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Graduate Student Travel Policies


Graduate students traveling internationally under university-sponsorship or support must abide by the health and safety requirements below. Additional steps apply if visiting a country with an overall U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4.

Note – Feinberg School of Medicine students and McGaw residents fall under different travel requirements, contact

Disclose your Northwestern-affiliated travel

Email the following to OGSS’s Jonathon Zinger, who will monitor your travel destinations and reach out during your trip with useful security tips or to check-in if a serious incident, such as an act of terror or a natural disaster, has occurred in your vicinity.

Submit your travel details via Qualtrics [coming summer quarter 2018].

Insurance requirement

Obtain Northwestern's GeoBlue health insurance (or obtain an exception from OGSS, but note that the AETNA/On-call plan does not provide comprehensive coverage for long-term international travel). Graduate students traveling with a Northwestern-sponsored group should check with their group sponsor, as sometime the department will enroll all travelers at once.

Preparing for global risks

Review our Prezi Presentation, “International Risk Management for Graduate Students" and download the "Pre-Departure Health & Safety Checklist."

Higher-risk locations

If your destination is under a U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory Level 3 – Reconsider Travel or Level 4 – Do Not Travel. Read more about consular advisories.

Requirements for international students and scholars

International students and scholars must comply with all overseas travel requirements outlined by the International Office, or risk facing detention by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials upon return to the U.S. The Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS) has no authority over the CBP and cannot intervene on a traveler’s behalf.

Review more international travel tips for non-U.S. citizens.