Preparation for travel abroad

Traveling is a great opportunity to broaden your horizon, meet new cultures and friends, but is foremost an amazing experience. We want you to enjoy your trip and give you some tips and guidelines for travelling as part of your studies. Whether you go as part of a thesis, an exchange, you visit a summer school or meeting we wish you a pleasant stay.

Before travel

Permission and contract

Are you planning to travel abroad as part of your studies at Wageningen University & Research? You need to have permission from WUR for international travel. More information can be found here. You also need a thesis or internship contract that you have drawn up with your WUR supervisor.

The approval procedure may take some time, see the process diagram. Be sure you start with this well in advance! Do you travel without permission? Then your trip abroad is considered a private activity at your own risk and financial responsibility and you will not receive any credits.

For further information, please contact your course supervisor, your study adviser or your exchange coordinator.

Registration of your travel

It is important to register your stay in Osiris when you are planning to study abroad, because in case of emergency we know where you are and how to reach you for help.

After registering and filling out your contact information in Osiris you are covered by the collective travel insurance of WUR for the study related part of your foreign travels.

Register your travel details with the government

All Dutch students, EU students and Non-EU students with valid residence permits for the Netherlands must register at 24/7 BZ Informatie Service. This is to ensure the Dutch Embassy/Consulate in the country you are visiting is aware of your presence.

All other foreign students must register at their own Embassy/Consulate in the country they are visiting.

Install the 24/7 reisapp

You can find the app here.

Travelling

If you are planning on travelling for your study programme please check the checklist for entering or returning to the Netherlands from abroad.

Passport and Visa

International travel requires a valid passport (or ID card). If you already have one, check the expiration date and be sure that it will be valid for the duration of your travel and possibly beyond. Many countries require that your passport is valid for a number of months after leaving the country. If you do not have a passport, you must apply in person at a passport agency or a designated courthouse. This process takes about 6 weeks, so plan ahead! For VISA information, we refer to the website of the embassy in the Netherlands. http://www.visuminfo.nl/

OV-card

OV-card This is the Dutch student public transportation card. Remember to suspend your card during your semester abroad. The specific form can be downloaded from the DUO-IB-website and needs to be signed by SSC (service desk in Forum building), not at the Exchange Office. Remember to keep a copy of the form!

Insurance

Health insurance

Did you arrange your insurance for the trip? Are all activities covered by your insurance? Check with your current insurance company if your stay abroad is covered (note a difference between EU and global insurance). Ensure that the coverage of your insurance is clear to you.

Travel insurance

By registering, your trip that is part of your study is covered, but how about other activities or a holiday that is part of the trip?  

Who should you contact in case of emergency?

When you travel to green areas, you contact our regular insurance company. Students participating in internships and/or conducting thesis work abroad as part of their study programme at the university are covered by the collective travel insurance of Wageningen University & Research. The costs of this travel insurance are paid for by Wageningen University & Research. The travel insurance is in force as long as the travel duration is not longer than 365 days and the students are enrolled at WUR as students.

A health insurance policy (which everyone in the Netherlands is obliged to take out) also covers medical costs abroad as the standard. Most health insurance policies have global coverage, but it is best to contact your insurance about what your coverage entails. WUR's collective travel insurance is supplementary, for example, in case of repatriation or if your own health insurance does not cover certain things or the costs exceeds those covered by your own insurance.

When you need assistance during your trip, you can contact AIG Assistance +31 10 453 5656 (open 24/7).

The policy number for students is 60.19.8653.

Eigenaar polis: Wageningen University and Research

Important information and form:

- General terms and conditions

- Claim form for travel insurance

When you travel to areas that are yellow or orange, you contact ISOS. Call the Assistance Centre, which is available 24/7:

London +44 (0) 208 762 8008
Dubai +971 4 601 8777
Paris +33 (0)155 633 155
Philadelphia +1 215 942 8226
Singapore +65 6338 7800
Sydney +61 2 9372 2468

ICE (In Case of Emergency)

Where can you be reached in case of emergencies? Do you have an ICE-contact in the Netherlands that you can reach or we can call? Do you know where the local hospital and police station are?

Vaccination

Are you prepared for the situation abroad and do you know what the health consequences can be? Are there food born, air born or vector born diseases predominant in the area you visit? Do you need vaccination, prophylaxis or other medical preparations for your stay? A good place to start is the vaccination centre on campus.

