Graduate Student Travel

Preparing for Research Experiences Abroad

Princeton encourages international travel supporting academic research, work, conferences, service and study.  Below you'll find important reminders, tips, and resources for graduate students traveling abroad on University-sponsored trips. Be sure to take full advantage of the international travel resources available at Princeton and beyond.  

Traveler Responsibilities

Please note that ALL University-sponsored graduate student international travel must be registered in the travel registration system Concur, prior to beginning travel. 

A Trip is Considered University-Sponsored If:

  • A University account contributes funds or money is held and disbursed through a University account (this includes your Graduate School stipend and funds supporting travel to international conferences, courses, or meetings);
  • The trip is organized on behalf of a registered University organization, including but not limited to: student organizations, religious groups, sport clubs, varsity athletic teams, civic engagement organizations, residential colleges, academic or administrative departments;
  • The trip is organized by a University faculty or staff member;
  • The work will be considered for academic credit or is otherwise related to the student’s program of study.

Pre-Departure Health and Safety Checklist

Submit a Travel Request in Concur

  • Students with In Absentia status who are traveling to an international location must also register -regardless of whether they are receiving University funding or external funding.  Please be aware that failure to comply with this requirement may result in revocation of funding. 
  • When you submit a travel request in Concur, you will be asked to certify that you understand and agree to the Terms and Conditions for University-Sponsored International Travel
  • Be sure to confirm that your profile contact information is correct.
  • Questions about submitting a travel request?  Step-by-step instructions and video tutorials are available. 
  • For additional questions, please contact the financial service center at finance@princeton.edu

Review Princeton Travel Policies

  • Make sure your travel is in line with University policies.

Obtain Necessary Travel Documents

  • Visit our Know Before You Go page to access important information regarding passport and visa considerations. 
  • Be sure to allow plenty of time to obtain your passport or visa documents, as it can sometimes take 4-6 weeks to process your application. 
  • Be sure to review information regarding traveling with electronic devices, as well as security regulations and policies to consider.
  • International students may want to consult with the Davis International Center regarding their US student visas.

Plan For Your Medical Care

  • Students can also arrange an in-person Travel Health Consultation with a travel heath provider at University Health Services (UHS) to discuss chronic medical conditions, special diets, prescription medications and strategies for meeting their health needs while traveling internationally.
  • Consulting with UHS is essential, especially if traveling to an area where particular immunizations are needed.
  • Travel health consultations are also encouraged for students with health problems or concerns about traveling to a particular destination.
  • Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when considering your medical care:
    • Is a UHS travel health consultation necessary? (if so, schedule 4-6 weeks prior to departure)
    • Do I know what to pack in my travel health kit?
    • How does overseas health insurance work?
    • What services does International SOS provide if I need medical care while abroad?
  • Visit Travel Health Resources for the tools to address these concerns and to help you prepare for a healthy experience abroad.

Prepare to Mitigate Travel Risks

  • INTERNATIONAL SOS 
    • Princeton contracts with International SOS to provide 24/7 worldwide emergency medical and evacuation services for eligible individuals traveling internationally on University-sponsored travel.  
    • Their services also include access to country-specific security and medical information, safety guidance, risk alerts, and more. 
    • Travelers can consult directly with International SOS for itinerary-specific pre-departure safety guidance, if necessary.
  • US DEPARTMENT OF STATE TRAVEL ADVISORIES
    • In January, 2018 the Department of State (DOS) replaced the Travel Warning system with Travel Advisories, which are available for every country in the world. 
    • Within the DOS Travel Advisory you can access country information pages, recent alerts, annual crime and safety reports, and other important country-specific details such as entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, the address and phone number of the nearest US embassy or consulate, and more. 
  • SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP)
    • Travelers are also encouraged to register with Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free DOS service that allows US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Benefits of enrolling in STEP:
      • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
      • Help the US Embassy contact you in an emergency -whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
      • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
    • Non-US citizens are eligible to enroll in STEP to receive safety alerts, however, they should also register travel with their nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Know What To Do in An Emergency

  • International SOS provides Princeton students, faculty, and staff traveling outside the US with 24/7 assistance in the event of medical or security emergency abroad. 
  • All Princeton travelers should become familiar with International SOS benefits prior to departure, as well as review important medical and safety information about the country to which they are traveling. 
  • Be sure to download the International SOS Assistance App and print an International SOS membership card and carry with you throughout your trip. 

Communicate with Others About Your Plans

  • Remember to touch base with your academic department and advisors so they are aware of your upcoming travel and to discuss your plans.
  • Remember to double-check with your local in-country partners or contacts about whether you’ll have internet access and/or cellular coverage while abroad.  
  • Consider how you will communicate regular updates to your department, advisors, family, and friends while away and share your communication plan with them.
  • Discuss with your department, advisors, family, and friends how you can be reached in an emergency while abroad.