International Travel Requirements and Resources

Review the information below to ensure you are following UNC international travel policy


UNC Travel Policies and Exceptions: Due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Carolina is prohibiting university-affiliated travel outside the state of North Carolina. Please see the UNC COVID-19 website, the Carolina Together Roadmap for Fall 2020 and the resources below for additional guidance and travel restrictions.

If you have any questions, please contact Naya Villarreal, Gillings Global Health Associate Director, at

Travel Tips and Resources

We have compiled resources to help prepare for your trip!

Health and Safety



  • 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.
    • For emergency evacuation and other 24/7 health insurance assistance, call GeoBlue collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at 800.257.4823, or email
    • In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call GeoBlue. Insurance coverage must be bought in advance of travel.
  • Safety advice from the UNC Study Abroad Office.

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

Ethical Photography

The above resources are to help with understanding how to appropriately respect the people and communities you are working with and meeting when documenting your experience for any purpose.

Taking photos with your smartphone

For those not taking a separate camera with them for their travels, learn how to take incredible photos with your smartphone!