Mandatory negative COVID-19 test result

When you are planning to travel abroad you need to check what the requirements are for testing for COVID-19 before arrival. You can find more information on this website.

Registration Municipality

You should remain registered in your municipality in The Netherlands if your time abroad does not exceed 10 months.

Culture shock

Culture

Culture is not limited to where you are from but can also be rules within a subgroup, a family or the city vs. rural area. What are the (often) unwritten rules? The culture - or let’s call them the unwritten rules – impacts study methods, class participation, social interactions, food habits, attitude to hierarchy, etcetera. Basically a lot of things that we do unconsciously because that it’s the way things work according to our brain. 

A metaphor for what it’s like when you interact with people from different cultures to your own is a card game. Imagine you invite someone to play the game and ask if they know the game. They do and you sit down to play. As you are playing you discover that you and the other person are not playing according to  the same the rules. What happens? Confusion, frustration, emotions, quitting, curiosity?

Learning to work together with people from a different culture is like playing a game with different rules. You will encounter this during your studies here. During your time in Wageningen you will study with people from different cultural, religious or social backgrounds that yourself.

Culture shock

Culture shock is the impact of moving from a familiar culture – from one where you know the rules - to one which is unfamiliar. A culture where you don’t know how to play the games of are not even aware that you don’t know the rules.

When you experience culture shock you go through a series of phases: the honeymoon phase, rejection phase, regression phase, recovery and adjustment phase. These phases are completely normal to experience. It is good to be aware of them beforehand and ask for help or find someone to listen to your feelings and concerns if you need to.

What does culture shock look like?

When you experience culture shock you go through a series of phases: the honeymoon phase, rejection phase, regression phase, recovery and adjustment phase. These phases are completely normal to experience. It is good to be aware of them beforehand and ask for help or find someone to listen to your feelings and concerns if you need to.

Phase 1: Honeymoon
You are in love with the place. You are excited about Wageningen, the Dutch, and can’t wait to get started. The university looks great, the bike rides are nice, the food is good, the locals are friendly. Your study is fantastic! It’s the best choice you ever made. You see similarities are everywhere and differences are fascinating. Your brain is stimulated by curiosity

Phase 2: Rejection
After a while you may wonder: What am I doing here? Life becomes hard and the differences you thought were fascinating, become annoying: Your study becomes harder, working in groups is difficult, your roommate is messy or doesn’t talk at all, biking in the rain is not fun. Everything seems weird.

Phase 3: Regression      
Home, sweet home. Why did I ever leave? You look for company of people with the same background. Everything about your home country was wonderful (at least that’s how you remember it). You experience home sickness.

Phase 4: Recovery
At-ease-at-last. In this phase you have accepted differences and feel more confident and relaxed. You are more familiar with new situations, in both your personal and educational life.

Phase 5: Adjustment
Fully adapted. You may have a positive attitude towards The Netherlands. You feel as though you have mastered living and studying here.

After graduation it is possible that you experience reverse culture shock if you return to your home country. When you leave Wageningen - for some that means leaving the Netherlands - and you arrive back in your home country you may find that without noticing it very much you have changed. The process of reverse culture shock starts. You have to readjust to the way of doing things and interacting in your home country. This takes time and after a while you feel that you can take all that you’ve learned during your studies here and adapt it to life in your home country.

What can you do when you experience culture shock?

It is important to remember that we are more similar than different. During your time abroad, make friends with local and international students. Be physically active and do activities with other people.

Please ask for help or advice if you need it. The university has student deans you can contact if you experience culture shock and/or home sickness.

During your stay abroad

Emergencies

In case of emergencies you can contact our insurance company, they will assist you 24/7 and know how to contact WUR if needed.

Green areas: you can contact AIG Assistance +31 10 453 5656 (open 24/7).

The policy number for students is 60.19.8653.

Eigenaar polis: Wageningen University and Research

Yellow or orange areas: you contact ISOS. Call the Assistance Centre, which is available 24/7:

London +44 (0) 208 762 8008
Dubai +971 4 601 8777
Paris +33 (0)155 633 155
Philadelphia +1 215 942 8226
Singapore +65 6338 7800
Sydney +61 2 9372 2468

Change of travel plans

Are there changes in your travel plans? Are you going to move to another place? Are you going to shorten or lengthen your stay? Make sure you also update this information in the system (Osiris). In case of emergency we can contact you.

Being a WUR-ambassador

You are a WUR ambassador! Remember you are representing Wageningen University while being abroad. Enjoy your time but also act responsible.