1. Departments and Offices
Student Pre-Departure Checklist

Student Pre-Departure Checklist

The following pre-departure checklist will assist Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai students in making the appropriate arrangements regarding health, documentation, safety, information technology, and finances, helping to ensure their safe travel outside the United States.

It is required that you register your trip with International SOS prior to departure.

  • Prior to travel, ensure that your Mount Sinai VPN and all Mount Sinai devices are backed up and encrypted. DTP Academic Informatics and Technology provides these additional tips for protecting your mobile phones, laptops, and data while traveling.
  • Safeguard your data and electronic devices before you travel by minimizing the confidential data on the devices you bring, especially in high-risk countries such as China and Russia. Border and Customs agents may demand access to your devices before allowing entry into the country.
  • Be cognizant of your privacy settings on social media. You may want to turn off location services on certain apps and sites as well as change the privacy settings to be more private while you are abroad.
  • Schedule your travel health visit at least four to six weeks before departure to get any recommended immunizations or medications (e.g., malaria prophylaxis).
  • Review the CDC’s Travelers' Health website for country-specific information.
  • Contact the embassy of your destination to determine the legality of any medications (prescription and over-the-counter) that you plan to bring or obtain abroad.
  • Keep medications in their original containers and bring them with you in your carry-on luggage.
  • Review safety and security information regarding your destination of travel, which can be found on the ISOS Membership Portal.
  • Download the International SOS app to receive alerts. For the app to fully function, you need to use its location services. Use the app or the International SOS website to review its country guides for places you’ll be visiting, focusing on the overview and security tabs of the country guide.
  • Review the U.S. State Department travel information regarding your destination, including any advisories.
  • If you are an American citizen, register your trip on the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If not, you can register with your home country’s equivalent service (if one exists).
  • Carry a cell phone with international coverage.
  • Make sure your passport will be valid for at least six months after you return home, and that it has at least two blank pages.
  • Determine if you need a visa, and ensure you obtain the correct type of visa based on your trip purpose. Students are responsible for submitting their own visa applications well in advance of departure, and for collecting invitation letters or other supporting documentation, as required. Visa processing companies such as CIBT can help you obtain proper travel documents for your planned destination.
  • Make two copies of your passport identification page and any visas. Keep one copy in your baggage (separate from the originals) and leave a second copy at home with a family member or trusted friend. You can also scan your passport and email yourself a copy of it, so you will always have access to a digital version.
  • If you are in the United States on a visa, inform the Office of International Personnel of your proposed travel plan and confirm that you are eligible for travel. Remain cognizant of global events, as they may affect your ability to reenter the United States.
  • Contact your bank and credit card companies to alert them that you are traveling.
  • Check which credit card and ATM network (Mastercard/Maestro, Visa/Plus, Discover/JCB/UnionPay) are common in the country where you will be traveling.
  • Clean out your wallet and take only necessary items. Also carry a “throwaway wallet” with a small amount of cash, which you can give away if robbed.

Before you begin your travels, you should research country-specific safety information about your destination, using resources including:

Pay particular attention to health needs, safety and environmental risks, and security recommendations.

Prepare for cultural differences by being aware of specific expectations such as dress, behavior, business etiquette, and gender roles.