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Play it safe when traveling abroad to study, conduct research

Heather Fair

As more students, faculty and staff travel around the world to study independently, conduct research and attend conferences, taking some precautionary steps before making airline reservations can help protect the university community. When traveling abroad on university business, it is important to notify the Office of International Affairs, take advantage of Ohio State’s supplemental health insurance program and register with the U.S. embassy or consulate.

“We want to ensure that everyone connected to Ohio State who travels the globe on university business has the tools they need to keep them healthy and safe,” said Dieter Wanner, Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs.

For faculty and staff who are accompanying a group of students to international locations for the purpose of research, internships, special projects, conferences, and/or service learning, they are required to comply with four Ohio State risk management policies:

  • Notify the Office of International Affairs of their travel plans and complete the Faculty International Travel Form at least one quarter in advance of travel.
  • Participate in a risk management, health and safety session conducted by the Office of International Affairs. Sessions are offered at least twice every quarter.
  • Provide the Office of International Affairs with a list of students’ names and contact information at least one quarter in advance of travel.
  • Be aware of any travel warnings that have been issued by the Department of State.

For faculty who are advising students who will be traveling abroad independently, they are required to refer students to the Office of International Affairs at least one quarter in advance of their travel plans, so that they can be advised of the supplemental health insurance program, U.S. embassy registration procedures, and any restrictions that may apply if a travel warning has been issued by the Department of State.

Faculty and staff who are enrolled in a university medical plan are automatically enrolled in GLOBALCARE, which provides health coverage outside the U.S. However, students are encouraged to apply for Ohio State’s supplemental health plan through the Office of International Affairs.

To register travel plans with the U.S. embassy, students, faculty and staff can visit the travel registration web pages of the U.S. Department of State.

It is also recommended that students schedule an international travel appointment at the Ohio State Wilce Student Health Center (or a personal physician) at least one full quarter before departure to review any special health concerns and determine vaccinations needed. Faculty and staff may visit the OSU Rardin Family Practice for their international travel medical needs.

Additional information about international travel and health and safety issues is available for students, faculty and staff.

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