For many students, studying abroad is their first experience traveling to a foreign county. Be aware of the documents, process, and safety tips for the trip overseas.
Day of Departure
It is the day for you to head to the airport and board your flight to your host country! It is essential that you are conscious of the time frame leading up to your international flight.
Arrive at the airport three hours in advance to check luggage and pass through security clearance. Be sure to have your passport, airline ticket, reservation number, visa, and letter of acceptance from your host university available for airline, security or immigration personnel to inspect. Additional documents may be requested at the discretion of airline, security, and immigration personnel.
If you have any disability or medical conditions that prevent you from going through the body scanner, please politely inform the TSA screening officer. You may also wish to carry a Disability and Medical Condition Notification Card.
If you are seriously ill, please do not fly. Contact your travel agent or airline well before your scheduled departure to make alternative arrangements.
Arriving in Your Host Country
The first thing you will do upon arrival is pass through immigration, where an immigration officer will look at your passport, visa (if you were required to get a visa prior to departure), and any supporting documents, such as your host university acceptance letter. The immigration officer may ask you questions about the purpose of your visit. Provide the immigration officer with the documents that he or she asks for, but only share information that he or she asks for; do not volunteer more information than what you are asked for.
If your host country allows you to obtain your visa upon arrival, please find out prior to departure if you will have to pay a visa fee at the immigration counter when you arrive. If so, find out the amount of the visa fee and the currency in which you will need to pay that fee. Find out if you will need to have the exact amount or if the immigration officer would be able to give change.
After passing through immigration, you will pick up your checked baggage and pass through the customs area. Depending on the health situation in your host country or around the globe, you may be quarantined if you exhibit particular medical conditions. For instance, during the last flu outbreak, travelers who exhibited symptoms of flu were quarantined in certain countries. Please check the situation in your host country before flying and delay your travel plans if you are ill.
When you exit into the public area, say no to any aggressive taxis and baggage handlers. Follow the instructions that your host university or program gives you about what to do or who to look for upon your arrival.