Business Services

International Travel

Please take a moment to review a few important items:

  • International Visa Requirements
  • Carefully review Travel Warnings before traveling and comply with them.
  • Register online with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order for the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to better assist you in an emergency.
  • Add your trip to Western’s optional Travel Registry so we can contact you in an emergency.
  • Travelers are required to report to the institution when arriving from a travel health warning area or a pandemic influenza affected area.POL-U1000.12 Reporting Communicable Diseases, section 3.
  • Foreign travelers must review and comply with the WWU Travel Policy: Traveling Outside of the US before traveling for the purposes of:
    • Faculty‐led study abroad programs
    • Study abroad programs ‐ foreign institutions, study centers, outside contractors or affiliates
    • Student exchange programs with a foreign institution
    • Students doing independent study abroad, including internships

Medical Plans: For short trips (i.e. less than 1 month), contact your medical plan provider, describe your travel plans and ask for health care procedures while abroad. For longer trips (i.e. over 1 month), you may have to convert your coverage from a managed care plan to the Uniform Medical Plan (UMP), if you are not already in the UMP plan. However, consult with your existing provider or Human Resources first.

Dental Plans: Follow the same process described above. You may need to convert to the Uniform Dental Plan to obtain coverage abroad, if you are not already in the plan.

AD&D Coverage: "AD&D" is accidental death & dismemberment coverage. It is available, if you choose to purchase it through Human Resources as an employee benefit. It provides worldwide coverage.

Other Coverage: Check with your medical plan provider for "Repatriation of Remains" and "Medical Evacuation" benefits. Both are very costly expenses if you should die or become seriously ill while abroad and need to return home.

Human Resources can help you with further information and conversions, if that is necessary. Call HR Benefits at 360-650-6841 or e-mail

Western Washington University strongly recommends that faculty or staff engaged in international educational activities purchase and maintain an adequate health insurance plan while traveling abroad. The University feels the plan should have the following minimum amount of coverage:

  • Medical expense coverage of $100,000 per injury or sickness.
  • Accidental death & dismemberment indemnity in the amount of $10,000.
  • Repatriation expense benefits of $15,000.
  • Medical evacuation benefits of $50,000.
  • Family air fare expense of $1,500.
  • Overseas travel and assistance Services

Where can I purchase this insurance?

Please note: Per SAAM 10.20.20 Costs of personal insurance (such as personal accident insurance, personal effects insurance, and extended liability insurance), and medical and hospital services are not reimbursable expenses.


What if my medical insurance provides some coverage abroad?

Typical medical insurance plans providing coverage while abroad do not provide medical evacuation benefits, repatriation expense benefits and other important travel services. So, to enhance the coverage provided by the traveler’s existing medical plan, the following travel assistance programs are available:

Note: Not all plans meet the University’s recommendations. Make sure that you become familiar with an individual plan’s eligibility requirements, coverage, limits, exclusions and premiums before purchasing it. Be certain the plan meets your personal needs for health insurance coverage.

If you have any questions, please contact International Programs & Exchanges at 650-3298 or Risk Management at 650-3065.

OneCard: International Best Practices

Western OneCards will be upgraded to include a security chip April through July 2017. Please see One Card: International Best Practices for tips for getting the most out of your OneCard while traveling abroad.