General Travel Protocols

In order to ensure awareness and facilitate risk management, travellers should follow the following protocols outlined on this page.

University Responsibilities

  • Pre-Departure Briefing/Resources
  • Travel Advisory Monitoring
  • Emergency Response

Student Responsibilities

Prior to travelling, it is recommended that travellers review the Government of Canada Web site for travel advisories as well as register with your foreign consulate/embassy. Canadian citizens should register with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

All students traveling on a Schulich-sponsored program must attend a pre-departure meeting, submit a waiver form, and submit an emergency contact form.

The following information will be outlined in more detail on this page:

  • Pre-Departure Research
  • Travel Documents
  • Travel/Health Insurance
  • Health & Wellness
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Safety, Risk & Responsibility
  • Accommodations
  • Financial Preparations

Pre-Departure Research

  • Travel Reports & Country Insights
    • Published by the Gov’t of Canada for travel warnings, country overview and insights
    • Be up to date on country reports and events
  • Read the Pre-Departure Guide
  • Browse Exchange Reports
  • Connect with other students going to or returned from your destination
  • Ask Cheryl or Tina for emails of students or come visit us with any questions
  • Travel Documents

    1. Passport
      • Expiry Date > 6 months
      • Enough blank pages remaining
      • Dual citizenship considerations (if applicable)
      • Never leave passport behind
    2. Invitation Letter from exchange university
    3. Visa if required by the country in which you will be studying
    4. International Student ID Card (ISIC)
    5. Permanent Residence Card or Temporary Resident Visa (if applicable)


Health Insurance
Provincial Health Insurance Plan (including OHIP)

OHIP: If outside of Ontario over 212 days contact OHIP to apply for an absence


University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

Keep as base plan so supplemental coverage is cheaper (contact York International to opt out)
Supplementary Health Insurance
You are strongly advised to purchase additional health insurance to cover expenses incurred outside of Canada

Purchase travel health insurance


Add additional insurance on credit card

(don’t assume it includes or provides adequate coverage)

Travel Insurance
You may want to purchase a travel insurance package to cover:

  • Flight cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Baggage/personal belongings

Be Prepared
Make 2 copies of travel & insurance documents

  • 1 copy (or email) with family member, friend or school
  • Carry a copy (separate from originals)

Call your insurance company before receiving care

  • Some services are not covered without prior approval
  • Make sure its an authorized service or provider
  • Have phone/connection numbers readily available

Health & Wellness

  1. Immunizations & Vaccinations
    • Required for certain countries
    • May need to be administered weeks in advance
  2. Prescriptions (enough for entire stay)
    • Bring copies of your eyeglass and drug prescriptions
  3. Travel Health Kit
  4. Medical Contact
  5. Water, Food & Sanitation
    • Drink filtered or bottled water & choose food wisely
    • Wash hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer
  6. Consult for a list of any additional travel medical requirements specific to your host country

Cultural Awareness

Immerse Yourself

  • Communication and language
  • Sense of self & space
  • Food & eating habits
  • Relationships
  • Values & norms
  • Beliefs & Attitudes
  • Dress & appearance
  • Work habits & practices
  • Time & time consciousness
  • Mental processes & learning
Coping Mechanisms

  • Stay in touch with family & friends at home
  • Make new friends in your new locations
  • Find the familiar (eat a pizza, listen to music)
  • Document your trip (photos, journal, blog)
  • Contact Schulich staff

Safety, Risk & Responsibility

  • Register with Foreign Affairs
  • Carry emergency contact info
    • Health insurance, emergency phone numbers
  • Keep up-to-date on current events
  • Know emergency procedures & notification systems
  • Notify family/friends when you travel
    • This can be as simple as updating your Facebook status


  • Establish a place to stay
  • May need to stay in a hotel for a few days
  • Provide address details to school, family and/or friends
  • Get a receipt for payment of rent
  • Financial Preparations

    • ATM & credit cards – 4 digit pin
    • Notify your bank & credit card company
    • Check for available scholarships for Canadians to study abroad
    • OSAP (see Anne Caulfield)
    • Get local currency for taxi/bus
      fare, food (not Traveller’s Cheques)
    • Check to see if there is a
      departure tax/airport service fee