Travel Outside the U.S.

The following resources and recommendations are intended to help members of the Carolina community plan safe and successful international trips. If you are participating in University-affiliated travel, please also review the University’s travel requirements and policies.

Guidance for Student and First-Time Travelers

UNC Global’s Center for Global Initiatives has developed resources and programming for student travelers.

The Global Guide is designed for students preparing for a global experience and is particularly useful for first-time travelers and those in the early stages of planning. From getting your first passport to financing your experience to dealing with culture shock, each section will provide you with resources and points of contact that can help you as you plan your global experience.

GO! Global Orientation on Culture + Ethics is designed to help students evaluate expectations, anticipate potential cultural and ethical challenges, prepare for engagement with global communities, and develop intercultural competencies.

U.S. Department of State Resources

The U.S. Department of State provides information on every country in the world, such as the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical conditions, drug penalties and localized hot spots.

If you are planning to travel abroad, register for the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel warnings, alerts and information about the country where you will be traveling.

The Department of State provides information about obtaining and renewing a U.S. passport. Please allow yourself plenty of time—up to six months—before your departure to apply for or renew your passport. Also, UNC Global hosts a passport drive to enable the Carolina community to apply for or renew a U.S. passport.

Visit the Department of State’s newly designed studentsabroad.state.gov website for information specific to students interested in traveling abroad.

The Department of State provides advice and travel tips organized by your travel purpose or identity.

Other U.S. Government Resources

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides guidance for business travelers to ensure the safety and security of themselves and their business information while traveling outside the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides guidance for students regarding tips and precautions for traveling outside the United States.

Traveler Health and Safety

Before traveling internationally, review UNC-Chapel Hill’s insurance and travel registry requirements for University-affiliated travel, as well as our travel warnings page.

Plan ahead for preventable illnesses. Educate yourself on what types of illnesses are prevalent in the region you will be visiting and the best methods of prevention, ranging from immunizations prior to departure to behavioral adaptations upon arrival.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides details about travel abroad and recommended immunizations, as does the World Health Organization.

UNC students can access the UNC International Travel Clinic for immunizations. Faculty and staff should consult with UNC Department of Environment, Health and Safety, a family doctor, or a travel clinic such as Passport Health.

Additionally, take precaution to prevent accidents and injuries and consider following U.S. laws and regulations about safety on the road, such as wearing helmets to bike, and using latex gloves and safety gear during field work.

A dangerous and often overlooked risk when traveling abroad is road safety. This is true for people operating or riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle and for pedestrians. Helmets may not always be legally required, but they are always advised, as the injury and death statistics for the use of motorcycles and similar vehicles are significant. Also review any international driver’s license reciprocity rules, road security, rental vehicle policies, and the laws, rules and conditions of the road in the countries you will be traveling in.

Anyone can be a victim of crime at home or when traveling. Know how to prevent and respond to crimes occurring in another country. Prevention begins at home when you pack. Leave behind items that might make you a target of crime. Learn about local laws and customs. Avoid dangerous and politically charged areas. Have all of your documents in order, both with you and at home. Photocopy all personal identification cards, passport and credit cards and travel with one copy, leaving another at home. Make sure you have full travel insurance. In the event of an emergency while traveling abroad on University business, contact the UNC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at +1.919.962.8100.

Travelers should be aware of the laws and customs of the countries and regions to which they travel. What is considered discrimination in the U.S. may translate differently in other countries, where issues such as gender or sexual orientation may be viewed differently. Trip planners should make this part of travel orientation programs. Travelers should also conduct independent research on these issues. Additionally, individuals with disabilities should research how they will manage accessibility challenges in the country they are traveling to.

UNC-Chapel Hill students studying abroad seeking assistance with accessibility planning can contact either the Accessibility Resources and Service office or the Study Abroad Office.