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Trip Planning Checklist

Travel Health

International Health Insurance
Country-Specific Health Information
Managing Health Conditions Abroad
  • If you have a current (pre-existing) physical or mental health condition, considering participating in GeoBlue's Pre-departure Program to communicate directly with an experienced healthcare professional before you go abroad to help manage your health and wellbeing abroad
  • If you are currently taking a prescription medication, find advice on traveling with medications
Medical Emergencies
  1. In a medical emergency, go directly to the nearest treating facility
  2. As soon as possible, contact GeoBlue at (610) 254-8771 and notify your on-site contact, trip leader or the NUPD at (847) 491-3456
Non-Emergency Health Needs Abroad
  • Use your GeoBlue app to schedule appointments with a healthcare provider in your travel destination; if you do not use a GeoBlue-networked physician, you will pay out-of-pocket, but can submit receipts for reimbursement
  • Alternatively, use Remote Care Services: Global TeleMD or Global Wellness Assist
  • It is not uncommon for students to experience emotional distress while abroad, perhaps even for the first time; visit Mental Health Abroad for advice 

Travel Safety & Security

International Travel Registry and Security Resources
  • All students on university-related travel abroad must register their trip in the Northwestern International Travel Registry; 
  • AlertTraveler (AT) is a subscription service that provides destination-specific intelligence and safety / security alerts to students and trip leaders who register trips in the travel registry
  • The U.S. Department of State Traveler's website provides a variety of travel safety resources, including country-specific Travel Advisories
  • Travelers can sign-up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP); STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. DOS to those who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country
  • Before traveling, look up the 911 Abroad equivalent for your destination documented by the U.S. Department of State 
Sexual Misconduct Abroad
Alcohol Safety
  • Consider how alcohol is consumed in the local culture -- ask trusted local residents for advice and understand that certain drinking behaviors may identify you as an outsider, making you a target for crime; if you choose to drink while abroad, do so with a trusted “buddy”
Road, Water and Fire Safety
  • ASIRT provides information about road conditions to make safe transportation choices
  • Swim with care, choose safe beaches, plan for emergencies and do not consume alcohol
  • Locate/test fire escapes, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your residence; purchase a portable smoke detector to take on your trip
International Students Traveling Outside the U.S.
  • Secure your travel signature and necessary documents to travel abroad and re-enter the States, otherwise, you may risk facing detention by Customs and Border Patrol; for additional advice, read the International Student & Scholar Services Travel webpage
Crime and Threat Deterrence


If you would like a PDF version of this checklist, contact Northwestern’s Office of Global Safety and Security at