Douglas College > Programs & Courses > International Programs and Exchanges > Study Abroad Guide > Pre-departure orientation
One of the most important parts of your educational journey abroad is preparation. In this section, we offer helpful hints and advice on how to make sure your travel experience is a great one.
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Travel & Accommodation
Every Douglas College student that travels internationally (regardless of the program) must submit the below documentation (electronically as a PDF) to Douglas College International before departure. Submitting the following information to Douglas College International, prior to departure, is mandatory (no exceptions):
Students are also required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation session to review important travel, safety and emergency information and procedures.
Before you leave Canada, check Government of Canada's Travel website for travel warnings and advisories. Also, register yourself with Travel Canada and make note of the phone number and address for the Canadian Embassy and Canadian Consulate in the country(ies) you are travelling to. This could prove valuable if you lose your passport, identification or find yourself in need of government assistance.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and for details on the Pre-Departure orientation session.
Your passport is your most important travel document – you need it to get into other countries and to get back into Canada. Don’t have one? Visit Passport Canada to find out how to apply (and more!).
Keep your passport safe! If it is lost, you’ll need to inform the local authorities as well as the closest Canadian Government Office abroad, but the worst thing is that you won’t be able to travel without it.
Here’s what we recommend:
You might also need a student visa, particularly if you’ll be away for longer than six months. Some countries want you to have a visa before you leave Canada, while others let you buy one once you enter their country. Basically, you’ll have to do a little research before you leave. Here’s what you need to figure out:
If you’re part of a field school you probably won’t need a student visa, although this isn’t always the case.
Visas will usually not be issued if your passport is within six months of expiring. Even if you have a valid passport, ensure it expires six months after you intend to return to Canada.
If you are taking valuables or expensive electronic equipment abroad, take the time to register these items with Canada customs before you leave so they are not subject to duty when you return.
More information about certificates, duty, and other border services and requirements are on the Canada Border Services website.
A few recommendations on personal documents while you are studying abroad: