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- Passports & Visas
- General Travel Advice
- Packing Tips
- Personal Finances
- Communications Abroad
- Health Coverage
- Safety Information
Students should make certain that their passports are up-to-date and valid for the required duration of the program dates. If you need to renew your passport, check with the U.S. Department of State Passport Agency to determine when you need to renew by.
U.S. Department of State Passport Agency
Greater New York Federal Building
376 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014-3621
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00am-3:00pm by appointment only
You can make an appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778
Students may need a study or visitor visa for certain countries. Student should check the consulate websites of the country or countries they will be visiting to determine whether they will need a visa.
Booking Your Flight(s) Online
Student make their own arrangements for travel to their host cities. Students sometimes choose to travel with other students in their program. Check out the following websites for finding flights:
Before Your Flight
- Check with your airline to determine baggage restrictions and size limits.
- Review TSA's website for tips on packing your carry-on luggage at tsa.gov.
- Place identification tags on all luggage, including your carry-on.
- Gather prescriptions for any medications you are currently taking and pack them in your carry-on. We recommend that you carry enough for the duration of your stay.
- Other necessities you should remember to include: contact lenses and solution, glasses, allergy medications, birth control, and other special over-the-counter medications.
Checking-in for your Flight
You can find out which terminal you're departing from 24 hours before departure and access gate information on the airline's website. We strongly suggest you be at the terminal at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure of your flight. Check-in closes one hour prior to departure and passengers arriving less than one hour prior to departure will not be accepted.
**Be advised: If you are booking connecting flights, allow for at least 3.5 hours between flights.
See below for detailed information about the airports in the New York/New Jersey area.
Important Items to Pack in Your Carry-On
- Your passport and appropriate visa, if required.
- Airline ticket = E-ticket confirmation
- Two photo copies of your passport, airline tickets, driver's license, and, if applicable, visa in case your original documents are stolen.
- A valid credit card and bank ATM card
- Two copies of your U.S. Health insurance and health insurance reimbursement forms (if applicable)
- Your FIT Pre-Departure booklet
- Cash in your destination country's currency
- Prescription medication
- Cell phone, charger, & adapter
Tips for Packing Your Checked Luggage
- Do not put a camera, cell phone, or computer in your checked baggage as it will be x-rayed. Carry it on the plane and let the inspectors know that you have these items with you.
- Put personal belonging in clear plastic bags and be sure you pack so that opened luggage can be checked quickly. Rolling your clothes is a big space saver!
- Pack shoes, sneakers and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
- Be aware of anything wrapped (including gifts) that may need to be opened for inspection.
Check the exchange rate in your host country before you go. See Oanda for recommended currency converter.
ATM/Debit Cards: Many banks will take your ATM card; however, it is recommended that you exchange about $300 before you travel. Make sure your bankcard allows you to withdraw funds from a foreign ATM and how much it will cost you per transaction.
In order to use international ATMs, ensure the following before leaving for your program:
- Make sure that your credit or debit card can be used abroad.
- Inquire about what fees and daily/monthly limits associated with international withdrawals.
- Notify your bank that you are going to be using your card overseas.
Credit Cards: Most credit cards charge a fee for foreign currency transactions. Check with your credit card company to confirm. Foreign purchases will be converted at the foreign exchange rate in effect at the time of processing the charge.
Using Cash: Cash is still the preferred payment method, especially when it involves small amounts. It's appreciated for payments made in taxis, smaller shops & cultural sites.
For safety purposes, FIT requires all students to have a functioning cell phone while studying abroad. Check with your cell phone provider to determine whether they offer service in your program's destination and anywhere else you plan to visit.
Be prepared to buy a cell phone when you arrive if you do not have an unlocked phone that can be used with a local SIM card. Don't forget an adapter for your phone charger!
Voltage varies from country to country, so be sure to find out what type of adapter you will need. It is recommended you insure your computer, check your insurance policy coverage for loss, and have your family keep a copy of your receipt and computer details.
All travelers should carefully review cdc.gov for an updated list of recommended vaccinations for any country you plan to visit. Although no vaccines or preventative medications may be required to enter the country, certain ones may be recommended.
In any country, it is always advisable to bring enough medication to last through the duration of your program. Some medications available in the U.S. may not be available in certain countries. Be sure to carry it with you rather than trusting it to checked luggage. It is always advisable to carry extra prescription sheets written by your doctor in case you need refills during your visit and to show at customs, if necessary.
It is NOT advisable to ship medication as customs can be very strict. See the US Embassy website of the country you are visiting for more information about restricted medications.
Primary Health Insurance: You must have comprehensive primary health coverage in the US. It is possible to waive the FIT Haylor student insurance using the standard waiver process, if you already have a U.S. based insurance policy with equal or better coverage.
To contact Haylor by email: [email protected]
To contact Haylor by phone: +1 866-535-0456
United Healthcare (UHC): You will have international health insurance and emergency assistance provided by
United Healthcare unless coverage is provided by the host institution. The cost of
your policy is billed to your FIT student account and the United Healthcare global
health and safety team is available for medical assistance 24/7/365.
You can review the UHC Study Abroad Insurance (.pdf) here.
To contact United Healthcare by email: [email protected]
To contact United Healthcare by phone: +1 888-714-6544
FIT is dedicated to ensuring equal access and support for all students. Be sure to review services available at our international partner institutions or speak to your program coordinator. Students can also avail themselves of FIT support services through the FIT-ABLE office.
- Use the same common sense you would use in a big city anywhere in the world.
- Be wary of people asking you for money or offering assistance. Pickpockets exist abroad, just like they do in New York City - your best defense is to be aware.
- It's always wise to carry any important documents (like your passport), credit cards, and most of your money in a travel security wallet or passport holder that can be worn under your clothing.
- When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and under its jurisdiction - NOT the protection of the U.S. Constitution. DO NOT participate in political demonstrations.
- You can be arrested overseas for actions that may be either legal or considered minor
infractions in the U.S. Be aware of what is considered criminal in the host country.
If you are arrested, FIT is NOT responsible for you and you must inform the U.S. Consulate.
See: Arrest or Detention Abroad for more info on legal issues abroad.
- Ask permission before taking photographs of police and military installations, government buildings, border areas and transportation facilities. In many countries, you can be harassed or detained for photographing such sites.
- DO NOT carry anything that can be construed as a weapon.
Planning for Possible Emergencies
During the mandatory pre-departure orientation, students should listen carefully to the presentation on Safety, Security, & Health Procedures and contact their host institutions and OIP immediately in case of emergency. Students should keep the emergency contacts lists handy at all times.
Step-by-Step Preparedness and Emergency Plan
Response Checklist and Incident-Specific Questions
Roles and Responsibilities for FIT Exchange and Study Abroad Programs
Roles and Responsibilities for FIT in Italy and Faculty-Led/International Field Study Programs
FIT requires all students to enroll in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Registration allows you to record information about your time abroad so the Dept. of State can assist you in case of emergency.
Students should also familiarize themselves with the U.S. Department of State resources for Students Abroad.