Global Travel Toolkit

Barbara Muffoletto, master in public health student in health behavior, and the Curamericas Global team stop to visit the project partner community of Fulawahun, in Bo District, Sierra Leone.

UNC Gillings is a global school and many of our faculty, students and staff travel abroad. All faculty members, staff, and students are expected to complete all travel requirements BEFORE leaving the United States. The University has established travel policies to help protect members of the UNC community while traveling. These travel requirements pertain to all international travel related to UNC work, research, studies, practicums/internships.

Please review the pre-departure travel requirements below and other helpful travel information on:

  • Maintaining your health and security
  • Research ethics and cultural competence
  • Learn about your destination
  • Passport Information
  • Financial considerations
  • University policies

Pre-Departure Travel Requirements

Faculty and Staff Requirements

  • Register all international travel related to UNC work on the UNC Global Travel Registry. Please remember to mark your trip affiliation with the Gillings School of Global Public Health when registering your travel.
  • Must obtain Medical Evacuation Insurance from the UNC Office of Risk Management. Contact Janet Hoernke.
  • Review the UNC-Chapel Hill Travel Policy.

Student Requirements

  • Review the UNC-Chapel Hill Travel Policy.
  • Review the Study, Travel and Research in Countries under US State Department Warnings webpage to determine the risk level of the country you intend to travel to for academic purposes.
  • Complete an original, signed General Travel Waiver: Submit an original, signed general travel waiver (open pdf file) to the Gillings Global Gateway (104 Rosenau)
  • Register all international travel, including study abroad, exchange programs, internships, service programs and research projects through UNC Global Travel Registry. Please remember to mark your trip affiliation with the Gillings School of Global Public Health when registering your travel.
  • UNC students must obtain Medical Evacuation Insurance from the UNC Office of Risk Management. Contact Janet Hoernke.

Maintaining Your Health and Security

Health

Safety

  • Safety advice from the UNC Study Abroad Office
  • UNC Emergency Communications
    • Faculty, staff and students who experience an emergency while traveling abroad on University business should contact the UNC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at +1.919.962.8100.
    • Public Safety is first in the chain of response. Students should ask DPS to contact the Dean of Students on call to find the appropriate resources for assistance. DPS will assist faculty and staff with identifying a human resources administrator or Employee Assistance Program officer who can provide support.
    • A downloadable and printable Emergency Information Card is available.
    • For emergency evacuation and other 24/7 health insurance assistance, call HTH Worldwide collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at 800.257.4823, or email assist@hthworldwide.com.
    • In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call HTH Worldwide. Insurance coverage must be bought in advance of travel.

Research Ethics and Cultural Competence

Research Ethics

  • All UNC faculty, staff, and students participating in research involving human subjects or identifiable data from human subjects must complete IRB CITI Ethics training.
  • You must submit an IRB application and receive approval well in advance of your trip. Visit the website for the UNC Office of Human Research Ethics for more on IRB approval.

Cultural Competence

We encourage you to review the material found on these websites to help facilitate working effectively abroad. All students planning to go abroad should attend the GO! Global Orientation Initiative Workshop held annually in the spring semester.

Learn About Your Destination

  • The U.S. Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world. You will find the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, information about whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, localized hot spots and more.
  • We highly recommend registering your trip on the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Passport Information

    • Make sure your passport is valid. You can find more information on applying for a passport or renewing your passport here. Make sure to give yourself enough time to apply or renew your passport!
    • Each year, hundreds of Carolina community members obtain or renew a passport at the annual Passport Drive hosted by UNC Global.

Financial Considerations

Helpful financial advice to consider prior to departure.

Research to see what forms of payment (cash, debit and credit cards, and traveler’s checks) are accepted in your destination country and any other countries you may be traveling through (do not carry too much cash at one time):

Alert your bank and credit card companies when and where you will be traveling

  • Ask if they charge foreign transaction fees
  • Ask if you’ll need a PIN to make purchases abroad. If so, how many digits does the PIN need to be.

Exchange some cash to your destination’s local currency

  • Exchange money at a bank before you leave the U.S. or exchange in the airport prior to departure or when you arrive to have money for transportation, accommodations and food for the day of your arrival
  • OANDA Currency Converter allows you to print out a wallet sized Traveler’s Cheat-sheet to take on your trip.

Find out about Arrival and Departure Taxes and Currency Restrictions

  • Check on any arrival or departure taxes you may encounter
  • Check on any restrictions on how much currency you can enter and exit with

Adapted from Yale’s International Travel Toolkit

If you have any questions, please contact Naya Villarreal at nayavill@email.unc.edu or 919-843-5491.