Columbia Resources for International Travel and Relocation

As you plan to travel or relocate abroad, please review the following resources to find assistance and advice.

Health and Safety Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This section of the CDC website provides resources and tips regarding travel safety, such as:

  • Injury and illness abroad
  • Food safety
  • Health information by destination

Columbia University Health Services

  • Travel Assessment: Columbia students, faculty, and staff who anticipate traveling abroad may obtain a travel assessment by making an appointment through Medical Services. This service is also available to spouses and registered partners.
  • Vaccinations and Prescriptions: The Travel Medicine Program provides vaccinations and prescription medicine commonly recommended for travelers. These medications and vaccinations are provided at cost to Columbia University employees.

International SOS (ISOS): Travel Assistance Plan

ISOS is a travel assistance plan that is available to students, faculty, and staff who are traveling for Columbia University academic and other school/work related travel.  ISOS provides 24-hour worldwide emergency medical and evacuation assistance for eligible Columbia travelers.  Please be sure to review plan details and eligibility carefully.  If you decide to use ISOS, remember to print the regional ISOS collect call number for the country where you will be traveling.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

STEP is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. It also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Nationals of other countries should check travel advice and notifications with their relevant consulates.

U.S. Department of State

The Travel.State.Gov website, provided by the U.S. Department of State, is an excellent resource on international travel.  Through their site, you can find:

  • Passport and Visa Information
  • Worldwide Safety Alerts
  • International Travel Laws and Policies
  • Travel Tips


Information Resources/Services

Campus Travel Management

This website features a variety of resources, including:

  • Hotel Discounts at other Universities
  • University Approved Travel Agencies
  • Travel Tips
  • Links to Columbia University Travel Reimbursement Policies

Please note: Students are not covered under airline discounts or car rental agreements.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP’s convenience services can assist with travel plans by helping to research travel destinations, flight information, hotel accommodations, travel insurance, and more.  To access the EAP’s convenience services:

  • Call Humana/HRI at (888) 673-1153
  • Ask for convenience services

In addition to being able to assist you with research for planning your trip, the EAP provides an extensive list of travel tips.  To access the EAP’s travel resources:

  • Enter the Humana/HRI website (username: columbia; password: eap)
  • Select “Daily Living” from the menu on the left  
  • Select “Daily Living Library” and scroll down to Travel Tips

Here you will find safety tips, sample packing lists, information on traveling with disabilities, and more.

Please Note: Students are not eligible for EAP services.

Employee Relocation Council

ERC has a Resource Library with a tremendous amount of information on a variety of subjects related to relocation.

  • Go to the “Resources” tab, then to “Research”
  • Enter the topic in the “Search” section – “I want to search for: (i.e. international schools) within All Categories in Resources.”

Global Entry Program for International Travelers

If you are a frequent international traveler, visit our website to learn how to expedite your reentry into the USA.

Office of Work/Life

The Office of Work/Life has several programs that may be able to assist with travel and relocation:

  • Back-Up Care: Columbia provides backup care for children and/or adults and elders nationwide when normal care is interrupted.  For eligibility details, please visit the Back-Up Care webpage.
  • Housing Information and Referral Service and  the School and Child Care Search Service can provide information on specific relocation and child care/schooling concerns for living abroad for both brief and longer term time frames. 
  • There may be assistance for other concerns or questions regarding traveling or temporarily living abroad. Please contact the Office of Work/Life.

Additional Reminders/Tips

  • Check with your department for emergency contact numbers and procedures
  • Share your itinerary with someone who is not traveling with you.
  • Have Columbia’s Department of Public Safety 24 hour hotline number on hand: (212) 854-5555.
  • Check Columbia HR’s Benefits highlights for additional travel assistance.