International travel safety for UM students

You must complete all of the required steps to meet your safety and security responsibilities prior to travel. If you are participating in a University of Manitoba exchange program (managed by the International Centre or your faculty), contact your exchange coordinator for guidance.

Step 1: Identify potential travel restrictions

Prior to booking travel, review the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisories to determine the advisory level for your proposed country/region. The University will not authorize students to travel to countries or regions with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory (labelled “Avoid Unnecessary Travel” and “Avoid all Travel”) unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you believe exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for Special Travel Authorization by contacting tct@umanitoba.ca. This must be done a minimum of four weeks in advance of the proposed travel.

Step 2: Complete the International Travel Registry

If you are participating in University-related international travel (for example, co-op, internship, research, service learning, training, competition, etc.), record your travel in our International Travel Registry at least two weeks prior to departure. Within the registry, you will also access the following resources:

  • An International SOS membership number, giving you free 24-7 access to UM’s medical and travel security service. You will also receive details on where to pick up your free International SOS Emergency Card.
  • Information on the Registration of Canadians Abroad
  • A waiver (for most programs, the "Study and Work Abroad Waiver") to complete and submit to the faculty or staff member who is coordinating or supervising your travel

Students participating in a UM exchange program through the International Centre, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Architecture or I.H. Asper School of Business are already registered via their respective application procedures and do not need to register their travel in this particular registry. 

Step 3: Complete pre-departure training

You must complete a Pre-Departure Orientation with your program coordinator/supervisor (where offered) and/or the online International Pre-Departure Orientation in UM Learn. If you are unsure, check with your program coordinator or supervisor.

Step 4: Submit informed consent

Ensure you submit a waiver (informed consent) to the faculty or staff member who is coordinating or supervising your travel. In most cases, this is the "Study and Work Abroad" waiver.

International travel support for UM employees

The following step-by-step guidelines provide information on available resources to help you stay safe during your own university-related international travel. If you are traveling with students, please review the international travel sponsor support information after this section to learn about your responsibilities as a travel supervisor.

Step 1: Review relevant policies

Prior to planning travel, familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities under relevant University of Manitoba policies, including the Respectful Work and Learning Environment and Sexual Assault policy and procedures as well as the Health and Safety policy and procedures.

Step 2: Assess the safety of your destination

Prior to booking travel, review the Government of Canada's Travel Advisory reports to determine the advisory level for your destination country/region. The University will not authorize non-academic staff to travel to countries or regions with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory (labelled “Avoid Unnecessary Travel” and “Avoid all Travel”) unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you believe exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for Special Travel Authorization by contacting tct@umanitoba.ca. This must be done a minimum of four weeks in advance of the proposed travel.

Step 3: Vaccinations, visas, health insurance

Visas and permits can take months to receive and may require advance travel to a visa processing centre in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary (for example), so this should be done well in advance, prior to booking travel. The Government of Canada's Travel Advisory reports include information for entrance and exit requirements for Canadians. Non-Canadians can consult a foreign consulate or embassy website to determine entry and exit requirements.

Visit your family doctor or a travel clinic to find out if you need vaccinations or other medications, a minimum of six weeks prior to departure. Some vaccinations may require longer, so book an appointment as soon as possible.

Verify your insurance coverage with your insurer, taking into account the length of travel, destinations and types of activities you will be doing. Ensure that you understand how claims are made for emergencies abroad.

Step 4: Use the UM travel provider

Concur is the recommended travel tool for faculty and staff travel-booking. It facilitates travel expense claims and makes it easier for the University to provide you with support if there is a travel disruption or an emergency while you are overseas. Contact TravInfo@umanitoba.ca with any questions. 

Step 5: Complete the International Travel Registry

If you are participating in University-related international travel, you are advised to record your travel in our International Travel Registry. This is required for non-academic staff and should take less than 10 minutes. Within the registry, you will also access the following resources:

  • An International SOS membership number, giving you free, 24-7 access to UM’s medical and travel security service. You will also receive details on how to request your free International SOS emergency card.
  • Information on Registration of Canadians Abroad
  • A waiver to complete and submit to the faculty or staff member who is coordinating or supervising your travel

For assistance, please contact the international engagement officer and you will receive a response within three business days. 

