Travel Abroad Tips & Advice


There are so many study abroad options to choose from.  For an enriched experience, students study abroad for a summer, a full semester or even a year. Students select from a broad range of honors-level courses that provide intellectual challenge and global awareness.  Study abroad programs must be at an accredited institution of higher education and offer courses for university credit that will transfer to a home campus.

Or better yet, Macaulay Global offers special immersive study abroad experiences specially tailored for Macaulay students.

Explore the following questions to begin narrowing down which program(s) would best fit your needs:

  • Are you interested in attending a CUNY program or outside of CUNY?
  • Are you looking for a short-term experience or a full semester program?
  • What region of the world would you like to visit?
  • Are you looking to apply these credits to your degree requirements or can they be elective credit?
  • What subjects interest you? Do you want to explore a new discipline?
  • Are you looking for language immersion?
  • Would you be more comfortable living in a dorm, homestay (with a host family), or hotel during your studies?
  • Can your health and dietary needs (if any) be met in the country you will visit?
  • Do the cultural experiences offered by the program excite you?
  • How much time will you have to explore the city/country on your own?

  • Apply for or renew your passport well in advance of your departure date. For US citizens, go to the US Passports & International Travel
  • Review the U.S Department of State for country information and travel warnings to regions you are considering visiting.
  • Many countries require a visa or tourist card – be sure to review the Entry, Exist & Visa requirements on the country information page.
  • US Citizens/Nationals enroll in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departing from the U.S. STEP provides the latest updates on travel warnings, travel alerts, and registers your trip with the nearest U.S Embassy or Consulate.
  • If you are purchasing your airfare on your own: your name on the ticket MUST match your name exactly as it appears on your passport.
  •  CUNY-GO Travel Registration: Students traveling individually or on a non-CUNY program must self-register using the appropriate (undergraduate or graduate) button. This registration requires proof of the required CISI insurance policy, so have your insurance confirmation email ready before logging in.

  • Speak with your physician about your travel plans and required vaccinations. Some medicines require you to take them before, during and after your travel abroad.
  • Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health. 
  • Review the CUNY Health and Safety information.
  • CUNY requires all students to purchase and enroll in Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) when traveling abroad. CUNY’s comprehensive coverage provides international health and travel insurance. Check with the CUNY host institution regarding CISI enrollment.
  • Inform the Program Director of any chronic or temporary illnesses. Bring a supply of daily medications you may need.

  • Research the currency used in the study abroad country by going to the worldatlas. You should also determine whether cash or credit is the primary method of payment.
  • Use a currency converter to determine how much your US dollars will be valued in different currency.
  • Consider exchanging some of your currency in NYC at: Currency Exchange International, Travelex, or Omnex Foreign exchange rates differ and the fees charged for exchanging money vary so choose the one that gives you the most for your money.
  • Explore the cheapest way for you to communicate while abroad. This could mean buying a phone card, SIM card, texting or emailing.
  • When arriving at your destination, remember to call, text or email your family and friends to let them know you have arrived safely.

  • Find out if you need a travel adapter or converter to use appliances or electronic devices abroad.
  • Make a list of your daily necessities (toothpaste, soap, etc.) from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Every day toiletries may not be available in the country you are visiting or may be sold at an inflated price.
  • Check the weather conditions for the area you will be traveling to so that you can pack the appropriate footwear and clothing,
  • Bring the familiar with you – pack snacks– energy bars, teas, or packets of your favorite coffee.
  • Research the cuisine available in the region you will be visiting. Be sure to pack (canned/dry) food if you have special dietary preferences not readily available in your travel city.
  • Review the airline baggage policies, restrictions, and fees (if any). Don’t get stuck with overweight bag fees.

  • Provide your family/friends with the location of your accommodations and emergency contact of the Program Director.
  • When possible never travel alone while abroad (especially at night!)– travel in pairs or groups. A lone traveler may be seen as more vulnerable than someone traveling with a buddy/group.
  • No matter what the legal drinking age avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while abroad remember you are serving as an ambassador of Macaulay, CUNY and the United States. Under the influence of alcohol you may behave in ways that are out of character and/or unintentionally end up in a situation that is health or safety risk.
  • Read the Title IX Guidelines When Abroad: A Student Guide
  • Read CUNY’s Drug and Alcohol Policy
  • You must submit a CUNY Travel Waiver for the following international activities:
    • Study Abroad
    • Internships/Research
    • Service
    • Academic Conferences
    • Honors Project Experiences
    • Professional Development Abroad