Many students and faculty will be going abroad for
the very first time. Even for the more frequent
international the following guidelines and checklist can
be a handy reference for your trip.
The first thing you need after being accepted into a
program is a Visa for your destination location. The
following Visa applications require the following
- Bank Statement: Your Bank Statement should reflect
that you'll be able to support yourself for the duration
of the trip.
- Account maintenance certificate: The account
maintenance certificate reflects that the account you've
mentioned in the Bank statement is active and under your
control for the trip.
- Flight Itinerary: A tentative schedule detailing your
flights and places of stay is required to determine your
- Invitation Letter from your Hosts at destination city:
The fundamental document for your Visa application in
the invitation letter detailing the program and event
With the increased awareness regarding international
terrorism, security practices are being revised across
the world every year. It is essential to study the
travelers' policies for your particular country of
destination. However, a list of international rules and
checklists is given below:
o Travel Alerts. Be aware of any security concerns
regarding Pakistani Citizens in your country of
destination. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists its
missions across the world on their website <
http://www.mofa.gov.pk/>. You may contact the local
Pakistan Embassy or foreign office in your country of
destination for guidelines on your particular
o As inquired by all airport security across the world,
please make sure you are fully aware of all the items in
your baggage, you have packed your luggage yourself and
that you are not carrying ANY package, item, container,
envelope, the contents of which, you are unaware of.
o It is advisable that your Luggage have a security lock
to ensure no one tampers with it during transport.
o Avoid packing even the simplest flammable liquids such
as cigarette lighters or aerosol cans in your carry-on
for it is better to be safe than to be held back
unnecessarily in a security queue.
o Avoid packing any unusually shaped containers and
metal boxes within your luggage. This might be a box of
biscuits or a jewelry-box. The reason is that they
appear as suspicious items under the x-ray machines.
o In general, the idea is to be vigilant regarding your
luggage, electronics and clothing.
Make sure all your necessary travel documents properly
organized in your carry-on luggage. This would include:
(but not be limited to)
- Your passport along with the visa of your destination
country. Your passport validity should be more than six
months for the duration of your visit.
- Some countries offer on arrival visa to Pakistani
citizens it is imperative that you are aware of the
terms and conditions of those countries before you
arrange your travel.
- Many countries now require a polio vaccination
certificate for Travel from Pakistan.
- Copies of your Sponsor letter which may be required at
all your stop-overs.
- Proof and details of your place of stay in your
- Look up the monetary conversion before you go. Make
sure you do your math before you travel to get a sense
of where the conversion rate is at.
- Make sure your credit card will work in the country
you're visiting. European banks have switched almost
completely to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology,
and fewer businesses abroad are accepting the outdated
- Go to a bank or ATM in the country you're visiting for
currency conversion. You won't get charged as many fees
at the ATM or the bank, and the conversion will be
- Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit
cards. Especially important places like trains or buses.
- Call your bank or credit card provider. Sometimes
banks think that fraud maybe occurring if transactions
are suddenly happening in Toronto when you're from
Karachi, and they will turn off your card as a security
- Check the country's entrance/exit fees. Some countries
require travelers to pay in order to enter or leave the
country. These fees are not included in the price of
your airline ticket, and can range from $25 to $200.
While it's obvious most people know how to pack a
suitcase following are some handy tips that just might
increase your packing efficiency:
- Roll, don't fold. Tightly rolled clothes take up less
space than folded ones.
- Make a packing list. Creating a packing list is a
fail-safe way to ensure that you never, ever forget to
bring something important.
- Know your airline's baggage-fee policy
- If it's two-in-one, it's one less thing to pack.
Dual-purpose items, such as pants that turn into shorts
or a jacket that turns into a travel pillow.
- Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on bag.
Don't be one of those travelers stuck in very
uncomfortable clothes because the airline lost your
luggage and you have nothing else to wear.
- Each airline has its own set of guidelines as to how
many bags can be checked or carried on for free. Make
sure to look up what your airline's rules are to avoid
any incremental fees.
- Bring snacks. Traveling abroad is fun, but eating in a
foreign country can sometimes become a task. Bring small
snacks that will tide you over until you find that
perfect restaurant or food cart.
During travel it is essential to be prepared for
emergencies. For this purpose it is advisable to be
aware of the emergency numbers in your particular
- For most of North and Central American countries 911
is the default emergency service number. In the European
Union 112 is the emergency service number. Other numbers
are also available on most country tourism websites or
can be available from the sponsor/host organization.
- As citizens of Pakistan, your nearest embassy can be
your most valuable source for help in case of loss of
documents or need of legal counsel. You can use the
to identify the numbers and location of the embassy
nearest to your destination.