Travelling Overseas on University Business

Travelling Overseas on University Business

Sustainable Business Travel

It is the University’s expectation that all business travel* will be undertaken within the ethos and framework of the Guiding Principles of Sustainable Business Travel.

‘*Business travel’ has been defined as any travel by University of Aberdeen staff (regardless of destination, mode or class) away from University campuses, taken in association with University business, and for which the University pays directly. 

Further information about the Guiding Principles, Travel Hierarchy and how they will be implemented is available online at the Sustainable Business Travel website.  The recent revisions to the Expenses & Benefits Policy also took this new framework into account.  

Travel insurance
Visit the University’s Travel Insurance webpage to register details of your journey. Do this for each overseas trip you take.

This gives you immediate access to the range of benefits provided by the travel insurance and enables the University to provide prompt assistance in event of major incident affecting the area to which you are travelling.

Information about your destination
Check the website below for up to date information and advice about the countries you will be visiting. Check it again shortly before you depart in case the advice has changed.

Will you need permission to travel from Head of College/Secretary to the University?
The University’s Policy (with Risk Assessment) and on Travel Overseas requires you to obtain the permission of the Secretary to the University before you travel to countries or parts of countries for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all or all but essential travel. These areas are identified on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice website.

If you are given permission, you will need to confirm that the University’s travel insurers are prepared to provide insurance cover for your destination. You should contact the Insurance Office.

Booking travel and accommodation
Travel and accommodation can be booked through the University’s appointed travel agent CTM Travel.

Information on how to make a booking can be found on our Corporate Travel page (requires login).

Overseas health advice
Health advice for those travelling overseas is available at the NHS Scotland website Fit for Travel.

If necessary, you should consult a medical clinic or doctor four to six weeks before departing on your journey. The consultation will determine the need for any vaccinations and/or anti-malarial medication, as well as any other medical items which you may require.

Travel health advice can also be obtained from the University’s Occupational Health Service (GO Health Services). You will need to provide a purchase order to cover the costs of any vaccinations and/or anti-malarial medication provided by the Service.

Safety considerations
General travel safety advice is available at the NHS Scotland website Fit for Travel.

Safety arrangements relating to overseas fieldwork will be detailed as part of your School’s safety documentation.

Using a laptop & IT when travelling abroad

Travelling abroad with your University-provided laptop places you at a significantly increased risk of data & identity theft.

For staff travelling to countries deemed high-risk, IT Services can provide a Travel Abroad laptop (see Laptop Technical Specifications for details). This ensures that you will have the applications & information you need whilst minimising the amount of sensitive data that is carried abroad.

The device will not be linked back by VPN to any central University of Aberdeen configuration or services, so when you are abroad you will not be able to connect back to access software or file resources.

If you are travelling to a high-risk country, request a free Travel Abroad laptop via the Service Desk ( at least 7 days before travelling.

7 days gives you the time to ensure you have all the relevant software & data available, because once you are overseas you will not be able to connect back to resources.

Upon your return, IT Services will completely wipe the device and reset it to factory defaults.

Your itinerary
You should leave details of your itinerary with the office of your School/Support Service and keep the office advised of any changes to your plans. This will enable the University to contact you and/or provide assistance in an emergency.

Emergencies while you are abroad
In event of an emergency while you are overseas, you should contact the University’s travel insurers on the phone number provided by AIG as part of the confirmation of your travel insurance cover.

If you want to contact the University outside normal working hours, you can phone University Security on +44 (0)1224 273939. Security will contact someone in your School or Support Service.