you don’t have room in your suitcase, sprinkle them around.
Bring travel size toothbrush/toothpaste to use for the first few days while you get situated, then you can use for weekend trips!
Bring smaller bags or Ziploc bags to keep your toiletries separated and organized.
Bring enough prescriptions/vitamins to last the time you will be abroad. You will not be able to get these mailed to you.
Health, Wellness and Safety
Every study abroad experience is successful when students remain healthy and safe. Take these steps before leaving to maximize your health and safety. If you have medical needs, please tell your program director or program provider so that they can best support you. the Centers for Disease Control offer great health resources for study abroad students.
Verify health insurance for international travel
All Saint Anselm College students are required to have health insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure your plan will cover you while abroad.
Schedule a pre-travel health consultation and get necessary vaccines
Be up to date on all routine immunizations.
Get destination-specific travel advice and vaccinations before travel from Health Services or your regular doctor. This is particularly crucial if you are traveling to a country with higher travel health risks.
Travel consultations can be free for currently enrolled students, and vaccinations are covered by most insurance providers.
Schedule your travel advice appointment at least eight weeks prior to departure, as some vaccines require multiple visits to the clinic over a period of weeks.
Talk to your doctor about any prescription medications that you take regularly.
If possible, bring enough medication to last throughout your time abroad.
Plan ahead for the possibility that you might need to have a prescription filled while abroad. Bring a letter from your doctor or pharmacist describing your medicine(s), dosage, a generic name for them, and a description of the condition being treated. Consider having this information translated into the language of your destination country.
Take an extra pair of glasses or contacts in case your primary set is lost or damaged.
Store medications in their original pharmacy containers. Carry copies of the prescriptions to avoid problems with customs.
Some countries restrict import of syringes and certain medications and contraceptives.
Check with your destination country’s embassy or consulate to verify that your prescription is legal in that location.
If you are diabetic or have another medical condition in which a syringe is needed to administer medication, bring a supply of disposable syringes. These are not available in all countries, and are essential to protect yourself against HIV, hepatitis, and other communicable illnesses. Check with your destination’s consulate or embassy to see if there are any restrictions on bringing these supplies with you.
If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, asthma, mild epilepsy, or allergy to penicillin, consider wearing a tag or a bracelet, or carrying a card to identify your condition so that you can be treated properly.
Register with the U.S. Department of State
Register your trip in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP is a free service of the U.S. Department of State. Through it, you can provide information about your trip so that they can better assist you in case of an emergency and provide important health, safety and security updates for your host country.
Consider trip cancellation insurance
Trip cancellation insurance offers a layer of financial protection should your plans be cancelled, interrupted or delayed. Typical policies cover cancellation or interruption for:
Illness or injury
Changes of mind
Sudden travel conflicts
Delay in obtaining a visa or passport
Lost or stolen luggage
Some policies also cover acts of terrorism, airline bankruptcy, and accidents en route to the airport. The cost for travel insurance varies depending on the level coverage, but generally ranges between 4-8% of the trip cost. Consider insurance companies listed with the U.S. Travel Insurance Association, which provides advice on choosing travel insurance.