Global Safety

The mission of Global Safety is empowering Penn Staters to explore the world. Our office works to help students, faculty, and staff achieve this goal by mitigating potential health and safety risks.

Planning A Trip Abroad 

All students, faculty, and staff traveling either in a group or individually for university purposes (with a club, organization, team, college, or department) or with university funding must record international travel in the GSN database prior to departure as outlined in the university’s International Travel Requirements Policy. Complete a new travel record for each of your university-affiliated international trips at least 30 days before you depart. For each travel record, the GSN system will identify which forms you need to complete. Once you have completed all of the web-based forms in the GSN system for your trip, and completed a pre-departure orientation (if applicable), your record will be reviewed for completeness by university experts and you will receive a GSN confirmation email. The review process may take up to a few weeks before you receive your final confirmation.

Where To Record Your Travel 

 

The GSN Database

The Global Safety Network (GSN) Database is where all university affiliated travel that is not completed through Education Abroad should be recorded. This includes travel that is paid for by or represents the university (this includes research, field work, conference, strategic partnership, site visit, volunteer/service learning, and guest lecture travel). Personal travel should only be entered into the GSN database if part of a university-affiliated trip.

Education Abroad

Education Abroad’ s database is part of the Global Safety Network. Students and faculty going abroad on any approved Penn State education abroad program will complete an application and/or registration via the online system utilized by Education Abroad and will not have to separately register their study abroad travel plans in the GSN database. For more information on how to apply or enroll in an education abroad program, please visit the Steps to Study Abroad page. For questions about how to record your education abroad travel plans, please contact Education Abroad.

University Restricted Travel 

As part of the vision of Penn State as a global university, we work with students, faculty, and staff to support safe international experiences to a wide range of countries, including some that are higher risk. The following restrictions have been instituted in an effort to help reduce the potential for risk. Please note that restricted does not mean prohibited and Global Safety routinely works with travelers to promote the maximum opportunities for global engagement. Please refer to the university’s International Travel Requirements policy for additional information. Travel to restricted destinations requires petition approval process and should be submitted more than 30 days before departure to be reviewed by the International Restricted Travel Committee on a case-by-case basis.

The countries considered restricted by the University is a dynamic list developed based on a variety of sources which include:

The Restricted Country List is reviewed regularly and is subject to change at any time.

Please contact Global Safety to determine if your desired location(s) for travel is currently a restricted country or region. 

Predeparture Orientation for Leaders

Penn State Global Safety oversees the Predeparture Orientation for Leaders (POL) in adherence to Penn State TR01 (International Travel Requirements). Those leading groups on university-affiliated travel must attend POL before embarking on their trips. The orientation covers topics such as international emergency medical insurance, health management abroad, preparation for group travel, incident response, safety, security, and more.

This one-hour orientation is conducted weekly throughout the calendar year and is hosted online via Zoom. Orientation dates and times are found on the registration form. Participants are strongly encouraged to enable their cameras for enhanced engagement. Pre-registration is mandatory for seminar participation. The Zoom link should not be shared with individuals who have not individually registered. Attendees without prior registration will need to retake the training.

To register, complete the Predeparture Orientation for Leaders registration form. For inquiries regarding sessions, registration, or related matters, contact Global Safety at 814-863-8788 or globalsafety@psu.edu.

Emergency Preparedness Workshops (NEW)

Penn State Global (PSG) is thrilled to introduce the latest edition of the Emergency Preparedness Workshop (EPW) designed for leaders. The workshop is designed for faculty, staff, and students who lead groups during international travel affiliated with the university. PSG has developed scenario-based exercises that specifically address critical incidents leaders might encounter while overseeing a group abroad.

In compliance with Penn State TR01 (International Travel Requirements), individuals leading groups on university-affiliated travel are obligated to participate in a Predeparture Orientation for Leaders (POL). Leaders must undergo this training every two years following their last participation in an instruction session. The EPW can serve as a refresher for the Predeparture Orientation for Leaders; however, it is essential that all participants have attended a POL at least once before engaging in the new scenario training. The content of the EPW is derived from the material presented in the Predeparture Orientation for Leaders.

This in-person workshop spans one hour and is restricted to a maximum of 15 participants per session. Each session focuses on a single scenario, such as natural disaster response, injuries, mental health emergencies, accidental death, and more. It is important to note that the sessions are not instructional guides but rather interactive discussions exploring potential actions during critical incidents. Active group participation is strongly encouraged, as sharing experiences enhances the workshop's effectiveness. The EPW scenarios are drawn from real-life experiences, either in part or in whole, encountered by Penn State travelers.

To register, please complete the Emergency Preparedness Workshop registration form. If you have any questions about sessions, registration, or other related matters, please contact Global Safety at 814-863-8788 or globalsafety@psu.edu.

Satellite Phone Loan Program

Overview

Penn State Global Safety administers a satellite cellular phone loan program for faculty, staff, and students free of charge. To qualify, travel must be to an international location and support Penn State academic goals.

The satellite phones (SAT phones) are for Penn Staters that are traveling alone or who are leading a group to remote or rural destinations. The destination should be in a region having little or almost no cellular service, thereby increasing the risk to the individual or group.

Eligibility

Applicants must be current, full-time faculty, staff, or students at Penn State University whose international travel is defined as University-Affiliated International Travel. Applicable international travel must be registered and successfully processed through the Global Safety Network or by Education Abroad before requesting a SAT phone. The trip must be scheduled to start within one month of requesting a SAT phone. The international destination must be in a remote or rural location with inconsistent, very limited, or no cell phone coverage.

Applicants are required to complete the SAT Phone Request form, which includes justification describing previous international travel experience, the proposed travel for which the SAT phone will be needed, and how the SAT phone will contribute to the traveler’s health and safety.

SAT phone recipients must be briefed by Global Safety staff on the proper operation and usage of the device before receipt.

Application Review/Award Process/Reimbursement

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (no deadline) and awarded to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Following the application review, a Global Safety representative will contact the recipient with more details. Recipients will be expected to return the SAT phone to Global Safety within one week of the recorded trip end date.

All questions can be directed to Global Safety at globalsafety@psu.edu or +1-814-863-8788.

Group Travel Information

All student group travel abroad is governed by University Policy FN-20 and must be approved in advance through the appropriate channels. Group leaders should contact Global Safety regarding steps to creating a group trip.

Recognized Student Organization Group Travel

  • International travel that is sponsored by a recognized student organization must meet specific requirements.

University Sponsored Group Travel (Non-Academic)

  • Faculty/staff leading a student group on a non-credit trip abroad will work with Risk Management and Student Activities. All non-credit international group travel must be approved in advance by the associate dean or director of academic affairs of the sponsoring college or campus.

University Professional Groups

  • Faculty/staff leading a group of professionals on a non-credit trip abroad for research or field work purposes. These individuals are not necessarily affiliated with Penn State but can be included in our international travel health insurance for a nominal fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Global Safety – Mauricio Jimenez  | Monique MacAllan  | Claire Preston

427 Boucke Building

Phone: +1-814-863-8788

Email: globalsafety@psu.edu

In the event of a life safety emergency, please contact the Global Safety 24/7 phone.