Step 6: Submit informed consent

Non-academic staff must ensure they submit a waiver (informed consent) to the faculty or staff member who is coordinating or supervising your travel. In most cases this is the "Study and Work Abroad" waiver. This is optional for academic staff.

Step 7: Plan your trip

Review the resources available through International SOS to help you develop a plan before you travel. Familiarize yourself with the supports International SOS can provide you in an emergency. You are advised to complete a Risk Assessment and/or an Emergency Plan (pdf). Please contact the Office of Risk Management for more details.

If you are developing an international partnership, refer to our overview of our mobility support services.

International travel sponsor support

The following step-by-step guidelines provide information on how you can ensure students traveling under your care or supervision stay safe during international travel.

Step 1: Review relevant policies

Prior to planning travel, familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities under relevant University of Manitoba policies, including the Respectful Work and Learning Environment and Sexual Assault policy and procedures as well as the Health and Safety policy and procedures.

Step 2: Assess the safety of your destination

Prior to booking travel, review the Government of Canada's Travel Advisory reports to determine the advisory level for your destination country/region. The University will not authorize student travel in countries or regions with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory (labelled “Avoid Unnecessary Travel” and “Avoid All Travel”) unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you believe exceptional circumstances exist, you may apply for Special Travel Authorization by contacting tct@umanitoba.ca. This must be done a minimum of four weeks in advance of the proposed travel.

Review the resources available through International SOS that can help you develop a plan before you travel. Familiarize yourself with the supports International SOS can provide your students in an emergency. Have a plan in place for sudden or unexpected incapacitation of program leaders or coordinators.

Develop a manifest that lists all travellers' full names, dates of birth, passport numbers and citizenships. Staff accompanying student travellers should keep a copy on hand, stored securely, and leave a copy with the dean, director or department head responsible. This sensitive data must be stored according to departmental guidelines.

Step 3: Provide pre-departure training

Pre-departure training is required for all UM student travellers. The International Pre-Departure Orientation was developed in UM Learn to provide the institutionally supported and approved information for all UM student travellers. This free course can be completed in any order, in any timeframe, and allows for a blended learning approach. However, students are recommended to begin the course at least two months prior to their travel. Supervisors/program coordinators have a few options on how to use this course. Contact the international engagement officer to determine your needs.

Step 4: Confirm vaccinations, visas and health insurance

  1. Ask your students to consult the consulate or embassy website of the country they are planning to visit to determine their visa requirements. Visas can take months to receive and may require travel to a visa processing centre in Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, so this should be done well in advance, prior to booking travel. Requirements may be different for non-Canadian students. 
  2. Ask students to visit their family doctor or a travel clinic to find out if they need vaccinations or other medications, a minimum of six weeks prior to departure. Some vaccinations may require longer, so students should book an appointment as soon as possible. 
  3. Ask students to verify their insurance coverage with their insurer, taking into account the length of travel, destinations and types of activities they will be doing. Not all students will be covered under the UMSU plan. International students are advised to speak with the Manitoba International Student Health Plan insurer as well as their travel health insurer to learn details of their coverage. International students should be aware that their insurance may not be valid if they travel to their home country.

Step 5: Ask students to complete the International Travel Registry

UM students participating in University-related international travel (for example, co-op, internship, research, service learning, training, competitions etc.) should record their travel in our International Travel Registry at least two weeks prior to departure. Within the registry, they will also access the following resources:

  • An International SOS membership number, giving them free, 24-7 access to UM’s medical and travel security service. They will also receive details on where to pick up a free International SOS emergency card. 
  • Information on the Registration of Canadians Abroad
  • A reminder to complete a waiver and submit to the faculty or staff member who is coordinating or supervising the travel. In most cases, this is the "Study and Work Abroad" waiver.

Note: Students participating in a University-coordinated exchange program do not need to register their travel in this registry.

Step 6: Use the UM travel provider

Using Concur or travel agent Carlson Wagonlit to book student travel facilitates travel expense claims and makes it easier for the University to provide support if there is a travel disruption or an emergency overseas. Access information on how to book or contact TravInfo@umanitoba.ca with any questions. 

Step 7: Collect waivers

Collect and verify signed waivers from all students and manage documents according to your departmental policy. Review the available waivers and select the one that fits best (for most programs, the “Study and Work Abroad Waiver”). 

Contact us

Breanne Guiboche
International Engagement Officer
Room 541 UMSU University Centre
75A Chancellor's Circle
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

204-474-6736