Prepare to Depart

On this page ...

Before you depart, be sure to look over Wright State’s study abroad policy as well as attend a pre-departure meeting with your Ambassador Program leader or with your study abroad advisor. For Third Party and Exchange programs, be sure to take a copy of your proposed course sheet with you as a reference in case adjustments need to be made to your courses while abroad.

Pre-Departure Checklist


  • Call your bank and tell them you will be traveling abroad.  If you do not, they may place a hold on your account when you try to make your first purchase.
  • Go to an AAA or bank where you can purchase local currency.  Bring the equivalent of 50 – 100 USD so that you have emergency cash upon arrival.
  • You will be able to withdrawal money from ATMs to get cash upon arrival in your host country.  In most instances, using cash will be preferred (or your only option) over your credit card.
  • Have a backup credit or debit card in case of emergency (pick pocket, lost bag).
  • Prepare a budget and familiarize yourself with the currency conversion for your country.


  • Make copies of your passport, travel itinerary, and local address and contact information.  Leave one set at home and bring another with you.
  • Bring copies of your SOS insurance card.
  • Have a set of information on local emergency resources – the local equivalent of 911, the number for the Wright State police department, and your emergency contact in country.


  • Visit your doctor before leaving to make sure you are in good health and do not need any vaccinations before departure.
  • Ensure that you have enough prescription medicine for the duration of your trip.  Take a supply in their original containers and confirm that this medication is legal in your host country.  If not, get a letter from your doctor concerning the medical need for the medication.
  • If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, allergy to certain medications, or other condition that may require emergency medical care it is recommended that you take a medical alert tag, bracelet or card identifying the condition with you and that you carry it at all times.
  • Be sure to move around on the flight and drink lots of water.  Avoid sitting in your seat for the entire flight and dehydrating yourself with salty foods or caffeine. 


  • Pack as lightly as possible!  You will be in charge of carrying your bags during travel times – be sure you can carry all of your belongings on your own.
  • Check your airline baggage limits, including international and any domestic flights you may take to get to your destination.  Extra baggage fees can be very expensive.
  • Don’t put valuables in your checked baggage
  • Pack practical items such as washable clothes that do not need dry cleaning and dark colors that can hide dirt
  • Don’t take anything that cannot be replaced (e.g. jewelry with sentimental value)

Upon Arrival

  • When you arrive at the airport at your final destination you will need to pass through immigration and customs
  • Immigration: Before getting your luggage you will pass through immigration showing your required documentation (e.g. passport, visa)
  • Luggage: After you pass through immigration you will need to pick up your luggage from baggage claim
  • Customs: Once you have collected your luggage you will proceed through customs where your luggage may be searched by customs officers
  • Contact anyone to let them know you have arrived safely.

Top Ten Tips for Travelers

U.S. State Department

  1. Make sure you have a signed, valid passport and visa, if required. Also, before you go, fill in the emergency information page of your passport!
  2. Read the Consular Information Sheets (and Public Announcements or Travel Warnings, if applicable) for the countries you plan to visit. 
  3. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends at home, so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  4. Make sure you have insurance, which will cover your emergency medical needs, while you are overseas.
  5. Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of the countries to which you are traveling. Remember, while in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws!
  6. Do not leave your luggage unattended in public areas and never accept packages from strangers.
  7. While abroad, avoid using illicit drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages, and associating with people who do.
  8. Do not become a target for thieves by wearing conspicuous clothing and expensive jewelry and do not carry excessive amounts of cash or unnecessary credit cards.
  9. Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money or purchase art or antiques in order to avoid violating local laws.
  10. When overseas, avoid demonstrations and other situations that may become unruly or where anti-American sentiments may be expressed.

Other Important Details

You should leave photocopies of all your important documents in the US with your parents or someone else you trust. You should also give them or someone you trust the Power of Attorney to handle your finances (such as tax returns, bills, money transfers) on your behalf. This will also make replacement easier if these documents are lost or stolen. If something should happen to you, your parents may need these items as references:

  1. Passport
  2. All credit cards. Make sure the names, numbers, and expiration dates are visible.
  3. Driver's license & student ID.
  4. All traveler check numbers.
  5. Several signed checks and deposit slips.
  6. Medical insurance information.



International SOS, a Medical and Security Solutions Company, has been contracted to cover all faculty, staff, and students traveling for WSU on business or a Wright State sponsored program abroad. This important coverage is available at no cost while traveling abroad. An International SOS card can be given to you prior to your departure, giving you access to the International SOS website, with possible e-mail updates on the country or city you will be visiting. Important travel and safety tips are available by phone, the website, and e-mail both prior to and during your travels. In addition, you will have access to an International SOS representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week anywhere in the world should you encounter any emergency during your time abroad. Access to clinics, prescriptions, and evacuation and repatriation are available through this coverage. Through registration with International SOS, you will also be automatically registered with the local US Consulate, as recommended by the US Department of State. This is an outstanding coverage now available at Wright State.

If you are a faculty or staff member traveling abroad, click here for the SOS application.

*If you are a student already enrolled in a study abroad program, this form will be completed for you.

Ambassador Programs

In addition to ISOS insurance, students will be registered for additional health insurance through University Health Plans (UHP).

Third Party Programs

In addition to ISOS insurance, students will have health insurance built in to their program fee for the time that they are abroad.

Exchange Programs

In addition to ISOS insurance, students will be required to purchase additional health insurance before they depart. The Wright State study abroad team will assist the student in purchasing this health insurance.