Travel Tips

Most UNA students participating in Study Abroad programs travel in a group with the Faculty Director. As many are traveling abroad for the first time, general information is provided below:


Most airlines operating international flights allow you to check through two pieces of luggage with very strict size and weight restrictions. Check your airline's luggage policies to avoid hefty fees.

Mark all luggage, inside and out, with your name and address. If you have an itinerary, put a copy inside each bag. Keep an inventory of each bag and carry the list with your other documents. Mark your bags in some distinctive way, such as colored duct tape or ribbon, so they are easily found. Try to travel light; it’s safer and easier!


Plan to arrive and check-in for the international flight one hour early. Even though you may not have a direct flight from Huntsville and be connecting through a major hub city, allow the full hour. Schedule your initial flight to arrive in the morning or early afternoon to give yourself enough time to get through customs, find food and accommodations, and/or get to your final destination before businesses close down for the day.

Pay attention to the location of your passport and visa documents. Put them away immediately after going through customs and immigration. Be prepared to pay for visas and other fees. Read all posted signs at the border crossings. Some border crossings require proof of vaccinations.

Get the address of your destination before you leave the U.S. in case you get separated from the group or the contact person doesn't meet you at the airport. Get a taxi or van service from the official airport fleet.

Airports, bus and train stations are notorious for pickpockets and scam artists. Be alert, and be firm. Do not let anyone you do not know carry your luggage for you and do not carry things for others, especially through border areas. Do not carry anything considered illegal in the countries you are visiting. Check the customs regulations prior to departure by contacting the appropriate consulate or embassy external link.

Jet lag

When you arrive at your study abroad location, your body clock will be automatically out of sync with the local cycle because of the time difference. It will take your body a few days to adjust (some bodies take longer than others), during which time you can expect to feel quite tired and run down. This fatigue, in conjunction with the strange surroundings, customs and language, may produce a temporary sense of depression and “homesickness.” Be prepared for that during the first couple of days: it is a perfectly normal reaction. Generally, it takes about one day for every hour of time change for your body to fully acclimate itself to a new sleeping and eating schedule.