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Depart Smart for Canadian Students

Exchange Countries

  • Provide the IEC with contact information for a friend or relative we can contact in case of emergency.
  • Leave a copy of your important travel documents with the IEC and with your family.
  • Bring with you any travel handbooks or information given by the IEC. They often include important tips, advice and emergency contacts for the local Canadian Embassy.
  • Sign up for the Registration of Canadian’s Abroad service. 
  • Check in periodically with your IEC contact when traveling to let us know you are doing – we love to hear from you!



In Country / General Travel

  • Research as much about the country you are visiting, before you leave.
  • Prior to departure, familiarize yourself with the area you will be visiting by looking at maps etc.
  • Respect local culture, customs and dress habits. Adapt your dress accordingly and do not call attention to yourself due to inappropriate attire.
  • Travel in groups at all times and be safe.
  • Avoid giving out personal information to strangers.
  • At night, stay in well-lit areas and travel in groups.
  • Leave valuables at home.
  • Register expensive items with Thunder Bay Customs prior to departure.
  • Local SIM card


  • Make a second copy of all important and travel documents to be carried separately from the originals.
  • Leave a copy of your travel itinerary, passport, insurance and ID with someone at home.
  • Carry the emergency card and the address of where you are going on you as well as where you are staying.
  • Always carry a photocopy of your Passport.

Health Related

  • Ensure immunizations are up to date.
  • Attend a travel clinic at the Thunder Bay Health Unit to ensure you have any additional vaccinations or medications necessary for travel to your destination.


  • Inform your bank and any credit card company prior to departure of your trip (as your accounts may be frozen if you do not).
  • Carry minimal amounts of cash.
  • Use a bank machine inside a bank or building to withdraw cash.
  • Use a money belt for your passport and other important documents.
  • Do not pull out large amounts of money in public.


Essential Documents

  • Originals and photocopies of documents
  1. Passport
  2. Travel insurance card and claim form
  3. Personal identification (driver’s license, health card)
  • Credit card/Interact card

Items to Always Carry

  • Address of where you are staying (in English and in local language/script)
  • Emergency contact information
  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Health plan card
  • Credit card/debit card
  • Small amounts of cash in local currency
  • Water

Essential Basics

  • Appropriate luggage and locks to secure them
  • Camera/batteries/charger/memory stick
  • Mini sewing kit (to be kept in checked baggage)
  • Money belt (to carry documents and wallet)
  • Reading materials, playing cards (on board aircraft/downtime in country)
  • Address book (emergency contacts, personal contacts, mailing out of postcards)
  • Notepad/journal and pen
  • Sun screen
  • Mosquito repellent


  • Go to and pack a copy of Bon Voyage…and a copy of the Country Travel Report for your destination.
  • Carry a Canadian passport that is valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your anticipated return to Canada; keep a copy of the identification page separate from the original.
  • Leave copies of your passport identification page, itinerary and insurance policy with friends or family.
  • Obtain any required visas well in advance.
  • Arrange for supplemental travel health insurance.
  • Anticipate financial needs such as local currency and departure tax.
  • Take care of health needs: vaccinations, prescriptions, medical certificates, supplies, extra eyeglasses.
  • Check whether dual citizenship is an issue for you.
  • Sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
  • Carry an Emergency Contact Card with the coordinates of the nearest Canadian government office in your destination country.
Contact the International Education Centre for more information.