Service and volunteering abroad, international research, global internships, study abroad, and international conferences all have one thing in common—CUNY students who participate in them, whether individually or as part of a group program or trip, and whether for credit or not, must follow the CUNY International Travel Guidelines.
Students traveling in a CUNY group should consult the office in charge of their program or trip on how to fulfill these requirements. Students planning individual travel or participating in a non-CUNY program should follow the directions below to purchase comprehensive travel insurance and to register their travel with CUNY-GO.
International Travel Insurance
If you are participating in a study or other (including non-credit) program or trip abroad organized by a CUNY college or school, you must be covered by the CUNY comprehensive travel insurance policy through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). In many cases you will be enrolled automatically by the program you are participating in; follow directions from your study abroad office (or from the student affairs office if your trip is through a club).
If your program does not enroll you on your behalf or you are enrolling directly in a non-CUNY program or traveling on your own, you should purchase travel insurance under the CUNY plan here; please contact the Study Abroad Office at your college or school for the appropriate code. This ensures that you will receive the special CUNY rate and adequate coverage.
This requirement applies even if your program requires another policy. In general, other policies do not include the scope of coverage as CUNY’s plan, and the cost for CUNY students is extremely low—currently $11.50 per week and $42.58 per month.
CUNY-GO Travel Registration
Students traveling individually or on a non-CUNY program must self-register using the appropriate button below. This registration requires proof of the required CISI insurance policy, so have your insurance confirmation email ready before logging in.
If you are participating in a non-CUNY program (not listed in the search engine) or other experience abroad with a connection to your CUNY education (including direct enrollments in non-CUNY programs, research and internships abroad), it is your responsibility to obtain the required travel insurance and to fill out the CUNY-GO Travel Registration (use the appropriate button above).
Passports and Visas
You can never apply too early for a passport. It can take eight weeks to have your passport processed, so the sooner you apply, the better. Information on applying for and renewing your passport is available here. If you have a passport, make sure it is valid for at least six months after your program ends.
If you are traveling to a country that requires a visa, you will need to have your passport before you can apply for the visa. If you need a visa, your study abroad program will send you information on how to apply for it. Visa processing times vary from country to country and consulate to consulate, so advance planning is imperative. With some countries, non-U.S. citizens will need to plan well in advance to ensure enough time to obtain a visa.
Non-U.S. citizen should be aware of recent changes to U.S. federal immigration policies before traveling abroad. See here to learn more about these changes and find useful resources.
A pre-departure orientation is required for students studying abroad. You will learn how to prepare to travel and study abroad. You will learn about local customs and currency and be given advice about what to pack for your trip and how to stay safe while you are abroad. This is also your opportunity to have your questions answered.
Health and Safety
Find out information about the country you are studying in by visiting the U.S. State Department Website. This site also posts travel warnings issued by the government, as well as public announcements and consular information sheets. If you are traveling on a non-CUNY program, be sure to report your travel to your home college or school Study Abroad Office, enroll in the CUNY comprehensive travel insurance plan (see above). In addition to these required steps, we also recommend that U.S. citizens and nationals sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which gives you access to updates and support in emergencies from the nearest consulate or embassy while you are traveling.
You should be familiar with the immunizations required and suggested for the area in which you plan to travel, and whether there are any CDC Travel Warnings, Alerts or Watches you should be aware of.
If you are traveling to a country affected by Zika, please review these recommendations and bring any questions to your pre-departure orientation.
You may be asked to complete a medical exam before you leave to verify you are healthy enough to travel abroad. If you have any special health concerns, it is recommended that you confidentially disclose them to the program administrators so that they can assist you in case of emergency.
CUNY’s International Travel Guidelines are a resource to assist faculty and staff in the review and approval requirements and in the planning and preparing for health and safety issues that may arise in the context of students participating in domestic and international travel programs. Please check for updates and contact us with any questions.
CUNY’s Understanding Title IX Guidelines When Abroad: A Student Guide should be distributed to all students going on academic, co-curricular and extracurricular trips abroad. Students embarking on independent travel abroad connected to their CUNY education but outside of CUNY auspices are also strongly encouraged to review this document.