The LSA International Travel team along with the University of Michigan continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation as it develops worldwide. As this continues to evolve rapidly, we are communicating any and all updates directly to students, staff, and faculty as they become available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them. We encourage everyone to continue to closely monitor the latest developments and to adhere to any national and international public health directives issued by their host country or institution. To help get the conversation started, please review our frequently asked questions and if you still require further information, please email us at email@example.com.
We realize that these circumstances are stressful and present a number of uncertainties. Please know that LSATravel is committed to supporting you through the steps ahead.
Note: Some of the below language has been borrowed from the Global Michigan Student FAQ.
1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?
The LSATravel office works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), who monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations.
For more information about U-M’s continued response to COVID-19, please visit the U-M Coronavirus website and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.
2. What is the current status of international travel at the University of Michigan?
Currently most countries outside of the United States are under a U-M Travel Restriction, with a select few designated as U-M Travel Warning countries. U-M Travel Restrictions prohibit undergraduate travel on U-M related business and no undergraduate student may travel on U-M funding to Travel Restriction destinations. Undergrads traveling to a U-M Travel Warning destination may petition to travel with a safety plan proposal.
Travel is also restricted for graduate students, but they may request authorization to travel if academically necessary. Travel is deemed academically necessary “in instances where international travel is essential to the graduate student’s academic progress and where the research can only be completed at a specific location (Global Michigan).” For more information on getting authorization to travel internationally, please refer to Question 5.
3. How are U-M Travel Warning and U-M Travel Restriction destinations determined?
The International Travel Oversight Committee reviews U-M Travel Warning and Restriction destinations on an iterative basis using a variety of sources, including: US Department of State Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Notices, CDC COVID-19 risk levels, other non-U.S. government advisories, and U-M’s assistance provider’s risk ratings. As countries move from U-M Travel Restriction status to U-M Travel Warning status, more student travel opportunities may become available.
Any updates to U-M Travel Warning & Restrictions will be posted on the Global Michigan website.
NOTE: Countries designated as U-M Travel Warning destinations only take into account health and safety conditions, not entry requirements. Travelers must verify their ability to enter a country before planning travel.
4. Do I need to have received the COVID vaccine to travel with U-M?
Students who are traveling internationally on a U-M managed program are required to have an authorized COVID-19 vaccination and complete the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access before traveling abroad unless they have an approved exemption. A chart from Global Michigan details the full requirements of this policy.
Students not traveling on U-M managed programs are strongly recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to departure. Certain countries may require vaccination to be able to travel to the country.
Students with questions should visit the Global Michigan page for more information on the University policy on COVID-19 vaccination.
5. What is the definition of U-M Related Business?
U-M Related Business/Travel (UMRT), as defined for students, encompasses five kinds of travel. Only one criteria needs to be met for a student to be considered on UMRT. A student is engaging in UMRT if they:
1. Receive U-M in-residence credit for the experience.
2. Travel on a program or trip that is U-M Managed or Organized.
3. Participate in a travel abroad experience that is necessary to achieve a degree requirement. This could include experiences such as degree milestones, dissertation field research, practica, internships, etc.
4. Travel 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.
5. Receive funding from a U-M unit or receives funds managed by the U-M for their travel. As stewards of U-M resources, we do not give funds for purposes that are not U-M related.
6. How can I get authorization to travel internationally?
Students can petition to travel through a safety plan process on MCompass.
The International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) will review the completed safety plan and will approve plans as they see fit. This process takes time, and students are recommended to send in their safety plan at least 3 weeks prior to departure.
In addition, all students who fall under UMRT (addressed in Question 4) must also complete all LSATravel requirements to receive funding and/or approval to travel. Please refer to this page of the LSATravel website for full details.
7. Whom will LSATravel contact with updates relating to future international travel?
LSATravel will contact students which faculty/staff have indicated to us have been selected to receive travel funding and/or are embarking on an LSA-sponsored program. LSATravel will contact these individuals if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.
8. I received funding from U-M for my travel but I need to defer my funding due to COVID-19 safety concerns and/or travel restrictions. Can I defer my funding award?
