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A reminder on international travel

As spring break approaches and members of the MIT community make plans for international travel, MIT recommends that they review the MIT Travel Risk Policy at

While community members are free to travel on personal business to any location they choose, the Institute restricts official MIT travel to certain countries based on the U.S. State Department's assessment of safety conditions. In addition, the State Department's web site provides extremely useful and specific information on conditions in every country of the world. See for information on health risks, violence, political upheaval and security concerns, availability of consular assistance, and unusual visa or internal transportation issues.

Both the MIT policy and the State Department information are updated regularly in response to changing conditions. Currently, students on MIT business -- those taking part in an MIT program or using MIT resources -- are prohibited from traveling to 20 countries deemed high risk and face travel restrictions in 17 additional countries considered moderate risk. Faculty and staff are advised to consider the risks involved in these two sets of countries and to take appropriate precautions. MIT advises all members of the community to heed these warnings and to be as well-prepared as possible when undertaking international travel.

Medical and security evacuation services are available to faculty, staff and students traveling abroad on MIT business. MIT has contracted with International SOS, a travel assistance provider, to make available to MIT community members its 24-hour Alarm Centers, a listing of international clinics and remote-site medical facilities, and online resources. Travelers are encouraged to review the International SOS web site, prior to travel to obtain country-specific information and to register their trip. Prior registration is not required in order to obtain coverage but is useful in case of an emergency.

For further information, please contact Richelle Nessralla, associate counsel, at; Regina Dugan, insurance manager and associate counsel, at; or Brian Wahl, assistant dean for global education, at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 18, 2009 (download PDF).

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