This checklist is designed to guide faculty and staff who are leading or organizing undergraduate group trips abroad. Faculty and staff who travel internationally for Northwestern business can find additional guidance at Faculty/ Staff Travel Policies.
Contact the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) during planning stages of your trip to inform them of your tentative travel plans.
- To minimize health and safety risks, the University links approval of undergraduate international travel to U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisories. If you are considering a trip abroad, first read the Travel Advisory for your destination. If the U.S. DOS rating for your destination is Level 3 - Reconsider Travel or Level 4 - Do Not Travel, you must seek approval from Northwestern before your funding can be released. Contact Patrick Maloney in OGSS during the early planning stages of your trip to discuss your formal request for travel permission.
- Regardless of the destination or duration of a university-sponsored trip abroad, Northwestern employees who accompany students abroad accept a leadership role in understanding and mitigating risk. OGSS offers regular “Trip Leader Training” sessions for faculty and staff to help them identify and manage foreseeable risks as well as be prepared to respond to emergencies. See the OGSS event page for specific training dates.
- 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. 2) Students can purchase their own insurance with a credit card using the Northwestern Student portal. The travel registry described below will walk them through the process.
- Approximately 6-8 weeks before departure, students should register their travel in Northwestern's new International Travel Registry. Instructions can be found under pre-departure requirements. All student travelers must complete these requirements at least two weeks before departure, and you should follow up with your travelers as needed.
- At least one week before your departure, submit an itinerary, including flight information and the address and phone number of all accommodations to OGSS and your sponsoring unit or department.
- Develop a communication plan with your travelers in case of an emergency. Contact OGSS for tips depending on your program’s destination and activities.
- Confirm your safe arrival with your department or administrative unit and encourage participants to check-in with their families.