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Prepare for Travel

NDI supports international travelers in making well-informed travel decisions that can improve their safety and quality of education, research, and service experiences abroad.

Important Considerations

If you are considering travel abroad, it is imperative to first understand some very important planning and preparation considerations. Your travel plans could be seriously affected if you do not fully research or understand the following:

University International Travel Requirements and Recommendations

Use the links below to learn more:

Safety and Security

Review U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory and Country Information for your destination, including safety, security, and transportation information and advice, and how and where to get help in an emergency. Identify the threats relevant for your destination and profile and think about how to mitigate your risk. Other governments have similar information available and those links are available in the Resources section. For more information, please visit Safety & Security.

Medical Matters and Vaccines

The CDC recommends all travelers be up to date on routine U.S. vaccines. Many vaccines and preventative medicines must be started well in advance of travel. Whether or not to obtain recommended vaccines or preventative medicines is a personal decision and should be made in consultation with a medical professional. Consider making an appointment with the University Health Center (students) or Wellness Center (faculty and staff) for a pre-travel health check and to understand any immunization recommendations or requirements for your destination. For more information, please visit Health & Wellness. 

Travel Documents (Passport and Visa)

Each country has its own specific passport validity and visa requirements. All travelers should check with the embassy of their destination for the best guidance on passport and visa requirements. Some information is also available on the Country Information page of the U.S. Department of State website.

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IMPORTANT NOTE for International Students and Scholars in F-1 or J-1 status:

  • Make sure you and your dependents have the appropriate documentation for re-entry to the U.S. after your international trip, including a valid passport, a valid visa, and a valid Form I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature.
  • Carefully review the travel requirements outlined by ISSA before you leave. If any of your documentation will expire while you are outside the U.S., contact ISSA before leaving to confirm what steps you should take.
  • PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility to manage your status and maintain the required documents for re-entry to the U.S. Failing to maintain accurate and secure documentation may result in delays or denial upon your re-entry to the U.S.
     
International Health Insurance 

Does your local health insurance cover you when you travel abroad, or do you need to obtain international health insurance? For more information, please visit the International Health Insurance page. 

Trip Dates

Are there any important dates, such as national holidays, commemorative events, or elections, that you should be aware of and/or that could potentially impact your trip?

IT Equipment

Are you planning to travel to High IT Risk Countries (China or Russia) or Export Control Counties with a university laptop, mobile phone or other mobile devices? Contact IT Security to learn more about the university’s IT Security for International Travel Standard.

Destination Logistics

Where are your accommodations in relation to the airport and other areas of the city to which you plan to travel? How will you get from the airport to your accommodations? Is the area safe? What modes of transport are the safest to get around? Do you need a local contact?

Cultural Differences 

Research your destination’s background and culture to better understand and plan for any differences in attire, behavior, language, politics and/or laws.

Human Subject Research

Travelers conducting human subject research should consult the Institutional Review Board for international requirements and coordination well in advance of travel.

Student Activities Office (SAO)

Notre Dame student clubs and organizations planning a trip abroad should confirm if their travel is contingent on approval from the Student Activities Office.

Finances

Will your credit/debit cards work at your destination? How will you obtain cash? Contact your financial institutions in advance of travel to understand any issues accessing funds at your destination.

Communication

Will your phone roam at your destination? Will you need to obtain a local phone plan and SIM card? How will you communicate in the event of an emergency?

For more pre-departure considerations, information and advice, please visit the Travel Health, Safety and Security page.