Northeastern University is committed to the health and safety of all community members. There are a constellation of resources, services, and requirements designed to mitigate risk to our community members as they pursue their international endeavors.
Know Your Destination
Each person and location may have special health needs. Your travel planning should include learning about any specific vaccination requirements or other precautionary dietary, water and environmental considerations for any location on your travel plan from the Center for Disease Control. The World Health Organization also has useful information that you may wish to consult.
Planning ahead is critical since many vaccinations may be required months in advance of travel. There are many travel clinics available in the Boston area such as: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Understanding Travel Risks
All travelers are urged to understand the risks associated with any planned travel. The U.S. State Department and WorldAware, powered by iJET, provide extensive and up to date safety and risk information. Additionally, all travelers who are U.S. citizens should register for SmartTraveler sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
- International travelers may contact their home embassy for guidance and registration information. Here is a list of foreign embassies in the U.S.
- Students are also encouraged to read the FBI’s The Key to U.S. Student Safety Overseas and view the FBI’s most recent short film, Game of Pawns, regarding student safety and security issues while abroad.
- NUPD is available to assist all travelers in emergency planning and risk reduction strategies. The International Security Specialist is available for appointment and may be reached by calling 617.373.2121.
Yes. The University provides coverage for accidents (including repatriation) that occur while you are away on a university-sponsored program or work-related activity, but does not cover you for routine sickness or medical needs while you are out of the country.
The Policy on International Travel requires "All students undertaking University-sponsored International Travel must possess personal health insurance that meets minimum standards as prescribed by the university." Personal health insurance coverage varies by vendor and type. Therefore, all travelers should call their insurance company and ask about coverage in the destination countries. The U.S. Department of State suggests some questions to ask your insurer, including:
- Does my plan cover emergency expenses abroad such as returning me to the United States for treatment if I become seriously ill?
- Do you require pre-authorizations or second opinions before emergency treatment can begin?
- Do you guarantee medical payments abroad?
The university recommends travelers ask how the billing and payment for any services provided overseas will be handled and what paperwork you may need to make a claim. Travelers should request a full summary of benefits out of country.
If you have questions about university provided travel insurance, please email Risk Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
The university provides traveler on sponsored programs with emergency response resources. In the event of a university travelers needs assistance, call one of the following options:
- The local emergency number. Travelers should fully understand the capabilities of the host nation prior to arriving at your destination. Email email@example.com to request information about a host nation's emergency services.
- Call WorldAware's 24/7 Response Operations Center (ROC) at +1 312.470.3108. The ROC will connect travelers with health and safety resources around the world.
- Northeastern Police at the non-emergency number +1.617.373.2121 or emergency number +1.617.373.3333.
If traveling in an organized trip (e.g., Dialogue, Alternative Spring Break etc.) contact your trip leader to information them about the emergency. The trip leader is responsible for completing an incident report once the emergency has subsided.
If you are not part of a group (e.g., Coop, study abroad, meeting etc.), call Northeastern Police at the non-emergency number +1.617.373.2121 or emergency number +1.617.373.3333. NUPD will then contact the other appropriate offices or organizations who can further assist you in managing the emergency. NUPD will ensure your program advisor, supervisor, or department chair is aware of the incident and complete an incident report.
Preparation is a a proven method to increase your safety abroad and reduce the abilities of those who wish to victimize travelers. The university recommends you:
- Learn about your destination and the area you will reside prior to departing
- Know what man-made and environmental risks occur in your host country
- Review travel warnings and alerts
- Ask the your program, the International Safety Office, and/or previous university travelers about your destination.
- Understand how your in-country embassy can help during an emergency.
- Have a plan.
- Establish communication plans with your family, the university, and other travelers on your trip
- Develop contingency plan, such as sheltering-in-place and/or departing your residence for a safer location.
- Know how to use the university's response programs, urgent and emergency assistance, and your personal health insurance.
- Register with assistance providers.
- Register your trip in the university's travel registry (found in the MyNEU Portal at "My Travel Plans" under the "Self Services" tab).
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or your country of origin's equivalent citizens services or embassy. (Note: non-US Citizens can enroll in STEP to receive destination alerts/warning, but are not able to use the US Embassy's resources during an emergency).
- Understand how to contact emergency services.
- Know the host country's laws and health/security services capability.
- Save the WorldAware urgent and emergency contact number(+1 312.470.3108) in multiple locations.
- When in doubt, call NUPD's emergency number.
- Attend a pre-departure orientation.
- Take a NUPD safety class, such as RAD/Self Defense or CPR.
- Enroll in a first aid or trauma course.
For assistance in creating plans or learning about a destination consult with the NUPD's International Safety Office (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
For questions about university provided urgent and emergency insurance and when travelers are required to use their personal health insurance consult with university Risk Services (email email@example.com).
