International Travel Policies
Posted: March 23, 2010
The Rackham Graduate School asks your help to ensure that students planning international research and other degree-related activities are aware of the University’s policies regarding travel health and safety, and steps they should take now to help ensure a successful experience overseas.
1. Please encourage your students to register for the U-M’s low-cost travel abroad health insurance, available through HTH Worldwide. Available is a pamphlet that explains coverage benefits and assistance services available to policy-holders in a health emergency anywhere in the world outside the US. Insurance can be purchased at the “Buy Health Insurance” link in the upper left corner of the homepage and selecting “University of Michigan” under the Group Participants section. This insurance is also available to faculty and staff.
2. We ask that all students register their travel itinerary and overseas emergency contact information with the online ITOC travel registry. The registry has been invaluable in helping the University respond to students affected by emergencies such as the Chilean earthquake, the London subway bombings, the Israel-Lebanon conflict, as well as health-related and other personal situations. This allows administrators to locate and facilitate communications with students that may need support. Programs should ask students to confirm that they have registered.
3. University policy requires students get permission to travel for research or study to a country where a State Department travel warning is in effect. Affected countries include Afghanistan; Algeria; Burundi; Central African Republic; Chad; Colombia ; Cote d'Ivoire; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Eritrea ; Georgia; Guinea; Haiti; Iran; Iraq; Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; Kenya; Lebanon; Mali; Mauritania; Mexico; Nepal; Nigeria; Pakistan; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Uzbekistan; and Yemen. Faculty advisers are required to review plans of students traveling to these destinations. Students also are required to submit a waiver to ITOC indicating that they are informed of the potential risk. Permission may be denied for especially hazardous destinations. Information about policy and waivers is available here.
4. A predeparture checklist is now available for students preparing overseas research trips. This includes reminders about visas, IRB permissions, export regulations of research equipment and materials, travel health and safety, accessing funds from abroad, and other essential practical steps. A pdf-fillable wallet-sized emergency card is also now available for students to complete and carry with them while abroad.