Travelers should carefully consider potential health and safety risks when traveling abroad, especially when they will be immersed in an unfamiliar culture and away from their everyday support systems. These resources can assist travelers in making informed pre-departure plans, mitigating risks, and taking ownership of their wellness.
Students from all U-M campuses who travel abroad on University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) must have U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance. UMRT may include (but is not limited to) study, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances or athletic competitions. Student insurance is managed by HTH Worldwide GeoBlue (Educational Plan). Students may purchase travel abroad health insurance individually, but can also check with their advisor to see whether their program or department is purchasing the insurance on their behalf.
Faculty and staff traveling internationally for UMRT are covered under the University’s blanket travel abroad health insurance policy with HTH Worldwide GeoBlue (Business Plan).
For international personal/leisure travel, all students, faculty and staff can individually purchase HTH Worldwide GeoBlue (Leisure Plan).
Find full information about HTH Worldwide/GeoBlue coverage benefits and enrollment instructions on the U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance site, managed by University Health Service.
The University of Michigan safety plan process is designed to help international travelers develop mitigation strategies for health, safety, and security risks. For travel to Travel Warning and Travel Restriction Destinations, safety plan proposals must be submitted for review and approval at least 3 weeks prior to departure.
Instructions for submitting travel safety plans for review:
- Launch an INDIVIDUAL Safety Plan or GROUP Safety Plan in M-Compass.
- An account will be created for you in M-Compass, where you may complete your Safety Plan. Submitted plans will be automatically forwarded to ITOC for review. You do not need to email plans to ITOC.
- Need help? Download M-Compass Help – Submit a Safety Plan for International Travel
The following Example Safety Plan is for reference and can help you gather the information needed to complete the Safety Plan in M-Compass. All Safety Plan proposals for Travel Warning / Restriction destinations must be completed in M-Compass. Please note that Safety Plans for Group Travel have similar questions.
International travelers may encounter challenges that vary by academic discipline, level of education, local context and the nature of on-site activities. Resilient Travel – Managing Stress and Enhancing your Experience Abroad is a unique U-M web resource that helps travelers think proactively about personal challenges and build skills to successfully cope with difficult situations. The Resilient Traveling toolkit includes common problems, videos of authentic student stories, practice exercises and a confidential self- assessment that provides recommendations for support resources and coping strategies.
- U-M Travel Health Preparation Guide: This tool helps students identify and plan for health care needs during international travel. Travelers are encouraged to answer the questions in the guide and consult with a health care provider, UHS, and / or CAPS where appropriate.
- Counseling and Psychological Services: Before departure, U-M students are encouraged to visit their counselor or campus’ Counseling and Psychological Services (Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint) to discuss strategies to reduce the impact of culture shock and to manage mental health needs abroad and after returning to the United States.
- Faculty and Staff Assistance Program: Faculty and staff may receive counseling services from the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP).
- UHS Travel Health Service: All travelers are encouraged to make appointments with their primary care physicians or University Health Service (UHS) for a physical before departure. UHS can also provide immunizations, prescriptions, and advice tailored to specific destinations and health conditions.
- UHS Travel Health Education Program: Travelers can explore the Travel Health Education Program to learn about health self-care and preventative strategies for travelers diarrhea, malaria, and more.
- UMHS Overseas Travel Clinic: The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) Overseas Travel Clinic is available by appointment for individuals who need immunizations or health advice before travel.
- Pre-Departure Checklist for Individual Travel: This checklist identifies key tasks that you will need to complete before departure, from host country research to travel documents and packing.
- U-M Student Travel Guide: This travel guide provides general travel information for students from all U-M campuses.
- Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT): These reports detail country specific urban and rural road conditions, provide an overview of local traffic laws, and provide accident statistics. The U-M Library is hosting this resource so reports are available to the U-M community.
- CDC Advice for Students: Prepare for a safe and healthy study abroad experience by following CDC’s travel health tips for students.
- CDC Travelers’ Health: Travelers are encouraged to visit the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website to research the suggested vaccinations for their travel destination/s.
- OSAC: The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides country specific crime and safety reports, daily news, and U.S. consulate alerts and warnings. Click here to download the Crime and Safety Report for University Travel Warning or Travel Restriction destinations.
- Smart Traveler Enrollment: Enrollment with STEP will enable U.S. citizens to receive information from the Embassy regarding new or updated State Department Travel Warnings and/or Alerts, as well as security and informational messages. In addition, the Embassy can reach out to travelers in the event of an emergency in country, and facilitate communication with the traveler should their family need to reach them in an emergency. Travelers who are not U.S. citizens should enroll in her or his country’s STEP equivalent.
- Students Abroad – U.S. Department of State: A user-friendly tool that consolidates multiple U.S. Department of State resources to assist travelers in learning about proper visas, Travel Warnings, recent embassy message, important contact information, general safety and security advice, and more.
- Travel Warnings and Alerts: To gain a better, holistic understanding of the travel risks in your intended travel destination, please view more than one government’s travel warning and alert information. A few to explore may include: United States Department of State, Australian Government Smart Traveller, Canada Country Travel Advice, and the United Kingdom Foreign Travel Advice.
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