Each student will be responsible for their own international travel arrangements, unless the program provider or online brochure of the specific to the program states otherwise. Students should not book their flight until they have received approval from the Office of Education Abroad and acceptance into the program, as well as notification of their official arrival and departure dates.
The Office of Education Abroad cannot recommend specific airlines, travel agencies, or flight itineraries, but hopes that students find this page helpful as they prepare for their international travel.
Tips for booking international flights:
- Typically, when you book a flight, each leg of the journey is booked within the same itinerary, it is not recommended to book separate tickets as it can be more difficult to rearrange travel in the event of flight cancellations, delays, or missed connections.
- When researching flights, ensure layovers allow enough time to get off a plane and get from one gate to another to board a connecting flight, especially in the event of any delays or cancellations.
- Students who are considering arriving before the start of the program, or staying after the program ends will need to consider potential restrictions on their immigration status in the host country before booking a flight.
- Some students may choose to purchase a one-way ticket to their host country and then purchase their return flight later. However, some countries may require proof of a roundtrip or onward ticket in order to enter the country, without which students may be denied entry. It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not they are able to enter the host country on a one-way ticket by visiting the website of and/or communicating with the host country's embassy.
The OEA highly recommends that students purchase travel insurance (also known as cancellation insurance) when booking their flight in case personal or global circumstances prevent their participation in the program. The cost of travel insurance and policy inclusions will vary depending on the flight and airline.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the only internationally recognized proof of full-time student status issued in over 130 countries. This card allows students to prove their student status worldwide, as well as gain access to over 150,000 discounts and benefits. All cards issued in the U.S. come with international travel insurance that covers students during their travels. For further information on the insurance coverage and claims, visit the ISIC USA website. UNC Charlotte students are not required to purchase the ISIC, but are encouraged to do so. ISICs can be purchased through the Office of Education Abroad.
To purchase an ISIC, please complete the following steps:
- Fill out the ISIC form here
- Submit a payment in the amount of $25.00
- Once the Office of Education Abroad receives your completed ISIC form and your payment, OEA will then submit your information to the ISIC organization for processing. Within 1-3 business days you will receive an email from ISIC prompting you to upload a digital, passport-style ID photo. You should then expect to receive your ISIC in the mail at the address you provided in your ISIC form within 10-15 business days after you upload your photo.
It is recommended that students order an ISIC card at least 4 weeks prior to their departure date.
The following resources may be helpful while preparing for international travel. Upon receiving approval from the OEA to go abroad, students will have access to detailed resources within their Pre-Departure modules.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Determine whether or not any vaccinations are required or recommended based on the host country
- U.S. Department of State's Students Abroad
- TSA Regulations
- TSA Travel Tips
- STA Travel - may offer discounts on travel to students and also have a "Book Now, Pay Later" option that allow students to put down a deposit on a flight reservation and submit payment in full later
- Student Universe - may offer discounts on travel, hotels & tours.