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Independent Travel

Indiana University wants you to have a successful experience overseas. Students who travel with organized programs have orientation meetings, handbooks, and other resources provided to them by their program providers. Those who plan to go abroad independently need to access similar resources to ensure a productive and safe experience.

Among the issues you need to consider are the following:

  • Documentation (passport, visa, student identification)
  • Travel (discounts, regulation)
  • Health Issues (health insurance, immunizations, check-ups)
  • Safety and Security (travel advisories, accident insurance, precautions)
  • Legal Issues (restrictions, laws)
  • Finances (banking, currency, credit cards)
  • Cultural Differences (culture shock, stereotypes, diversity)
Online Resources
Consult these recommended resources for information on the above topics:
Indiana University and Local Resources

Office of Overseas Study, Leo R. Dowling International Center, 111 South Jordan Avenue, IU Bloomington. Information about organized academic programs for undergraduates as well as volunteer, work, and internship opportunities abroad.

Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (OVPIA). Resources for international education (Click on “Programs and Centers” for links to area studies programs and language departments.)

See Student Independent Travel Safety Policy

  • Student Travel to Cuba. Students seeking to travel to Cuba for educational activities are required to carry letters on official university letterhead signed by a designated representative. OVPIA can provide such letters for those IU students who have appropriate support and permission for such travel.
  • For general information about obtaining permission for educational activities in Cuba, visit the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department and their guidelines for license applications

Learn about the area of the world where you’re headed by utilizing these resources prior to your departure.

Study abroad is like spring training for this century. It helps you develop the fundamentals, the teamwork, and the determination to succeed."

-Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State