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Preparing for Travel and Education Abroad (Students)

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Students working through an education abroad office

The education abroad offices work with students to complete all application, confirmation and pre-departure requirements.

  1. Register their travel officially with the University.

    Students will apply to their education abroad office. When a student is confirmed for their program or activity abroad, they are automatically registered for travel.

  2. Submit a completed Student Release and Waiver detailing their academic, financial, behavioral, travel risk and health-related responsibilities while abroad.

    Students complete the Student Release and Waiver. Once it's signed, it will be submitted to their education abroad office as part of the education abroad checklist. Students should keep a copy of the signed paperwork for their own records.

  3. Obtain University-approved international travel, health and security insurance.

    The education abroad offices will facilitate enrollment in a qualified insurance program as part of the pre-departure process.

  4. Create an emergency communications plan.

    Students should work with program officials to obtain a copy of an existing plan or to develop documentation and procedures regarding safety, security, and evacuation. Review the Emergency Plan Guidelines for details that must be addressed in the plan.

  5. Complete the mandatory online health and safety orientation.

    Students will complete a mandatory online health and safety orientation as part of their education abroad checklist. Students may also be required by their education abroad office to attend program or unit specific orientations.

  6. Address any health and safety concerns prior to departure (e.g., check-ups, immunizations).

    Students complete a health disclosure form as part of their education abroad checklist in PeopleSoft and will receive follow up from trained education abroad professionals. All disclosures are confidential and honest disclosure assists the University in supporting student health needs abroad. The education abroad office will also register students for the USDOS Smart Traveler Program (STEP) or advise students to register themselves.

    Additional recommended steps for preparing for personal health and safety concerns include consultation with the student's personal medical and/or mental health provider to develop plans for ongoing healthcare needs, a visit to a specialized travel medicine provider for required or recommended preventive immunizations and medications, a dental check-up, and other specific needs. Students will work closely with their education abroad office and insurance resources with any specific questions or needs.

Students NOT working through an education abroad office

All students traveling abroad for University purposes NOT working with an education abroad office must complete the steps below prior to participation in any education abroad experience as a University student.

  1. Register their travel officially with the University

    Students register travel through the GPS Alliance travel registry. To initiate the registration process, students will need their University of Minnesota internet ID, password, travel location and dates, both a University and personal 24-7 emergency contact (names, phone numbers, and emails), and the EFS number and name of budgetary contact in the unit, if the unit is paying for the mandatory University-approved international travel, health and security insurance.

    Before registration, any student planning to participate in a self-identified travel plan (something not promoted or organized by the University), will discuss their plans with an appropriate education abroad office, University faculty and/or staff member to receive approval to travel for University purposes.

  2. Submit a completed Student Release and Waiver detailing their academic, financial, behavioral, travel risk and health-related responsibilities while abroad.

    Students will submit the Release and Waiver to GPS Alliance through a process initiated by registering their travel. All students should keep a copy of the signed paperwork.

  3. Obtain University-approved international travel, health and security insurance

    Students will complete the insurance application as part of the travel registry. The cost of the insurance can be billed to the student account or the designated EFS number. In rare cases, students will submit proof of qualified insurance coverage to waive the University's coverage.

  4. Create an emergency communications plan

    Students should work with program officials or international contacts to obtain a copy of an existing plan or to develop documentation and procedures regarding safety, security, and evacuation. Review the Emergency Plan Guidelines for details that must be addressed in the plan.

    A 24-7 emergency contact in the office, unit, or college supporting/sponsoring the student's activity abroad will be entered as part of the travel registry.

  5. Complete the mandatory online health and safety orientation

    After a student registers their travel, GPS Alliance will facilitate enrollment in and track completion of the mandatory online health and safety pre-departure orientation. Students may also be required to attend program or unit specific orientations as communicated by their program, unit, faculty or staff.

  6. Address any health and safety concerns prior to departure (e.g., check-ups, immunizations)

    Students should discuss their health needs and questions with their unit contact and/or onsite staff. Recommended steps for preparing for personal health and safety concerns include consultation with your personal medical and/or mental health provider to develop plans for ongoing healthcare needs, a visit to a specialized travel medicine provider for required or recommended preventive immunizations and medications, a dental check-up, registering with the USDOS Smart Traveler Program (STEP), and other specific needs. GPS Alliance, through the Director of International Health, Safety and Compliance, will serve as a resource to all students with health, safety or security questions related to international travel.

    Non-education abroad offices will not collect student health disclosure forms.

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Last modified on October 2, 2014