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Preparing for your Travel
Travel FAQs

Travel FAQs

The following sections provide guidance for traveling outside the United States. Schools, colleges, and individual units may have additional policies and procedures in place to support international travel.

U-M Travel Eligibility

A traveling student who meets one or more of the following criteria is on University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT):

  • Receives U-M in-residence credit for the experience
  • Receives funding from a U-M unit or receives funds managed by the U-M for their travel
  • Participates in a travel abroad experience that is necessary to achieve a degree requirement. This could include experiences such as degree milestones, dissertation field research, practical, internships, etc.
  • Travels on a program or trip organized by a Sponsored Student Organization or a program or trip that is formally sanctioned by a U-M unit as a Sponsored Event
  • Travels on a program or trip that is U-M Managed or Organized*

*An international experience is considered U-M Managed or Organized when a U-M unit, faculty, or staff member is involved in creating, funding, or approving the experience, or coordinating the applications and selection of participants.

If a student’s planned international travel (including to U.S. territories) qualifies as U-M Related Travel (UMRT), the student must meet the eligibility criteria required by their destination’s U-M Country Risk Rating. Eligibility requirements differ for undergraduate students and graduate students. Refer to the U-M Travel Health Plan and Safety Plan Process Flowchart for additional information.

U-M advisors can sign certain participation forms (as more fully described below) for an student unless your destination’s U-M Risk Rating is Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction at the time of signing. As outlined in U-M’s International Travel Policy SPG 601.31, U-M Related Travel (UMRT), including study abroad, is prohibited for undergraduates in destinations U-M has designated as Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction.

  • Advisors are able to verify the status of a student (ability to take classes, internship, etc. abroad; ability to accept transfer credit) by signing participation forms.
  • Advisors should NOT sign participation forms that ask U-M to approve a program or approve travel.


  • Signing an allowable participation form does not make a travel experience UMRT since the purpose of these forms is to verify a student’s enrollment and verify credit transfer. Signing the form does not imply U-M affiliation with the program or approval of the program. Students on UMRT must fulfill U-M Requirements and Policies before travel, including completing a Travel Health Plan or Safety Plan to be reviewed by the International Travel Oversight Committee. Though U-M does not prohibit undergraduate non-UMRT (e.g., personal or leisure travel, etc.) to U-M Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction destinations, students on non-UMRT are strongly encouraged to carefully re-evaluate their travel to destinations with these designations.
  • For travel to a destination with a U-M Risk Rating of Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction, students pursuing independent study abroad programs (i.e., non-UMRT) may obtain verification of enrollment or transcripts from the Registrar’s Office. Students can offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while U-M designates their destination as either Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction.

If you have non U-M related travel planned (e.g. vacation, personal travel, independently arranged trips that do not meet any UMRT criteria), you can still register your travel via the M-Compass Student Travel Registry. Registering your travel allows the University of Michigan to locate and communicate with you and respond to emergencies if needed.

Travel Resources

Passport: To enter a foreign country and return to the U.S., ensure that you have a passport that is valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Resources include:

Visa: Determine if you need a Visa from the host destination/s. Visa and other entry requirements can differ depending on your destination, where you’re coming from, and/or your country of citizenship. Consult the following resources for entry requirements to enter your host destination/s:

  • The official embassy website of your host destination/s is the best source of information for entry requirements
  • Resources from the U.S. Department of State (or your country of citizenship’s equivalent), including the Country Information pages – “Entry and Exit Requirements” section
  • CIBTvisas: A fee-based service provider for travel visas and passport services available to U-M faculty, staff, and students. Complete the “Traveling Soon?” prompt to find out what may be required for your destination. CIBTvisas can only assist with individuals traveling from the U.S. to an international location. They do not provide services for individuals to enter the U.S.
  • International Students: International students should consult the International Center’s guidance for traveling abroad and returning to the U.S. and Visa and Travel Requirements webpages.

Vaccinations/Public Health Requirements: Some destinations may have public health entry or exit requirements, including providing proof of certain vaccinations or negative test results, a mandatory quarantine period, completion of a health app, or something else. Resources include:

Students who are traveling through a U-M study abroad office, a study abroad provider, or directly with a university abroad can also email their program contact if they have questions.

For additional information, refer to the Global Michigan Travel Planning webpage.

In partnership with the Department of Anthropology, the Global Engagement Team developed the Safety Considerations for Independent Study & Field Research Abroad to support faculty, staff, and students on independent study or field research abroad. The goals of the guide are to:

  • Direct travelers to existing travel safety and travel health resources
  • Organize international research and fieldwork safety considerations by travel phase
  • Provide suggested protocols for various emergency situations abroad
  • Benefit all U-M independent travelers/field researchers

Travelers are encouraged to download, review, and share.

Faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad should have financial contingency plans to cover unforeseen events that are not covered by the GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance (NOTE: GeoBlue is health insurance, not travel/trip insurance). Verify financial contingency plans, either with your U-M department or non U-M sources of funding.

Potential travel expenses may include but are not limited to:

  • Pre-departure flight cancellations 
  • Other expenses related to travel disruptions, such as lost luggage, changing flights, flight change fees, etc.

The GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance covers medically prescribed testing for an infectious illness or disease, treatment, and medically appropriate evacuation and repatriation. For students on UMRT, GeoBlue’s Post-Departure Trip Interruption coverage provides transportation and/or lodging and incidental benefits if your trip is interrupted or must be discontinued due to covered reasons, as described in the flyer.

For mental well-being support, visit the Managing Mental Health Abroad page.

Below are several of the resources at your disposal.

GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance resources, including: 

U-M resources, including:

Your host program or host institution may also provide mental health resources or services.

Health & Safety

To learn more about different destination or identity based risks, visit Global Michigan’s Country Risk Ratings page for a collection of resources, eligibility information, and travel requirements.

Enrolling refers to the process of obtaining your insurance policy covering your travel dates. Individual student travelers typically enroll themselves. Students participating in U-M managed programs or group travel are typically enrolled by a U-M administrative contact on the student’s behalf (but are strongly encouraged to confirm enrollment). Faculty/staff traveling on U-M business are automatically enrolled upon registration of travel dates. Refer to the “How to purchase/sign in” section of for information on how to enroll.


Registering refers to the process of setting up an online GeoBlue account at or via the GeoBlue app with the information provided to you upon enrollment. Students must first enroll in GeoBlue before they are able to register. Registering an online account is strongly encouraged for 24/7 access to information and use of the GeoBlue dashboard and portal, to download the GeoBlue and telehealth apps, and streamlined customer service. For registration assistance, contact GeoBlue at 1.844.268.2686 (if inside the U.S.), +1.610.263.2847 (if outside the U.S.), or email

Once you’ve enrolled in GeoBlue and registered your online account, you can use it prior to departure in a number of ways.

  • GeoBlue’s Pre-Departure Program can help prepare you for your travel in several ways, including:
    • provide consultations with clinicians before you depart to help you understand what to expect in your new host country,
    • assist with planning healthcare needs in your new host country,
    • provide guidance to quality healthcare professionals to avoid any disruption of care.
  • Access your Member Hub on the GeoBlue website for tools and resources, including:
    • a Destination Dashboard offering detailed information at both the country and city level on healthcare services and environmental risks in your destination/s,
    • Provider Finder tools for locating doctors, dentists, hospitals, and emergency rooms in your destination/s, and setting up future healthcare appointments,
    • researching medication equivalents in your host destination/s or medical terms or phrases in the local language/s.
  • Connect with customer service for any questions or issues.
  • Note: You will not be able use GeoBlue to access healthcare coverage in the U.S. prior to your departure date.

Visit for more details about GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance.

The “Submitting a Claim” page of your U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance Member Guide (accessible at in the “How to purchase/sign in” section under the appropriate purpose for travel) outlines several ways to submit a claim:

  • eClaims: You can quickly and conveniently submit claims electronically, through the app, or through the Member Hub on Scanned paper documents are delivered directly to our Claims Department, and your eClaims are saved in the Claims section of the Member Hub. Choose “Claims” in the GeoBlue app or visit the “File an eClaim” section of the Member Hub on Log in using your username and password with the information from your insurance ID card.
  • Email or fax: To submit a claim via email or fax, a printable claim form, and detailed instructions are available in the Member Hub on Visit the “How to File a Claim” section of the Member Hub on and click “How do you file a claim with GeoBlue?” to download the appropriate claim form.
    • Email:
    • Fax: +1.610.482.9623
  • Postal mail: If you prefer to submit a claim via postal mail, a printable claim form and detailed instructions are available in the Member Hub on Visit the “How to File a Claim” section of the Member Hub on and click “How do you file a claim with GeoBlue?” to download the appropriate claim form. For claims incurred outside the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, send to: GeoBlue, Attn: Claims Department, P.O. Box 1748, Southeastern, PA 19399-1748, USA.

To check the status of your claim, contact GeoBlue for assistance:

  • Toll-free within the U.S.: 1.844.268.2686
  • Outside the U.S.: +1.610.263.2847

General Guidelines:

  • Follow your host destination’s regulations, protocols, and guidance for testing positive. The U.S. Department of State’s Country Information pages – “Entry and Exit Requirements” section offers a starting point to learn about these. General guidance can be found on the website of U-M Health Response. 
  • Inform relevant program and housing contacts, which may be able to provide you with an overview of options and protocols. Isolation may or not be necessary depending on local public health guidelines. Several factors may determine what kind of support is available (e.g., whether you live in dorms, program-affiliated housing, or a self-chosen apartment, whether you study directly with a university or a study abroad provider, etc.).
  • Use the GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance if medical assistance is necessary. For students on UMRT, the GeoBlue student plan includes a Post-Departure Trip Interruption benefit that may cover some associated costs.
  • Contact U-M through emergency or non-emergency channels, depending on the situation. Details are on the U-M Emergency Contact page on Global Michigan.


In the event of an emergency, you should do the following 3 steps:

  1. Tend to immediate medical or safety needs
  2. Connect with local contacts and support networks
  3. Contact the University of Michigan

For more information, visit Global Michigan’s In Case of Emergency page for general guidelines and protocols for specific situations (i.e. civil unrest, detention abroad, loss or theft of valuables, natural disasters).