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Things To Do Before Leaving the U.S.


  • Contact your credit card company and bank to find out about fees for overseas purchases, cash advances, and ATM withdrawals.
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of the dates of your trip so your cards are not turned off due to theft alert.
  • Bring a 24-hour emergency number for your bank in the event that you need to contact them about a lost or stolen card.
  • Make sure your ATM card will not expire during your time abroad. If needed, request a new card early.


  • Consult the CDC’s country specific page to read about common diseases and other health risks. Do this before visiting your doctor in order to discuss those issues with him/her.
  • Visit your doctor and complete all CLS Program required Medical Forms on the Accepted Student Portal.
  • Make sure you have an eight-week supply of your prescription medications in their original packaging.
  • Discuss which over-the-counter medications may be useful to take with you in case you have a minor illness in country.
  • Discuss any physical, mental, or emotional issues that may need special attention while abroad.
  • Make a plan for staying healthy while overseas.
  • Make sure your immunizations are up to date. Talk with your doctor about recommended vaccinations.
  • A special note to women travelers: If you have been prescribed birth control, make sure you have an eight-week supply of the medication you have been prescribed as birth control brands vary greatly or may not be available at all.
  • Visit your dentist.
  • When packing medication, put it in your carry-on bag in its original packaging and bring a copy of the prescription.
  • Check with your health insurance provider about coverage while you are overseas.
  • Familiarize yourself with ASPE health benefits.
  • After receiving your CLS flight information, call the airline to arrange a special meal if you are vegetarian or if you have special dietary needs.


  • Arrange for payment of any outstanding financial matters (for instance, student loan payments or paying rent) while you are abroad.
  • Research Skype, long-distance phone plans, email, apps or phone cards that will allow you to stay in contact with your friends and family.

Downloadable Packing List

Download a full list of suggestions on what to pack.