International Studies & Programs

Before You Leave

If you're going abroad on university-affiliated international travel there are some important steps you should take to help you have a healthy and safe experience. If you have health, safety, or security-related questions, contact us.


Use this checklist to prepare for your international travel. You can also download and print this pre-departure checklist using the link below. The checklist includes a printable emergency wallet card.

  • Research your destination by reviewing the relevant U.S. Department of State Country Information Sheet and monitor local news and notices from the local U.S. Embassy.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students intending to travel to countries with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or high-risk designation from MSU, must submit a Travel Warning Waiver Request Form and receive approval from the Provost before traveling.
  • Complete a Pre-Trip Authorization Form, make sure it is signed by the appropriate authority, and submit to your department.
  • All travelers must register in the MSU Global Travel Registry.
  • Make sure your passport is current. The expiration date should be more than six months after the end of your trip.
  • Get the appropriate visa to enter your destination country. If you need a visa to return to the U.S., make sure yours is valid when you return.
  • Make two copies of all important documents being carried. Leave one copy at home and pack the second copy separate from originals.
  • Make a detailed copy of your itinerary and leave it at home and with your office.
  • Visit a travel health professional such as the MSU Travel Clinic or the Ingham County Health Department to review:
    • significant/chronic physical and mental health conditions or concerns
    • updating immunizations
    • prescriptions you may need to bring abroad
  • Print your GeoBlue international health insurance card and review your coverage on the GeoBlue website. (International health insurance coverage is only activated when travel is registered in the Travelers Abroad Database.)
  • Enroll in STEP – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. (Only available to U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy/consulate offers a similar service and should take steps to enroll.)
  • If you're transporting research materials, software, or data, review the export control regulations to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact MSU Export Control and Trade Sanctions.
  • Keep local and MSU emergency contact information on your person or in your mobile phone. You may print the In Case of Emergency wallet card.