Prep & Planning

Prior to travel

Prior to travel, the most important items to complete related to your health, safety, and security are:

Travel Clinics

Family physicians typically do not have the necessary background to provide travel information. A travel clinic specialist is trained to consider your health history, current medications, and drug allergies in concurrence with your travel plans when recommending immunizations, vaccinations, and other medications.

  • Find a travel clinic and make appointments to complete any recommended immunization series. Call at least 3 months before departure, as some immunizations need to be started months in advance
  • Consult your U.S. health insurance provider to identify a travel clinic. This allows you to fully understand coverage, if any, for your time abroad.
  • Note: travel clinic treatments are often not covered in U.S. insurance plans.

Registration with the U.S. Embassy Abroad

American embassies around the world are staffed by U.S. citizens and foreign nationals that perform numerous functions to help American travelers in the following areas: passport replacement, legal advice, and registration of U.S. citizens. 

  • Study abroad participants are required to register themselves online with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 
  • UMD faculty-led short-term program participants will be registered by the UMD program coordinator. 

Registration at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (in the country you are visiting) makes your whereabouts known in case of an emergency. If a disaster were to occur while you are abroad, American consular officers can assist in an evacuation. 

U.S. Department of State Consular Information

The Department of State’s country information pages are available for every country of the world. They describe a country's:

  • entry requirements
  • currency regulations
  • unusual health conditions
  • crime and security situation
  • political disturbances
  • areas of instability
  • special information about driving and road conditions
  • Addresses and emergency telephone numbers for U.S. embassies and consulates

In general, these pages do not give advice. Instead, they describe conditions so travelers can make informed decisions. In some dangerous situations, the Department of State recommends that Americans defer travel to a country. In such a case, a Travel Advisory Level of 3 or 4 will be given for a country or specific region within a country. University policy requires that students traveling to countries or regions designated with a Travel Advisory of level 3 or 4 obtain International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) approval.

backpack on ground at train station