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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. The checklist includes a printable emergency wallet card.

  • Research your destination by reviewing the relevant U.S. Department of State Country Information and monitor local news and notices from the local U.S. Embassy.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students intending to travel to high-risk designation, must submit a Student Travel 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
  • Locate your International SOS MSU membership number (email us at oihs(at) if you have registered your trip in the MSU Global Travel Registry and do not have the International SOS MSU membership number). International health insurance coverage is only activated when travel is registered in the MSU Global Travel Registry.
  • Download the free International SOS Assistance App from
  • Program the International SOS 24/7 Assistance Line into your phone: 1-215-942-8478
  • 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.
  • Review international health insurance coverage details and information on using International SOS medical and security assistance pre-departure and while abroad.
  • Keep local and MSU emergency assistance contact information on your person or in your mobile phone.