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Faculty/Staff Checklist

This checklist is designed to guide faculty and staff who are leading or organizing group trips abroad and includes instructions on enrolling the trip in Northwestern’s international travel registry, which is required per university policy. Faculty and staff who travel internationally for Northwestern business can find additional guidance at Faculty / Staff Travel Policies. 

Risk Assessment and Trip Preparation

  • Contact the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) during planning stages of your trip to inform them of your tentative travel plans. Read the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory (TA) for your destination(s) and consider the potential risks associated with your trip as well as reasonable mitigation strategies. Contact the OGSS to talk through any concerns.
  • If the trip involves undergraduates, and the U.S. DOS TA for the destination is a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel or Level 4 – Do Not Travel, and the country has not been pre-approved, the trip leader must apply for Travel Permission. Review the instructions at the end of the Undergraduate International Travel Policy page and contact Julie Friend for assistance.
  • Regardless of the destination or duration of a university-sponsored trip abroad, faculty and staff trip leaders are required to participate in a one-hour emergency preparedness and response training, remotely or in person. See the OGSS Events for specific dates and times.
  • Develop a pre-departure program or handout to advise students on foreseeable risks, including those related to COVID (see the “planning guide” at right) and how to get help in an emergency while abroad.

The International Travel Registry

  • Northwestern requires all university-sponsored student travel –graduate and undergraduate– to be register with the University. With this information, Northwestern can provide timely information and support in the case of an emergency abroad.
  • Faculty or staff traveling on the same itinerary with three or more students is considered a group. Before the faculty or staff member in charge can create a group trip, OGSS must provide access to the system. Contact OGSS and include the NetID of the trip leader or departmental support staff who will monitor student travel registrations. Trips should be registered as soon as the travel dates and participant list is reasonably secure. Be prepared to upload a completed COVID survey (at right) to the travel registry.
  • Additional instructions for undergraduates can be found under pre-departure requirements. Information for graduate students is on the Graduate Student Travel Policies.
  • Student travelers must complete requirements at least two weeks before departure. Trip leaders or trip organizers are responsible for ensuring their travelers’ registrations are complete.

Health Insurance

  • Northwestern employees are covered for the duration of the trip under the GeoBlue business traveler policy. Read about the plan limitations and complete the one-time registration to access information on doctors, clinics and hospitals in the trip destination.
  • All students are required to enroll in GeoBlue for Students for the duration of the trip. The cost is less than $13 per week. To enroll students, there are two options 1) The trip organizer can complete a GeoBlue roster with personal information on each student and enroll them using the GeoBlue website. In this scenario, the department or administrative unit pays for the insurance. Contact Beth Osterlund for assistance. 2) Students can purchase their own insurance with a credit card using the Northwestern Student GeoBlue portal. The travel registry will walk them through the process. Be sure to inform the student travelers of the GeoBlue enrollment option selected.

Before Departure

  • At least one week before departure, submit an itinerary, including flight information and the address and phone number of all accommodations to your sponsoring unit or department, and let them know you’ve registered the trip with OGSS.
  • Confirm your safe arrival with your department or administrative unit and encourage participants to check-in with their families.