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Graduate Student Travel Definition

Current Students

Registered graduate student international travel is considered Northwestern-sponsored if it meets at least one of the following criteria: The travel is:

  • Funded or reimbursed, in full or in part, by Northwestern and regardless of purpose (conference attendance/participation, research or reporting, field studies, practicum, language studies, performance, competition, service learning, etc.)
  • In support of an academic assignment, work product or degree requirement supervised by Northwestern faculty or staff, including field-based or archival research, regardless of whether credit is involved or awarded.
  • Directly associated with a dissertation research coupled with active TGS 500 or TGS 512 status.
  • Directly associated with a McCormick Career Development CRDV course (while participating in a Co-op, Internship, Service Learning or Research experience).
  • Accompanied by a Northwestern faculty or staff member in the capacity of his/her employment.

*Note that an international student’s short-term trip to one’s home country (while a temporary resident of the U.S.) for research or other academic purposes may be considered university-sponsored.

Northwestern graduate student international travel is NOT considered university sponsored if:

  • The individual has withdrawn or taken a leave of absence from the institution.
  • The individual has relocated to a foreign country, one’s home country or a third country to write one’s dissertation or participate in other non-Northwestern activities (such as employment).

The following hypotheticals are examples to help Northwestern Graduate students and their faculty supervisors determine whether or not their international travel is university-sponsored.

Review GeoBlue employee eligibility requirements to determine benefits and limits for other categories of travelers, such as McGaw medical residents, post-doctoral scholars, independent contractors, volunteers, adjuncts, emeritus employees and visiting international scholars, who travel abroad on temporary assignment for Northwestern. Find information on insurance for alumni / students who have graduated below.

If questions remain about whether or not a graduate student’s travel is considered university-sponsored contact globalsafety@northwestern.edu. For questions about GeoBlue employee eligibility, contact Cydney Epp in the Office of Risk Management.

Alumni / Students Who Have Graduated 

The ability to engage with the Travel Registry is tied to an active NetID, which expires 147 days following a student’s separation from the university (i.e. graduation). As a result, students may only access the travel registry and be eligible for GeoBlue up to 147 days following graduation. Once a student’s NetID has expired, they are no longer eligible to participate in university-sponsored international travel.   

Exceptions to this may be made at the school, unit or department level, but it must be made clear to such travelers that they cannot utilize the ITR, be enrolled in Northwestern’s GeoBlue products, or receive any other supportive services Northwestern provides to typical student travelers. In addition, the trip leader or organizer is responsible for ensuring such travelers sign the Guest Release, which can be obtained from OGSS.  

The sponsoring school, unit or department should also strongly recommend that non-student travelers purchase an international medical insurance product equivalent to NU’s GeoBlue plan for the duration of the trip.  Links to commercial insurance plans from GeoBlue can be found at Health Insurance for Leisure Travel