Remember that all Northeastern University policies including the NU Code of Conduct follow you wherever you are in the world. If you over consume, you may still be subject to sanctioning from the conduct office. While drinking may be legal in other countries, over consumption is still a violation of the Northeastern Code of Conduct.
Usually, you will not be able to get prescription medication in another country based on a US doctor’s authorization.You should always talk with your doctor before going overseas for any length of time, have enough supply of your medication to last the length of your planned stay and have an emergency plan should your prescription be lost or stolen.
Laws and customs vary greatly around the globe, it is best to research your intended destination before you go.
The university also subscribes to iJET's LGBTQI+ PRISM Annual Report and Quarterly Newsletter. Contact the International Safety Office via firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an electronic copy of the newsletter.
The university's Policy on International Travel uses three indicators to determine if a country, city, or region presents a "high risk" to travelers.
- Countries with current U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings.
- Countries and cities designated with a risk rating of "High" (Level Four) or "Very High" (Level Five) by WorldAware, the university's international response provider.
- Areas or regions under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Warning Level 3.
Visit this webpage for a list of high-risk destination. The University reserves the right as its sole discretion to designate other locations as “high-risk.”
Please contact your program or NUPD's International Security Office to learn more about the university's requirements for sponsored travel to high risk destinations.
ISSAC is the International Safety and Security Assessment Committee. It is charged with providing advice, guidance, and recommendations to the Provost and Senior Vice Presidents in response to circumstances that present a safety concern where Northeastern community members are, or will be, participating in a university-approved activity. The ISSAC also proactively makes recommendations in response to changing world conditions regarding programs still in the planning stages.
Any University related travel to countries found on the following lists require submission of an ISSAC Petition: US Department of State’s list of travel warning countries, WorldAware’s Watch List of countries considered either HIGH (risk level 4) or SEVERE risk (risk level 5), and The Center for Disease Control travel notices.
Any University related travel to countries found on the following lists require submission of an ISSAC Petition: US Department of State’s list of travel warning countries, WorldAware’s Watch List of countries considered either HIGH (risk level 4) or SEVERE risk (risk level 5) Centers for Disease Control Travel notices.
Undergraduates should reach out to GEO to explain why you are unable to complete your itinerary as required and to let the office know when you will have all necessary details. All other travelers should contact the International Safety Specialist in NUPD.
Before departure, all undergraduate and graduate students must register on the University’s Travel Registry. Faculty and staff members are strongly encouraged to register. All travelers must contact their country’s citizen services. US Citizens accomplish this by registering with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Travelers are also encouraged to become familiar with the destination’s laws and customs. These may include, but are not limited to dress standards, photography restrictions, availability of communication systems, curfews, etc. Tell people where you are going and establish points of contacts among your travel group, host institution and family members at home. Discover and document local emergency numbers and the number for your nearest embassy or consulate. Have an emergency plan in place. Know where your safe locations are and who you would contact for immediate assistance. Checking out the U.S. State Department Site and WorldAware is a great way to get some important information.
Travelers are also encouraged to meet with NUPD’s International Security Office and/or consult WorldAware’s for a country brief, cultural awareness, and safety information.
All travelers considering sponsored travel to a “high risk” destination must petition the International Safety and Security Advisory Council (ISSAC) for consideration and recommendation to the Provost or Senior Vice President regarding approval for the travel. You must also consult the International Security Specialist located in NUPD for a pre-travel country risk assessment. Check out the Petitions portion of the International Travel website for more information.
You should back up your data before departing and travel with a clean computer. Use of VPNs and remote access while abroad typically keeps travelers more secure. Travelers won't lose data if the computer is misplaced or stolen, as their data remains on the NU servers in Boston. If you have any questions contact Northeastern University’s Office of Information Security at OIS@NEU.EDU and also please refer to the following links:
Immediately ask to speak with a representative from the nearest embassy or consulate of your country of citizenship if you are arrested for any reason. Locations of U.S. Embassies may be found on their website. Embassy information worldwide for all travelers may be found at http://embassy.goabroad.com.
Contact NUPD at the non-emergency number +1.617.373.2121 or emergency number +1.617.373.3333, local law enforcement, WorldAware and/or your embassy or consulate. When a traveler is the victim of a crime overseas, he or she may suffer from physical, emotional or financial injuries. It can be more difficult because the victim may be in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language or customs.The University offers these resources and is available to assist 24/7.
You should let your trip leader know about any medical or behavioral health issues you have prior to leaving so that plans can be put in place to allow flexibility in the programing while you are on the trip. Trip leaders can also use the information to better plan for possible support in the area to which you are traveling. Finally, knowledge shared in advance may make the difference between having to leave the program early vs. getting appropriate care and completing the overseas experience.