Graduate Travel Policies
Northwestern University cares about its graduate students, particularly when traveling internationally for university-sponsored activities. In order to provide the best service, graduate students are required to disclose their itinerary to the Office of Global Safety and Security. This information will be used to share health and safety resources, and allow OGSS to reach out to travelers in an emergency abroad. The type of disclosure required depends on whether you are traveling independently or with a group.
The Feinberg School of Medicine students and McGaw residents fall under different travel requirements. For more information review the FSM Policy on Education Programs in Countries with U.S. State Department Travel Advisories.
Graduate Travel Options and Their Related Requirements
Graduate students who travel independently and are funded in full or part by Northwestern. Independent travelers should discuss and receive approval for travel from your faculty supervisor as well as develop a communication plan for regular check-ins, particularly to locations of higher-risk. Consider also providing your faculty supervisor (as well as your emergency contacts) with a detailed itinerary (flight schedule, on-site accommodations plans and a list of local contacts) as well as a copy of the photo page of your passport.
Graduate student travel is considered group travel if a staff or faculty actively arranges, advices or accompanies student travelers on their trip abroad. Three or more students traveling on the same itinerary is considered a group. If your group is smaller or is traveling on different dates or routes, you are an independent traveler.
Requirements and Recommendations
Requirements and Recommendations
- Obtain Northwestern's GeoBlue health insurance. Refer to the FAQs if you are a citizen and of the country to which you are traveling. However, before enrollment, check with your trip leader, as often the sponsoring unit or department will enroll all travelers at once. (Required)
- The staff or faculty member organizing or leading the trip is responsible for completing a group disclosure form for your travel. Individual students on group trips do not need to submit a disclosure form.
- For graduate student groups traveling to countries with a U.S. DOS Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4, you will be asked to submit a disclosure form (unless the destination is your country of citizenship). (Required) Additional steps apply if visiting a country with an overall U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4, or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel. See section on higher-risk locations.
- Register your travel at no cost with the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so you can receive security alerts from a nearby embassy or consulate during your time abroad and family and friends can reach you in an emergency. (Recommended)
- Review any or all of our nine Pre-Departure PowToon modules for more advice on travel health, safety and security. The modules are between 2-6 minutes long. (Recommended)
- Download the "Pre-Departure Health & Safety Checklist” and “Emergency Cut-Out Card” (Recommended)