With the conflict in Afghanistan weighing heavily on American minds, many citizens are fearful of traveling abroad. The University”s International Travel Oversight Committee has created a solution to allay the worries of the fretful overseas traveler.

The ITOC, a standing committee responsible for University sponsored study abroad programs, recently created a new website accessible to all students and staff who plan to travel abroad.

“We want people to be as informed as possible,” said Carol Dickerman, program director of the LSA Office of International Programs.

Part of this campaign to inform students includes a travel registry. All University members have access to the registry and are encouraged to register their trip abroad with the University. The information is accessible only to the Department of Public Safety. All information is deleted automatically 30 days after a person”s trip is scheduled to end. Using the registry, the University can contact students and staff abroad in the event of an emergency that would affect their trips.

This website, located at www.umich.edu/itoc, is an unrestricted site and is available to anyone. The site provides basic information for U.S. citizens traveling abroad.

It contains links to websites maintained by the U.S. State Department and information on passports, consulates, immunization and safety tips for traveling, as well as basic rights of U.S. citizens abroad. The site also hosts links for weather, car rental companies and a range of other information that could benefit travelers.

“It can put people in touch with many sources of reliable information,” said John Godfrey, assistant dean of international education at the Rackham School of Graduate Studies and one of the creators of the new site.

The website was proposed by the provost”s office last spring but with the events of Sept. 11 the ITOC staff hurried to put things together more rapidly.

ITOC staff members say they feel they have done a thorough job providing travelers with as much information as possible.

“We will continue to add to and improve it as situations change,” Godfrey said.

Students said the website and the travel registry were both useful additions to University resources.

“I think they should promote this for the student body. It sounds like a good idea,” said Terri-Anne Davis, a second-year Law student.

Dickerman said that despite the Sept. 11 tragedies, there have been no cancellations of University study abroad programs.

“Students wish to travel,” Dickerman said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.