Travel preparation checklist

Remember: you are responsible for your safety, and good preparation helps reduce risk when travelling

Here is some helpful information before you go abroad:

McGill requirements

Attend Pre-Departure Orientation, a mandatory and beneficial session where all McGill students who are heading off to globalize their education come together to learn, prepare, and meet their fellow world-travelers.

Complete your McGill Travel Registry. This travel registry will be created for you by a McGill administrator shortly after your activity has been approved. The form will ask for your passport number, visa information, travel and medical insurance details, and a travel itinerary.

In order for your Travel Registry to be considered complete, you must fill in your health insurance information, passport information, activity start and end dates, host contact information, and ACCEPT the terms and conditions. The travel registry will also include a Student Acceptance Form, Acknowledgment and Consent, which must be signed before travelling.

Have your courses and transfer credits approved by your faculty.

Sustainable travel

The McGill Office of Sustainability has designed resources specifically for McGill travelers to help you travel more sustainably and consciously. Make sure to check out the Sustainable Packing List and the Sustainable Travel Resource Guide to take the first step towards planning thoughtful, intentional, and respectful travel abroad! Learn how you can reduce some of the negative impacts from travel by following a series of best practices on the Transportation at McGill site.

Cultural preparation

Learn about the culture, laws, history, and news of your host country. Pay special attention to the Laws and Customs section of the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories.

Immigration requirements

Check how long your passport needs to be valid for the country you are visiting.

Contact the Embassy or Consulate of your host country to determine your specific visa requirements.

Obtain birth and/or citizenship certificates in case your passport needs to be replaced while abroad.

Register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service (or equivalent service in your home country).

Print and pack copies of the following documents:

•  Passport identification page
•  Travel documents (e.g. visa)
•  Identification cards
•  Insurance policy
•  Vaccination and immunization records
•  Emergency contacts

Email yourself a copy of the above documents.

Leave copies of the above documents with a contact person at home.


Purchase travel and medical insurance including:

• Emergency health coverage
• Emergency evacuation coverage
• Trip cancellation and interruption

Review your insurance policy coverage:

• For Canadian students with provincial and the SSMU, PGSS, or MCSS Supplemental Health Plan, check with both provincial and ASEQ ( to ensure coverage while abroad.

• For International students enrolled in the International Health Insurance plan, visit the International Student Services Health Insurance website for information about travel.

• For students covered under their own plans (parents, governmental organization, etc.), confirm coverage with the insurance provider.

• Don't forget to ask about policy exclusions and limitations related to:

• Personal health factors
• COVID-19
• Participation in political demonstrations
• Extreme sports and other risky activities
Travel advisories issued for the host country
• Other circumstances affecting the coverage

Health matters

Book an appointment at the Student Wellness Hub or a travel clinic well in advance.

• Vaccination and immunization

Fill prescriptions for entire trip.

• Store medication in original containers with labels
• Have prescription on you for verification

Pack a travel health kit:

• Over-the-counter medication
• Eyewear prescription
• Thermometer
• Seasonal and destination-specific supplies, e.g. sunscreen, insect repellant, water filter, and purification tablets

Familiarize yourself with any travel health warnings for the area. The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Travel Health Notices outline potential health risks to Canadian travellers and recommend ways to help reduce them.

Get advice regarding necessary health supplies to have on hand when travelling from the Government of Canada Travel Health Kit.

Money matters

Plan your budget including sufficient emergency funds.

Research your destination's banking system.

Bring sufficient cash including some foreign currency.

Inform your home bank of your travel plans before using credit and debit cards abroad. If required, sign a power of attorney so that a family member or close contact may have access to your bank information while you are away.

Emergency planning

Check your destination country insights on the Global Affairs Canada website.

If you are a Canadian citizen, register with Registration of Canadians Abroad, a free service to contact you in the event of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency back home. If you are not a Canadian citizen, register with your home country’s foreign affairs office.

Program the following numbers into your phone, carry a copy in your wallet, and email them to yourself:

• Telephone number for local police, ambulance, local hospital, and firefighters
• Local emergency number (e.g. 911 equivalent)
• Emergency number and email for the host institution
• Telephone number for the nearest Canadian Consulate and Emergency Services or, if not a Canadian citizen, your home country’s consular assistance number
International toll-free numbers for Canadian citizens
• McGill University Campus Security number +1-514-398-3000 (available 24/7)
Government of Canada Emergency Assistance contact information

Designate a contact at home who will:

• Have your trip itinerary
• Have copies of important travel documents and medical prescriptions
• Access emergency funds if necessary and transfer money abroad
• Answer collect calls at any time of the day
• Provide support during a crisis

Create an emergency plan:

• In case of a national security crisis
• In case of a medical emergency

Travel requirements

Check out Canada's Travel Toolkit for tips to prepare you for safe and enjoyable travel.

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