Please contact the department who awarded your funding to see their policies about funding deferrals. Alert the LSATravel office of your updated travel timeline once available.
9. How can I determine entry requirements for my host country?
Entry requirements in countries around the world have changed throughout the pandemic. These changes may look like:
Restrictions on who can enter the country based on nationality/citizenship, country departing from and the kind of travel being undertaken (personal, study, business, etc.)
New/altered entry forms required by the country
Mandatory COVID-19 testing before and/or after arrival in the country
Mandatory quarantine periods upon arrival
Travelers who do not follow entry requirements may not be allowed to enter the country and are subject to the host country laws, rules, and regulations.
Resources on this topic:
10. How do I get tested before departure to my host country?
The U-M University Health Service has provided information on getting tested pre-departure.
11. What are the travel requirements for re-entry to the U.S.?
As of January 2021, the United States requires all travellers regardless of citizenship to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure.
CGIS has included cost estimates for these tests in each program’s budget sheet. Please note that this cost is not covered by insurance and will need to be paid out of pocket.
At present, vaccine status does not impact this requirement.
The CDC recommends also getting another Covid test in the 3-5 days after arrival in the U.S. and to quarantine for 7 days. If you are arriving back to campus, please refer to the Campus Maize & Blueprint for U-M specific requirements.
Due to rapidly changing entry requirements, non-citizens should create a backup plan in the case that you cannot return to the U.S. as planned.
12. Will the GeoBlue international insurance cover or U-M / CGIS cover a return flight if my program ends early due to Covid?
Because COVID-19 pandemic is a well documented event and is considered a “known risk” by the insurance underwriters, GeoBlue does not cover the cost of a return flight because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, U-M will not cover the cost of flight change fees or new return flights for travelers who choose to go abroad during COVID-19. Faculty, staff, and students willing to travel during COVID-19 must ensure that they are able to cover the costs of travel if they need to return to their home country earlier than expected. Faculty, staff, and students who are not able, or not comfortable with, covering potential travel expenses due to COVID-19 should not travel. These possible expenses include return flights and costs associated with having to stay in-country for an indefinite period of time because of border closures.
GeoBlue benefits will cover most medical issues, including medically necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment, visiting a hospital or clinic because of illness, and many other medical issues. GeoBlue also covers evacuations for certain political crises and natural disasters. GeoBlue does not cover COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals, quarantine costs (housing, food, etc), or other costs unless listed under the GeoBlue coverage benefits that students receive after purchasing GeoBlue. Details are on the GeoBlue COVID-19 updates page and the UHS Travel Abroad Health Insurance page.
13. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons. Do I need approval to do so? Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?
Please ensure that you are not traveling abroad for any University of Michigan Related Travel (UM-RT), as this kind of travel is still restricted by the University.
Students wishing to travel internationally for personal reasons that are not UMRT should consider the wide range of risks, including health risks, financial risks, academic risks, visa and entry restrictions, and the possibility of being stuck in-country for an indefinite period of time because of airport closures or entry/exit restrictions.
Students who do choose to travel must follow any guidelines for returning to campus, such as practicing enhanced socially distancing before engaging in in-person activities on campus, if required. See Campus Maize & Blueprint for updated guidance.
We recommend registering your travel with U-M
While not required, we strongly encourage all students traveling internationally to egister their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.35/day, even for personal travel.
14. Is there emergency funding available in the case of unanticipated travel disruptions?
U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time.
Students must ensure that they have emergency funds while traveling during the pandemic, whether personal funds or verified emergency funds from a student’s U-M department that can be used for unexpected costs.
Potential emergency funding situations to be aware of:
Pre-departure flight cancellations in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates.
Early departure from the destination country in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates. Please note that last minute flights or repatriation flights are expensive and can cost in excess of 3000 USD.
Living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border / airport closures or not meeting exit requirements, such as testing positive for COVID-19 before departure.
COVID-19 related costs, including quarantine costs, testing, etc.
15. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?
Students should email LSA Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs