Exploring U-M’s Opportunities Around the World


Travel Planning FAQs

U-M Travel Eligibility

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

Note: Undergraduate UMRT is allowed to Travel Health High Risk destinations only if participating in a U-M managed program. Undergraduate UMRT is prohibited in Travel Restriction destinations without exception.

U-M advisors can sign certain participation forms (as more fully described below) for a student unless your destination’s U-M Travel Designation 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.

Note 1: 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 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.

Note 2: For travel to a destination with a U-M Travel Designation 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.

Note 3: U-M advisors can sign study abroad participation forms for U-M managed programs even if there is a Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction designation, though approval will be contingent on the location moving from a U-M Travel Health High Risk or Travel Restriction to a U-M Travel Health Medium or Low Risk or U-M Travel Warning before the program begins.

Planning Your Travel

Where can I begin learning about my destination and planning my travel?
U-M resources, including: 

U.S. Department of State resources, including:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) resources, including: 

What do I need to do to be able to enter or exit my travel destination/s?
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:

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 or Additional Considerations for International Travel.

What additional costs should I consider when planning travel?
Faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad should have financial contingency plans to cover unforeseen events, such as having to isolate in order to follow local public health guidelines abroad. 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 
  • Living costs, such as accommodations and meals, are associated with being in-country longer than intended (e.g., the traveler tested positive for COVID-19 or another disease that prohibits them from leaving the country as planned). 

The GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance COVID-19 benefits cover medically prescribed COVID-19 testing and 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. NOTE: This coverage is not available on the personal leisure or U-M business traveler GeoBlue plans at this time. Details are on the GeoBlue COVID-19 updates page and the UHS Travel Abroad Health Insurance page.

What will I need to do to return to the U.S. from abroad?

I tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of my departure abroad. What do I need to do to be able to travel?
Review your host destination’s COVID-related entry requirements. Though most destinations no longer require a negative test for those with proof of vaccination, some destinations still require proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The Department of State’s COVID-19 Country Specific Information pages offers a starting point to learn about entry requirements.

Research your airline’s guidelines to determine what documentation meets entry requirements, learn if additional steps must be taken, or determine if travel must be delayed until entry requirements can be met.

When testing, follow the CDC’s “Choosing a COVID-19 test” guidance on their COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know webpage. 

Follow the CDC’s “Before you leave the United States” guidance on their International Travel to and from the United States During COVID-19 webpage, including “do not to travel as long as you test positive.” Following these guidelines is expected under the University of Michigan Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

If necessary, obtain documentation of recovery. For students scheduling a testing appointment through UHS, UHS offers resources on their COVID-19 Testing for International Travelers webpage. UHS may provide you with a letter stating that you have recently had COVID-19 and are unable to provide a negative COVID-19 test result. Students can also contact their preferred medical practitioner or Non-UM travel clinics to determine if they can provide documentation of recovery from COVID-19.

I am traveling on an independent research project or engaged in fieldwork abroad. Are there U-M resources to help me prepare?
The Global Engagement Team in partnership with the Department of Anthropology, 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
  • To organize international research and fieldwork safety considerations by travel phase
  • To provide suggested protocols for various emergency situations abroad
  • To benefit all U-M independent travelers/field researchers

Travelers are encouraged to download the guide and review.

Travel Abroad Health Insurance (GeoBlue)

How do I enroll in GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance for my upcoming travel? How do I register my account? What is the difference?
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 https://uhs.umich.edu//tai/ for information on how to enroll.

Registering refers to the process of setting up an online GeoBlue account at www.geobluestudents.com 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 customerservice@geo-blue.com.

Can I use my GeoBlue insurance before my departure date?
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.

Visit https://uhs.umich.edu//tai/ for more details about GeoBlue Travel Abroad Health Insurance.


Please contact umich-itoc@umich.edu if you have additional questions about your destination/s or if you would like additional resources.

  • 115

    U-M hosted students from 115 countries in Fall 2020

  • 60+

    More than 60 languages are offered at U-M