Parents and Families


Is your student planning to study, do research, or do an internship abroad during the winter semester?  Consider talking with them before departure to make sure that they have completed the following essential health and safety steps. This will help to ensure that they have a safe and fun experience, as well as ease any anxieties you may have about their travel. 

Here are steps your student should take before departing the United States: 

  1. Register their travel in M-Compass. Registering their travel allows the university to stay informed of their location(s) and check-in with the student in the case of any natural disaster or national safety concern.

  2. Purchase U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance. This cost-effective, comprehensive plan is required for students participating in U-M-sponsored travel and highly recommended for students participating in non-UM opportunities. Students are also able to purchase this health insurance for leisure travel abroad!

  3. Pre-Departure Planning: Students should attend a Pre-Departure orientation for their U-M program. This session is usually offered through their sponsoring department/faculty leader. If they are not going through a U-M program, they should visit the International Center website for pre-departure information, or they can contact the office to schedule an individual advising session related to their travel.

  4. Review the U-M Health and Safety guidelines. This will give them critical information about needed vaccines (if any), purchasing travel health insurance, and creating a safety plan.

  5. Give you the addresses of all locations that they will stay while abroad. This includes all hotels, homestays, and hostels. If they are doing an internship, you may want to get their work address. Your student should also leave you with a photocopy of their passport (as well as take a photocopy with them) in case they lose it.

  6. Discuss plans for communication. Will your student have access to a cell phone while abroad? Will they need to find alternative ways of communicating with you? Discuss how you plan to communicate (texting, email, WhatsApp, Google Hangout, Skype, etc.) before they depart to avoid stressful situations.

If your student or yourself still have questions about their travel after completing these steps, feel free to reach out to their program coordinator or the International Center for support. 


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