As indicated, we have created planning tools as follows and these tools take you step by step through the process of planning your field research or field schools, including many tips and reminders on travel.

Any “field research” involves travelling off-campus.  If you are taking students, you should review the U of A's Off-Campus Activities and Travel Policy. Risk Management Services has also created a Travel web page to introduce you to the policy.

Go to U of A Protective Services Off-Campus Travel Emergencies page for details.  Protective services manages the University's online travel registration system where you can securely leave details about your off-campus activity.  You can also enter the email of your supervisor, assistant, or department contact and once you register your activity, an email automatically gets sent to that person you have identified letting them know of your off-campus activity plans. If you use the online travel registration system, Protective Services will be better positioned to provide assistance to you in the case of an emergency (natural disasters, political unrest, travel advisories, etc.).  

Since 2016 University of Alberta international travellers have access to another organization to help with planning and emergency assistance. International SOS helps with finding extensive health and security information about any place on earth. Also, if you are a staff member, Allianz Global Assistance (1-800-511-4610 from in Canada or US, 1-202-296-7493 from anywhere else) is who you contact if you experience acute illness while travelling. 

It is also recommended that you also register with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. If you only register with Foreign Affairs, they will not share your information with Protective Services, so you should register with both.

Before you go, make sure you are aware U of A Health Care Travel benefits that are available to Support Staff or Academic Staff. These links also allow you to print your Sun Life Financial Travel Card. Don't forget to take it with you.

Visit the following sites for Travel Recommendations, Advisories and Immunization information:

Flight & Accommodations

There is a travel management program at UAlberta and its purpose is to provide efficient, cost effective travel products and services to UAlberta travellers.   The more people they have booking with them, the better they are equipped to negotiate preferred rates with travel suppliers.  Please visit Travel @ U of A.


If travelling internationally visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada VISA FAQ site to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa.  In the past, for example, researchers who are going to be in the US doing research for more than 90 days have had to get a visa and had they not had this, they would have been refused entry at the border crossing and research cancelled. It will all depend upon the length of your stay and where you are going. You may be considered a temporary worker or your presence there seen as displacing resident workers. Please see the US Embassy to Canada site for more information on travelling to the US.  Look to the country's embassy office to get further particulars on that country's requirements.

Getting funds into Foreign Countries

Supply Management Services has now approved the Travel Card Procedure.  The Travel Card provides University employees with a convenient and efficient method of paying for travel expenses such as accommodations, vehicle rentals and meals.  This is a joint liability personal pay credit card. 

Field Researchers often have to arrange for payments to third parties in foreign countries. In some countries, cash is the only viable means of payment. Since travelling with a large amount of cash is risky, you may want to arrange for monies to be wired to you at your foreign destination. A wire transfer can be made  - see SMS Payment Methods page.   

Researchers can also take out a travel advance and these are paid directly to the researcher’s bank account.   However, there are limits on the amount of funds.  In this regard, please make yourself familiar with the UAlberta Travel Expense Procedure that contains information on travel advances. 

Other Frequently Asked Travel Research Questions

Customs problems?

See Travelling Abroad with Field Equipment for information on how to avoid problems with customs and have your equipment arrive before you do!