Travel Requirements and Policies

UNC Global encourages safe, culturally respectful global travel by UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty and staff. To make those travels as successful and safe as possible, the University has established travel policies to help protect members of the Carolina community.

In addition to the requirements outlined below, please consult UNC’s current list of country-specific travel risk levels before planning international travel. Travel to certain countries may be subject to additional restrictions or review. For guidance on planning your trip, consult our page on preparing for international travel.

SPECIAL ALERT: UNC COVID-19 guidance

Requirements for University-Related Travel

All University affiliates—students, faculty, staff, and others—on University-related travel abroad are required to:

  1. Register their travel plans in the Global Travel Registry, and
  2. Enroll in the international health, evacuation, and repatriation insurance coverage.

University-related travel abroad is defined as any activity outside the United States tied to academic credit or university sponsorship or where the traveler directly represents the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This includes but is not limited to independent and structured study abroad, internships and practicums for credit, independent and sponsored research and service delivery, conferences, workshops, presentations, public engagement, partnership building and stewardship, site visits, development and alumni activities, meetings with global collaborators, and athletic competitions. It does not include personal or vacation travel.

Login to the Global Travel Registry.

The Global Travel Registry is Carolina’s central reporting and communication system for affiliates traveling abroad. All university affiliates—students, faculty, staff, and others—are required to register any University-related travel abroad in the Global Travel Registry.

The information travelers provide is restricted to authorized departmental and university administrators and is used only to facilitate communication with travelers who may be in global crisis situations. Personal information from the Global Travel Registry will not be released except as provided for under University policy and applicable law.

Students on some approved programs offered through the Study Abroad Office or through a professional school administrator may be pre-registered in the Global Travel Registry and, as such, do not need to register independently.  Students who are uncertain about their registration should consult with their program administrator.

Though students, faculty, and staff are not required to register their personal travel in the Global Travel Registry, the system will accept such registrations. Those that choose to do so need to recognize that it is for informational purposes only and should use the notes section to indicate the purpose of the travel is personal. It is important to recognize that university benefits, such as international health and evacuation insurance, are only provided to those traveling on University-related travel.

Questions? Contact Andrew Hunt, global operations specialist, at andrew_hunt@unc.edu or +1.919.962.6022.

As mandated by the University of North Carolina System, all University affiliates—students, faculty, staff, and others–are required to enroll in the international health, evacuation, and repatriation insurance coverage, provided by GeoBlue.

Students on some approved programs offered through the Study Abroad Office or through a professional school administrator may be pre-enrolled in travel insurance and, as such, do not need to enroll independently. Students who are uncertain about their enrollment should consult with their program administrator.

Visit our page on travel insurance for full details.

Questions? Contact Janet Hoernke in Risk Management Services and Mission Continuity at +1.919.962.6681 or janet_hoernke@unc.edu.

Special Insurance Guidance for Students Returning from Overseas Due to COVID-19 Pandemic 

Students who were enrolled in Blue Cross Blue Shield GeoBlue travel health insurance are eligible to enroll in the U.S.-based StudentBlue Plan. Loss of GeoBlue is considered a qualifying life event to obtain StudentBlue. Students have 30 days from the day their GeoBlue coverage ends to elect coverage in StudentBlue. Coverage is retroactive to the date after the loss of GeoBlue and will be activated once the prorated premium payment is made.

StudentBlue does cover coronavirus testing at 100% and does not require prior approval. However, doctor visits to screen for COVID-19 will be covered the same as any other doctor visit, subject to the applicable copay, deductible or coinsurance. Student Blue members will also have access to telehealth services through MDliveTo begin your application, contact Vicki Warwick, vwarwick@email.unc.edu, and include your name, PID, date of birth, date that you are canceling GeoBlue 

UNC-Chapel Hill Travel Policies and Forms

The University endeavors to balance the value of participation in global activities against the potential risks that participation poses to its students and employees. This policy provides background on how the University assesses and assigns travel risk levels and outlines requirements for University-related travel. This policy is issued and managed by UNC Global.

View full policy.

This policy was created to ensure compliance with state and University regulations; establish guidelines for approval, control and accounting for employees and others who travel on University business; and ensure fairness for both the traveler and the University.

View full policy.

Additionally, UNC Finance provides information about using the web travel system, travel authorizations, travel reimbursements, airfare requests, the business travel card program and related forms on the Travel Services website.

If you are traveling outside the country, sending items overseas, inviting a visiting scholar to your lab on campus, or related activities, then export control regulations likely apply to you. Export controls are federal laws that govern the transfer of items, materials, equipment, commodities, biologics, software, encryption, and/or technical information to foreign nationals, wherever located. Many University activities fall under these very comprehensive regulations, and violations of these laws carry both individual liability and hefty penalties.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Export Compliance Office is here to help UNC faculty, staff, students, and other personnel navigate through U.S. export controls. The Export Compliance Office is committed to supporting the University’s global mission, as well as our extraordinary foreign national population on campus. Please contact them at exportcontrol@unc.edu with questions or for help with your international engagements.

View full policy.

Communications

Download and print an emergency information card before traveling.

Carolina faculty, staff and students who experience an emergency while traveling abroad on University business should contact UNC Police at +1.919.962.8100. UNC Police is first in the chain of response. Students should ask UNC Police to contact the dean of students on call to find the appropriate resources for assistance. UNC Police will assist faculty and staff with identifying a human resources administrator or Employee Assistance Program officer who can help coordinate 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 +1.844.268.2686, or via email at globalhealth@geo-blue.com. In an emergency, seek appropriate medical care immediately, and then call GeoBlue. Insurance coverage must be purchased in advance of travel.

The Global Risk Response Team at UNC-Chapel Hill is responsible for monitoring world events to identify emerging crises, locating and communicating with UNC travelers on a rapid basis, coordinating assistance for travelers in emergency situations, and managing crisis responses when necessary.

The Global Risk Response Team is composed of:

  • Andrew Hunt, Global Operations Specialist, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs
  • Katie Bowler Young, Director of Global Relations, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs
  • Heather Ward, Associate Dean for Study Abroad and Exchanges, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Catherine Brennan, Interim Executive Director of Environment, Health and Safety and Risk Management, Division of Finance and Operations
  • Desirée Rieckenberg, Dean of Students, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Raymond Farrow, Associate Provost for Global Affairs, Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs