International Travel Tips
  • International Travel Tips and Information

    Important Information for International Travel

    Layout table for columns.

    A printable PDF version of this Web page is also available.

    This page covers passports, visas, safety, health issues, emergencies, exchange rates and general travel tips for Capital University advisors and coordinators who take groups outside of the United States.

    Orientation Sessions

    You should hold an orientation session to discuss all country-specific information you have. The Office of International Education (OIE) can give you general information on issues of cultural sensitivity, cultural adjustment and specific information on health and safety concerns. The OIE strongly recommends that an OIE staff member handle this aspect of the orientation. 

    As an advisor or coordinator you should prepare a packet of information for the participants that includes information on:

    • Passports
    • Visas
    • Safety issues
    • Health issues, including an emergency contact card
    • Medications
    • Crisis Management Guidelines
    • Exchange rates, including ATMs and credit cards
    • Local transportation
    Layout table for list.
    Important Links


    The following are forms (PDF format) that you may need.

    Agreement to Participate
    Application Form
    Budget Information
    Budget Proposal
    Crisis Management
    Incident Report
    Student Evaluation
    Study/Tour Proposal

    External Web Sites

    Use these sites to get more tips and information on international travel.

    U.S. State Department
    Center for Disease Control 



    You should provide information on how to apply or renew a passport. Don't assume all participants already have passports.

    Passport applications are available at the U.S. Post Office, Bexley Branch, the Office of International Education (OIE) and online at the U.S. State Department's website.

    You should collect copies of the student's passports and any visa information. (Visa information should be kept in a separate place from the passports.)

    If a passport is lost or stolen, contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and follow their procedures for getting a replacement. Your copy of the passport will be helpful in accomplishing this. Caution: if a passport (U.S. or foreign) expires within 6 months of the date the participant returns home, it should be renewed before leaving the United States.


    Although, most participants in programs will be U.S. citizens, you should determine if any non-U.S. citizens will be participating in your travel program. The State Department's website has visa requirements all countries that your group will be visiting.

    Safety Issues Within a Country

    You and all travel program participants should visit the State Department's website to read the up-to-date information regarding any travel advisories for the countries that will be visited.

    Health Issues for Traveling

    You should also check Center for Disease Control's (CDC) website for health and vaccination recommendations as early as possible. You should print and save information to share with all participants in your travel program.

    Some vaccinations require multiple doses given at specific intervals so you and all participants should plan early. You may also contact the Travel Clinic at OSU at 614-293-2668 to determine if any immunizations are recommended for the region. Have the students check on date of last tetanus booster.

    Medication and First-Aid

    You should not dispense medication, but you should prepare a first-aid kit containing over-the-counter health aids such as Band-Aids, an Ace bandage, over-the-counter pain reliever(s), anti-diarrhea medication, anti-fungal cream, Neosporin, thermometer and laxatives.

    You should remind participants to take a supply of all medications that are used regularly as well as a prescription in generic terms for any essential medication.

    Emergency Contact Card

    You should prepare an Emergency Contact Card for all participant in your travel group and their families.

    The card should include:

    • The address and phone numbers for the closest U.S. embassy and consulate, which is available from the State Department's website 
    • The phone number of the program coordinator at the site you are visiting
    • The phone numbers for Capital University's Public Safety Department: 236-6504 weekdays until midnight EST and 236-6333 weekends and after midnight EST

    Public Safety responds to phone calls around the clock, 7 days a week. In the event of an emergency, Public Safety staff can notify someone from either the Office of International Education (OIE) or the Office of the Provost. This is the most efficient way to reach someone at Capital University's main campus any time, any day of the week.

    Students should also have an emergency number at all travel sites that will be visited if one is available. (i.e. a 911 phone number or the local equivalent).


    Crisis Management Guidelines

    You need to carefully read the Crisis Management Guidelines to be aware of the political and economic issues in the country and to know where to find health care and police locations. You should also visit the State Department's website for up-to-date travel advisories.

    You should have many copies of the Incident Report Form (PDF).

    You should contact the OIE to enroll all participants in the required health/repatriation insurance. This is not major medical insurance; it only covers evacuation and repatriation. If students have questions about more coverage, they may want to check the travel insurance comparison site,

    You should provide the OIE with information from the health/repatriation insurance application, including all participants year in school and major. This is needed for tracking and assessment purposes.

    Exchange Rate

    You should check the exchange rate for money and comply with ALL parts of the Budget Information and Budget Proposal (PDF) forms. These forms have reminders about establishing policies for refunds, deposits, and deadlines.

    Before you go, you should determine if participants can use credit cards. You should notify participants whether they will be able to easily use traveler's checks or if automatic teller machines (ATM) are readily available.

    Recently, ATM's have been easier to use than credit cards and traveler's checks in Europe and many parts of Asia. HOWEVER, it is not wise to carry a debit card due to the risk of theft or loss because money could be easily withdrawn from participants accounts.

    You and all participants should keep a list of credit card and bank phone numbers in a place separate place from your ATM or credit cards. Use these numbers if your cards are lost or stolen.

    Local Transportation and Destination Travel

    You should provide detailed local-travel and destination-travel information.

    • Give all participants with a card stating the address, in the native language, of where they will be staying. This card can be used to show a bus or taxi driver in case language is a barrier to communication or understandin  
    • Describe the types of transportation that are safest to use, for example, are taxi's regulated and registered by the government and how to identify a registered taxi from a person running an independent business
    • Provide the hours that public transportation stops operating in all travel sites, if participants have an opportunity to go off on their own
    • If the participants are responsible for their own travel to the site, you should provide step-by-step travel instructions. You should include train and bus schedules and the cost and length of time it takes to reach destination