International Travel Requirements and Resources

Consistent with UNC System guidance, University-affiliated international travel requires prior approval. See below for steps for approval process.

Prospective travelers should familiarize themselves with conditions in destination countries:

If you have any questions, please contact Naya Villarreal, Gillings Global Health Associate Director, at naya@unc.edu.

UNC Gillings International Travel Approval Process

Please read and follow the international travel approval process that corresponds to your position (i.e., students, faculty, postdocs, and staff) to receive travel approval prior to purchasing your ticket.

Graduate Student Approval Process

We highly encourage those who are looking at international practicum/internship opportunities to parallel plan. Please make sure you are working with your preceptor/supervisor to make sure you can complete your practicum/internship remotely, if you are not approved to travel. For now, we will be reviewing international travel exception requests related to a student’s academic program, not recreational travel, on a case-by-case basis. The steps of a travel approval request are as follows:

  • Have your advisor complete the Advisor Approval Form
  • Sumbit your request for an international travel approval through RAPID ADMIN SERVICE REQUEST RASR

    On the Graduate School tab, select “Graduate Student Request for Travel Restriction Exception.”

    MPH students, please select the Gillings department your concentration is affiliated for "Academic Program." For Global Health and Health Equity students, please select Health Behavior as your "Academic Program."

    For RASR access issues, contact Julie Montaigne at julie_montaigne@unc.edu. Applicants can follow the approval process in the RASR system under “My RASR Form Submissions.”
  • Request reviewed by department or concentration home department Chair
  • If request approved by the Chair, review by Associate Dean for Global Health
  • If request approved by the Associate Dean, request reviewed by Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Provost Clemens for final approval
UNC Global will need up to 14 days to review Level 3 and Level 4 requests. If you are experiencing a longer delay, please email Kim Priebe at kim.priebe@unc.edu.

International Health and Evacuation Insurance: Students, faculty, and staff are required to have international health insurance coverage when traveling abroad on University-affiliated business. Affiliates granted an exemption to current travel restrictions can visit UNC Global's page on travel insurance for full details. For any questions, please contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

Undergraduate Student Approval Process

Undergraduate international travel outside a study abroad program will resume once a new, centralized process is in place to manage risk and facilitate provost review. The College of Arts and Sciences will administer the centralized review process (for all undergraduate students regardless of school or college) and send recommendations to the provost for review. Students whose travel is approved by the provost will be required to register their travel with the Study Abroad Office. Once the College of Arts and Sciences completes preparation to launch the new centralized review process, you will find a link to the standardized application form here. Please contact Kim Priebe (kim.priebe@unc.edu) for updates on the approval process for independent undergraduate travel outside a study abroad program.

Faculty, Staff, and Post-Doc Approval Process

Approval by School Dean is required (For Gillings, Suzanne Maman, Associate Dean for Global Health, will be the Dean-level approval)

1. Complete the International Travel Approval form.

To complete the form prospective travelers should familiarize themselves with conditions in destination countries via the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Health Notices, and CDC COVID-19 information.

2. For Dean/leader's signature, please send your completed and signed International Travel Approval PDF Form (please do not send scanned forms) to gillings_travel@unc.edu.

3. Your form will be reviewed, signed by Dr. Suzanne Maman, Associate Dean for Global Health, and returned to you via email.

If you are traveling to a State Department Level 1 or Level 2 country and Dr. Maman has approved, YOUR TRAVEL IS APPROVED. You can upload your approved International Travel Approval Form into Concur as an attachment as part of your Concur travel request.

If you are traveling to a State Department Level 3 or Level 4 country and Dr. Maman has signed and returned your form, please upload your International Travel Approval Form into Concur as an attachment as part of your Concur travel request for final travel approval from the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs. Once you submit your Concur travel request, your form will be reviewed in Concur by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs (OVPGA). If the OVPGA approves your travel after their review, you will see your travel request as “Approved” in Concur (you will not receive any sort of notification, so please check back in Concur for approval). The OVPGA will need up to 10 days to review Level 3 and 4 requests. If you are experience a longer delay, please email Jill Wilhem at jill.wilhelm@unc.edu.

International Health and Evacuation Insurance: If your international travel is approved, students, faculty, and staff are required to have international health insurance coverage when traveling abroad on University-affiliated business. Affiliates granted an exemption to current travel restrictions can visit UNC Global's page on travel insurance for full details. For any questions, please contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

Travel Tips and Resources

We have compiled resources to help prepare for your trip!

Health and Safety

Health

Safety

  • UNC Emergency Communications
    • Faculty, staff and students who experience an emergency while traveling abroad on University business should contact the UNC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at +1.919.962.8100.
    • Public Safety is first in the chain of response. Students should ask DPS to contact the Dean of Students on call to find the appropriate resources for assistance. DPS will assist faculty and staff with identifying a human resources administrator or Employee Assistance Program officer who can provide support.
    • For emergency evacuation and other 24/7 health insurance assistance, call GeoBlue collect from outside the U.S. at +1.610.254.8771, toll free within the U.S. at 800.257.4823, or email globalhealth@geo-blue.com.
    • In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call GeoBlue. Insurance coverage must be bought in advance of travel.
  • Safety advice from the UNC Study Abroad Office.

Research Ethics and Cultural Competence

Research Ethics

  • All UNC faculty, staff, and students participating in research involving human subjects or identifiable data from human subjects must complete IRB CITI Ethics training.
  • You must submit an IRB application and receive approval well in advance of your trip. Visit the website for the UNC Office of Human Research Ethics for more on IRB approval.

Cultural Competence

We encourage you to review the material found on these websites to help facilitate working effectively abroad. All students planning to go abroad should attend the GO! Global Orientation Initiative Workshop held annually in the spring semester.

Learn About Your Destination

  • The U.S. Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world. You will find the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, information about whether you need a visa, crime and security information, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, localized hot spots and more.
  • We highly recommend registering your trip on the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Passport Information

  • Make sure your passport is valid. You can find more information on applying for a passport or renewing your passport here. Make sure to give yourself enough time to apply or renew your passport!
  • Each year, hundreds of Carolina community members obtain or renew a passport at the annual Passport Drive hosted by UNC Global.

Financial Considerations

Helpful financial advice to consider prior to departure. Research to see what forms of payment (cash, debit and credit cards, and traveler's checks) are accepted in your destination country and any other countries you may be traveling through (do not carry too much cash at one time): Alert your bank and credit card companies when and where you will be traveling

  • Ask if they charge foreign transaction fees
  • Ask if you’ll need a PIN to make purchases abroad. If so, how many digits does the PIN need to be.
Exchange some cash to your destination’s local currency
  • Exchange money at a bank before you leave the U.S. or exchange in the airport prior to departure or when you arrive to have money for transportation, accommodations and food for the day of your arrival
  • OANDA Currency Converter allows you to print out a wallet sized Traveler's Cheat-sheet to take on your trip.
Find out about Arrival and Departure Taxes and Currency Restrictions
  • Check on any arrival or departure taxes you may encounter
  • Check on any restrictions on how much currency you can enter and exit with
Adapted from Yale's International Travel Toolkit

Ethical Photography

The above resources are to help with understanding how to appropriately respect the people and communities you are working with and meeting when documenting your experience for any purpose.

Taking photos with your smartphone

For those not taking a separate camera with them for their travels, learn how to take incredible photos with your smartphone!