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Graduate Student Travel Policies

Northwestern University cares about its students, particularly when traveling internationally for university-sponsored activities. In order to provide the best service, all graduate and professional students are required to register their travel with the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS). The information in the travel registry will be used to share health and safety resources and allow OGSS to reach out to travelers in an emergency abroad. 

Graduate Travel Options and Their Related Requirements

All graduate and professional students who plan international travel for University purposes, such as research, internships, exchange programs, etc., must complete the following requirements at least two weeks before departure:

  • Once travel plans are finalized including destination(s) and travel dates, purchase GeoBlue health insurance. After enrolling, you will receive an e-mail confirmation of your enrollment. Take a screenshot of this confirmation to upload to the International Travel Registry (see next bullet). If you are traveling to your country of citizenship, refer to the FAQs to see if you qualify for an exemption from purchasing GeoBlue.
  • Register your trip in Northwestern's International Travel Registry. Have your passport and trip itinerary available to complete the registry. When you finish the requirements, you will be instructed to download a trip receipt which may be required for funding to be released.
  • Review the COVID Traveler Checklist to help prepare for international travel during the pandemic.

Students who are fully funded by external scholarships and will not receive any Northwestern financial support (such as a fellowship or grant, stipend top-off or supplement) during their time abroad are not required, but are encouraged, to register their travel in the International Travel Registry.  

If you have any questions, please email

Group travel abroad during the pandemic presents unique challenges and having a plan in place to deal with them is paramount. We've created a COVID Traveler Checklist to help advisors and sponsors plan for international travel during the pandemic.

Faculty or staff intending to lead or sponsor group travel abroad should review the faculty/staff checklist for detailed instructions on planning student trips abroad.