Skip to main content

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 Independent Travel Guidelines as you prepare for your trip abroad. Follow University guidance on vaccinations, which are required for all community members with limited exceptions, prior to commencing any university-affiliated travel. If you are eligible, you should get your booster shot before you travel.  Vaccines and boosters may be required for entry into your destination. 

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 globalsafety@northwestern.edu.

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 group planning document to help advisors and sponsors determine whether or not group travel is feasible in light of their planned activities, risk tolerance and finances. If the trip moves forward, the trip leader / organizer will be asked to complete the COVID group travel survey as part of registering their trip with the University.

For general health and safety guidance on planning group travel, see the Faculty / Staff checklist. Faculty or staff intending to lead or sponsor group travel abroad should contact Beth Osterlund in OGSS to discuss risk mitigation efforts and using Northwestern's International Travel Registry