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Message on Travel and Spring Break Trips

Dear Members of the Northwestern Community,

Northwestern University continues to monitor the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and has convened a group of senior administrators to manage and lead the University’s response to this outbreak, which has now spread to more than 40 countries.

After careful consideration, Northwestern is canceling all University-sponsored Spring Break trips to international destinations involving undergraduate and graduate/professional school students, due to multiple factors associated with the spread of COVID-19 here and abroad. This was a difficult decision made in consultation with numerous campus stakeholders. Students will receive specific guidance on next steps from their trip leader or their unit or department sponsor.

For faculty and staff, at this time we would prefer employees defer any nonessential international travel; please seek approval from your unit or school vice president or dean if global travel is deemed essential. Northwestern employees are reminded to register with GeoBlue to obtain international medical insurance coverage at no cost.

At this time, University-related travel to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea is prohibited based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State. Travelers also should review and follow the CDC’s guidance and updates on the outbreak for more information.

This website will continue to be updated with the latest messages, advisories and information about COVID-19 for our students, faculty, staff, parents and others interested in the University’s response.   

Northwestern is in contact with students who are currently abroad to provide them with information and support. A number of undergraduate students will be completing their course of study soon. Any community member who is returning from a location that may have been impacted by COVID-19 and is worried about their health status, should follow these recommendations:

  • Students should call Northwestern University Health Service at 847-491-8100
  • Faculty, staff or other community members should contact their health care provider or pursue care at an urgent care center

Employees who are concerned about a symptomatic colleague or who have additional questions should contact their direct supervisor or the Office of Human Resources at Concerns about a student can also be directed to NUHS.

As a reminder, all members of our community should be free from discrimination, and Northwestern intends to uphold our values. If any member of the community feels they have been treated unfairly because of their country of origin or where they have traveled, please reach out to the Office of Equity to discuss your concerns. 

Northwestern is committed to providing timely updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 to our community. We are in the process of evaluating large campus events on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for your partnership as we all try to keep our community safe and healthy during this global challenge.



Morton Schapiro
President and Professor

Craig Johnson
Senior Vice President for Business and Finance

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs