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Travel Arrangements

Flight and Travel Insurance

Flight and travel insurance are not included as part of the program fee. It is up to your discretion to purchase flight or travel insurance.

When purchasing flight or travel insurance be sure to pay attention to exactly what it covers, the amount the insurance covers and the period of time.


Flight Arrangements 

Some programs will include the cost a group flight in the program fee of your program budget. Check your program’s budget to see if the cost of the flight is already included. If you have questions about these arrangements contact your EA Program Coordinator.

If your program fee does not include the cost of airfare, we highly recommend that you research the cost of airfare from the location you plan to start your journey. You are free to use any travel agency or airline, however we recommend that you at least check airfare prices with the preferred MSU travel agency STA Travel.

STA Travel specializes in discounted airfare, including an airfare deposit program that allows students to lock-in airfare with a small deposit and pay the balance just prior to departure.

  • One on one Travel Advising Sessions are offered twice a week in the EA Advising Center (check with the EA Advising Center for the specific times).
  • For more information visit their webpage

 Things to consider when purchasing flights

  1. When can I purchase tickets? You should only purchase flights once you have been officially accepted and confirmed to participate in an Education Abroad program. If you are personally unsure about your participation, you may want to wait to purchase your tickets. Keep in mind that prices may increase significantly if you wait to buy your tickets too close to departure. You also do not want to purchase your tickets too early because travel agencies and/or airlines have differing refund policies and you may not get any money back if you cancel.
  2. When am I expected to be in country? You are expected to be at the education abroad location the day the program begins and to remain for the duration of the program.
  3. Can I arrive in country early? If you arrive early, you need to make your own housing arrangements. If you are not on the group flight as planned, or if you do not check in on the first official day of the program, this will be considered an emergency and the emergency contact listed on your application will be contacted.
  4. May I have family/friends abroad with me? You may consider having a friend or family member accompany or visit you while abroad. Contact your Program Coordinator to discuss possible resources. Although Education Abroad staff can make recommendations, the university cannot provide administrative support or assume responsibility for non-participants.
    • Accompanying non-participants are not part of the program and therefore cannot attend classes, field trips, or any other activities formally associated with the program. If such individuals become disruptive to the program, it may be grounds for your dismissal.
    • I will be under 18 when I travel, will I need special documentation? Students who will be minors at the time of their program's departure may find that airlines and/or immigration officials might require minors traveling without their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to carry a letter giving them permission to travel abroad. You should inquire about the need for such a letter with the airline issuing their ticket and with the embassy or consular office of their country or countries of destination. EA strongly recommends that any student under the age of 18 at the time of travel carry a letter of permission (PDF).

Travel Permissions for Minors

Students who will be minors at the time of their program's departure should note that airlines and/or immigration officials might require minors traveling without their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to carry a letter giving them permission to travel abroad. Affected students should inquire about the need for such a letter with the airline issuing their ticket and with the embassy or consular office of their country or countries of destination. OSA strongly recommends that any student under the age of 18 at the time of travel carry a letter of permission (PDF).


Preparing for Interruptions and Delays

Some programs travel as a group, whereas other programs require students to meet at a certain location abroad - in the airport, in the residence, or in the classroom. Either way, prior to a U.S. departure it is important to monitor your email for schedule changes. Such messages will likely come from the program leader for students on group flights or from the airline directly for individually booked flights. If the group incurs delays upon return to the U.S., the program leader will provide students with schedule updates. Students are then expected to share these updates with concerned friends or family members.

For students traveling independently, monitoring flight status and informing OEA of any delays is their responsibility. OEA staff will do their best to inform host country representatives of any student delays.

Please keep in mind that MSU has no authority over airlines with regard to delays or cancelled flights. Students are encouraged to remain calm and follow the instructions provided by airline personnel and to prepare themselves for the stress involved with the uncertainty of travel delays/disruptions.

Related Costs

If students traveling on a group flight arranged by OEA and accompanied by MSU program leader(s) incur a flight delay or cancellation that requires overnight accommodations, accompanying MSU program leader(s) will secure accommodations for the group.

However, the majority of MSU-sponsored programs do not travel on group flights (arranged by the Office for Education Abroad); thus, the costs related to airline delays or cancellations are the responsibility of the student. Specifically, costs related to such airline delays or cancellations that occur prior to an MSU-sponsored program's official start date or after the program has concluded are the responsibility of the student (unless the entire program is traveling as a group). Once the program begins abroad, costs will be covered by the Office for Education Abroad until the conclusion of the program.

With this in mind, OEA recommends that students and leaders purchase travel insurance (this is not health insurance). The types vary but be sure to consider coverage for trip cancellation (check to verify if "acts of God" are covered) and lost/delayed luggage.

In the unlikely circumstance that MSU cancels a program due to extreme weather conditions or a natural disaster, the standard suspension policies apply.

For more information about weather-related travel delays, please consult the following resources:

Airport Security

In addition to X-raying cabin luggage, limiting carry-on liquids to three-ounce containers, and requiring the removal of one's shoes, belt, jackets, sweaters and other accessories in order to pass through security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that all air travel passengers go through a metal detector or a full body scan. Travelers who refuse or set-off the detector or scanner will be subjected to an enhanced pat-down. For more details about these procedures, please consult the TSA website entitled What to Know Before You Go.

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