Graduate Students

All graduate students engaging in independent travel or research abroad must be registered to receive International Insurance and complete online safety training with International Safety and Security.

The sections below outline international safety and security resources for graduate students to help improve your study abroad or travel experience.


Health & Safety Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Each individual is unique. Therefore, the health concerns will vary for each individual depending on their host country. However, your health is your responsibility. Take measures to ensure that you are prepared to confront potential health risks or concerns by utilizing on- and off-campus resources.

The McKinley Health Center is an on-campus resource for health questions. You can also visit the McKinley Immunization and Travel Clinic for a pre-departure health screening specific to the risks of your host country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an online resource that offers information on vaccinations, medicines, and other health and safety suggestions for specific destinations. Illinois recommends consulting the CDC prior to your departure date as some countries may require advance immunizations.

Prior to departure, Illinois also recommends consulting your personal physician about any health concerns you may have based on your medical history and communicating concerns about any conditions with your program director or advisor and International Safety and Security.

Your Safety Abroad

Your safety is your responsibility. Be informed, be prepared, and be vigilant to improve your safety. Consult your on-site director or advisors with questions about your specific location.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free resource of the U.S. Department of State for U.S. Citizens. STEP has three main benefits for travelers; access to crucial information on the safety, security, and operation of the country of destination, U.S. Embassy aid in event of a man-made, natural, or personal emergency, and assistance with U.S. based family communication in an emergency. Registering as part of the STEP programs allows the U.S. government to quickly intervene if you are victim of a serious crime or go missing. Enrollment for STEP can be done as an individual trip, a group trip, a frequent traveler account. STEP is also a resource when planning travel, signing up to receive information about countries of considered travel will aid in making informed decisions when making plans.

Non-U.S. Citizens will not be able to formally register with STEP, but should still subscribe to receive Travel Warnings and Alerts for the destination country. For inquiries about services similar to the STEP program, the Embassy or Consulate for the country of citizenship should be contacted.

The U.S. Department of State also provides a list of 911 equivalent phone numbers for countries around the world. In case of emergency, that list can be found here


International Insurance

Illinois requires International Insurance for all graduate students studying abroad or participating in independent research activities. For an overview of the coverage and enrollment procedures, visit the International Insurance page.


Independent Travel Requirements

Independent Student Activity/Research Abroad

  • Students* must complete the Student Activity Abroad Form (SAAF) and enroll in International Insurance online
  • You will receive an email with the International Insurance claims form and policy brochure.

*Students studying abroad on Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange programs, college-sponsored programs, or RSO groups do not need to complete the SAAF.

Registered Student Organization (RSO) Activity Abroad

  • The group leader must fill out the International Travel by a Student Group Reporting Form and submit it at least two months prior to the group’s departure. If you are applying for SORF, the Reporting Form must be date stamped by Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange either before, or the day of, the SORF deadline in order to be considered for funding.
  • Submit this completed form with a list of the participant names and NetIDs to the Coordinator for International Safety and Security in Illinois International (507 E. Green St.) Room 402.
  • After your form has been processed, each participant will receive an email with instructions to log into their online application and complete questionnaires and signature documents.
  • Students must turn in a Signature Verification Form and photocopy of their passport to the Coordinator for International Safety and Security in Illinois International (507 E. Green St.) Room 402.
  • All students must complete the Safety and Security modules and assessments online, and group leaders must attend a Group Leader Orientation.


Additional Resources