In an emergency, immediately contact Vanderbilt’s Incident Response for Travel at +1 615-322-2745. They will connect you with your program contact and provide support for health and safety issues.
Thorough preparation and planning are essential for a safe and meaningful global health experience. Reviewing travel basics, planning ahead for safety, and anticipating extraordinary events in advance will promote a safer, smoother, and more enjoyable experience. Problems can occur despite the most well-planned travel or to the most well-seasoned traveler.
All students—graduate, undergraduate, and professional—are required to register any travel that is Vanderbilt-sponsored. Any “sponsored travel” must be registered if it advances your degree, is organized by or on behalf of a Vanderbilt group (student organization, athletics, etc.), or is funded by or through Vanderbilt. Please review the following steps.
1. Book travel through Vanderbilt’s travel partners
Travel associated with Vanderbilt programs and study should be booked through Concur or World Travel. Booking through these travel partners serves 3 purposes:
1) It registers you in the Vanderbilt system in case of emergency.
2) It registers you for Vanderbilt’s emergency evacuation services in case of emergency, including natural disaster, medical emergency, political instability, etc.
3) It makes you eligible for potential travel reimbursement/scholarship, depending on your program.
If you did not book through Concur or World Travel, please download this form and fill in the details for your travel. Email the completed spreadsheet to email@example.com. You may also contact the Global Safety and Security Manager for more information.
2. Check if the Country has a Travel Warning
- Are you going to a location currently under a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4?
- Are you going to a location currently under a CDC Warning Level 3?
If you answer “yes” to one or both of these questions, you must receive prior approval to travel from the Vanderbilt Travel Risk Assessment Committee (VTRAC). Request for approval should be submitted at least 30 days before travel. VIGH can offer guidance in the approval process.
3. Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Non-US citizens should contact their embassy in the host country.
4. Obtain International Health Insurance
Please refer to the Travel Health Resources page for information on health insurance.
5. Sign and Return Student Liability Release Form
6. Passport and Visa Requirements
Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six (6) months after your proposed return to the US. You may not be allowed to leave the US if your passport will expire within 6 months of your proposed return date. Visa requirements can be found online and vary in when and where they can be applied for and purchased.
7. Recommended Apps
- Smart Traveler: This app is the official State Department app for U.S. travelers. It provides easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more.
- Communicating: WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Facebook messenger, & Google chat all provide free text messaging and calls when using Wi-Fi.
8. Useful Websites
- Visit travel.state.gov for security advisories and other travel guidance
- U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website
- List of US Embassies and Consulates – Information on the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, whether you need a visa, crime and security, health and medical conditions, drug penalties, etc.
- U.S. Department of State’s role in a crisis
- ISOS offers excellent email alerts, country guides, and safety information in the top left corner of their website (use this link to enter as a VU student).
- The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) was created to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State.
For more information as well as safety and security protocols for Vanderbilt student travelers, visit Vanderbilt’s Global Education Office (GEO).