Helpful tips and tools as you prepare for your trip.
Passports, Visas, and Embassies
Your passport will be the most important document you will have throughout your time abroad. Keep track of it at all times and ensure that you leave it in a safe place when you are not carrying it around with you. Before you leave, make sure that it is valid for at least six months after your return date or longer if you plan to go on the International Studies Program trip after IBEX.
Your passport will also contain the visa that allows you to stay at your destination for the time of your studies. Each country has different policies regarding visas, so make sure that you know the rules for yours. If you intend to travel to other countries while abroad, do some research to determine which countries you can or cannot enter without an additional visa. For example, in most cases, if you are studying in Paris on a Schengen Visa, you would be able to travel throughout the European Union countries without an additional visa.
If you are a U.S. citizen, please see the U.S. Department of State website if you have any questions regarding visas and passports. If you are an international student, please contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All NYU students are welcome to contact the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) for assistance.
If, while you are abroad, you have any issues regarding your passport (for example, if it is lost or stolen), visas, or other legal matters, you can always contact your national embassy or one of its consulates. These are present in the countries you will be visiting and can assist you in an emergency. Make sure you know where the closest one to you is located and how to contact them.
Health, Travel Safety, and Other Logistics
Neglecting your health has the potential to impact your experience abroad negatively. Follow through with any plans you make with doctors at home, get enough sleep and exercise, eat nutritiously and avoid risky behavior. Also, pay attention to your emotional needs, as studying abroad can create feelings of loneliness and homesickness. In addition, familiarize yourself with conditions at your destination that could affect your health, and make sure you take advantage of all available immunization shots before your departure. If you are currently taking medication, bring enough to cover your entire time abroad and paper prescriptions from personal doctors if this isn't possible. All students going on IBEX are also automatically enrolled in supplemental insurance with GeoBlue that provides easier access to medical and mental health services and protection while abroad.
Always be aware of local laws and local emergency numbers. It is also a good idea for you to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and to monitor travel warnings. Also, always let someone know where you are and will be. Make copies of all your important documents (passport, visas, credit card, etc.) and leave a copy at home as well as on your phone and computer. As you travel, don't leave precious or essential things in your suitcase; either have them on you at all times or don't bring them abroad.
NYU Traveler is a web-based portal backed by a traveler safety service (WorldCue) for all NYU community members to either book their NYU travel or register the travel plans they booked elsewhere. Once travel plans are registered with WorldCue, travelers can are aware of timely information about their destination. Additionally, NYU will have information that would enable the university to assist travelers who encounter difficulties or need to be evacuated in an emergency situation. Students traveling on IBEX will be automatically registered on NYU Traveler for their host university's destination, but students should register their individual travel plans to and from the host country as well as any additional travels they might undertake while abroad.
Improving your safety and keeping you informed, the Safe NYU App is New York University's free mobile campus safety app, developed by the Department of Public Safety and its Public Safety Operations division. Providing safety information for more than 190 countries on six continents, the Safe NYU app goes where you go, offering preparedness tips, transportation information, and emergency numbers at the tap of an icon. Available for iOS and Android, the app also includes links to support resources including victim assistance, the wellness exchange, and the bias response line.
Safe NYU App
While abroad, you may experience what is called ‘Culture Shock,' a term used to describe the range of reactions many people experience when they move to a completely new environment. It can be caused by differences in language, climate, religion, food, customs, or educational systems, as well as differences in how people make their decisions, spend their time, resolve conflicts, or express feelings. It can even be caused by different interpretations of body language such as gestures and facial expressions.
Some common symptoms of culture shock include homesickness, compulsive or lack of eating, withdrawal, boredom, feeling isolated, getting too much or too little sleep, stereotyping and hostility toward locals, or psychosomatic illnesses (physical illness caused by internal conflict or stress).
Most people experience at least a small amount of culture shock, and fortunately, there are many ways to cope with it. The most important tool in dealing with culture shock is to always keep oneself informed. Try to learn as much as possible about the culture and common phrases before you go, and be open to differences. Don't judge or negatively compare the differences between the culture of the country in which you are studying and your own, maintain realistic expectations and keep a sense of humor. Finally, though it may help to bring with you small objects that remind you of home, it is important to resist the temptation to over-connect with people back home. Establish a communication routine with your friends and family that doesn't prevent you from fully immersing yourself abroad.
You might find NYU's Global Notebook and the Global Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, and Equity resources helpful in understanding student experiences.
Useful Tools and Resources for Travel
- World Trade Resource: Once you log into NYUHome, you can find World Trade Resource on the “NYU Life” tab. Click on World Trade Resource to get data on what different regions are like around the world, including all the details on orienting yourself to New York City.
- NYU Outbound from NYC: Access useful tips and directives for NYU students who wish to travel abroad.
- U.S State Department Travel: Review Important information on travel logistics for American citizens.