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Preparing for Independent Student Travel

Congratulations on obtaining College sponsorship for your international travel! Please work through this checklist of preparation activities before you depart. 

[  ]   Attend an orientation with a member of the Office of International Education covering safety and registration information.

[  ]   Review the US State Department Travel Advisory for your host country or countries. 

[  ]   Register your travel on the Beloit College Travel Registration Google Form, including your flight itinerary, emergency contact information, and liability waiver.  You will receive an email with the link and instructions on how to do this.

[  ]   Complete a health history self-disclosure and submit it to the LAPC.  This is included in the Travel Registration Form.

[  ]   Obtain a valid passport.  Instructions on State Department Website here. Give a copy to the LAPC.

[  ]    Obtain all necessary visas.  (See "Visa" below)

[  ]    Familiarize yourself with the benefits offered by your medical insurance policy.  The OIE will purchase iNext health insurance for the duration of your trip.  If you are doing College work (including sabbatical), Beloit College's limited emergency medical insurance policy will cover immediate accident and medical evacuation but not doctor or hospital care in-country.

[  ]    Clear any research with Beloit College's IRB.  See the IRB website for more information.

[  ]   Seek professional medical guidance on health concerns and immunization needs for the area which you will be visiting (see "Health/Immunizations" below).  Information on your host country can be found at the Centers for Disease Control website.

[  ]    Continue to read and research about your host country and culture.

[  ]    Register your travel with the US Department of State, which will alert your local embassy.  Use the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.  You can also sign up for the State Department travel smart app.

[  ]    Prepare for safety and security abroad by reading Beloit College's Health and Safety page and tips on preparing for, avoiding and managing incidents.

[  ]    Explore your options for cell phone service. Generally, there are four options, depending on your host country and your current cellular service provider: 1) purchase a cheap phone abroad and add credit as you go; 2) extend your current cellular service to include an international roaming plan (compare some service plans here); 3) turn your cellular service OFF while abroad and use wireless internet service to call via Skype or Google Phone, or; 4) leave your phone at home and rely on local land lines abroad.

[  ]    Make a plan for getting money abroad. (Alert your bank that you will be traveling!)  Many European countries are eliminating magnetic card readers for purchases in favor of a "chip and pin" system.  US ATM cards, however, are accepted most places.  Check the network logo on the back of your ATM card (i.e. Cirrus, Pulse, Plus, etc.) and find out if that network is accepted in your host country.

[  ]    Familiarize yourself with your host country's telephone code so that you may be reached from outside the country, and with the exit code for calling the US.   

[  ]    Many other tips on the US State Department's Tips for Traveling Abroad


A student visa is required for most countries.  You must send your valid passport with your visa application so make sure that you apply for a passport well enough in advance to allow yourself ample time for acquiring a visa.  Visa application processing times can take as long as 90 days or more.

Visa applications and process information can be obtained from the consulates of the country in which you will be studying.  See this link for a list of consular offices for the country in which you will be studying.   You can also obtain information and apply for a visa through Perry International, a visa expediting service that charges a fee to manage your visa application. 


Plan ahead for health care and the immunization and documentation requirements for the countries you will visit.  Get all necessary dental work completed before you travel.  Take an extra pair of eye glasses (or contact lenses) and a copy of your prescription. Check Consular information for regulations and restrictions on the transportation of medications within your host country. Research the availability of medications you may need during your stay. Remember to bring a copy of any prescriptions for medication as you may be asked to show them in order to bring prescription medications across the border.  Please note any restrictions on importation of medications listed in the US State Department's country information.

Consult with a medical provider about which immunizations are suggested or required for your host country--they can take several weeks to complete.  Allow ample time.  Don't crowd vaccinations.  Please be sure to check the Centers for Disease Control’s website for the most up to date information on your study abroad location. Their website is . Also check your host country’s information sheets for any restrictions on importation of both over the counter and prescription drugs.

Hospital equipment in developing countries may be lacking.  Consider taking a medical kit with you.

Motor Vehicles:

Students may not own or operate a motor vehicle while their program is in session unless permission is granted by the respective program director or the Office of International Education.  (Exception:  motorized bicycles used for local travel only when specifically approved.)  In all cases, students must inform themselves of the laws of the host country.


Host institutions and on-site Beloit College faculty advisors have emergency action plans that guide them through emergency situations.  In case of an emergency beyond the competence or jurisdiction of the on-site Beloit College faculty director or the authorities of the host institution, or an emergency that occurs while the student is away from the program site, faculty leaders should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy and the Office of International Education at Beloit College by whatever means possible (fax, email, phone, etc.).  If an incident occurs, please complete an Incident Report and return send it to