Visa Crunch

Digital tools aid international students for easy and swift travel

Students, travel agents, and educators can now access a growing number of online resources designed to help them stay up to date on rapidly changing public health conditions and travel rules for destinations all over the world.

The Destination Tracker was one of the first entries in this category, as we previously mentioned. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) collaborated on this interactive dashboard with the ultimate aim of “boosting confidence and accelerating recovery of the tourism sector when borders reopen.” Accordingly, Australia’s goPassport offers a Live Risk Map that routes COVID conditions in different parts of the world, which includes subsequent COVID case patterns, government response, and immunization rates. The Live Risk Map also provides a high-level overview of current travel regulations, both at the national and state/provincial levels, as well as any overall risk ratings for every desired location. To arrive at that overall rating, the map uses machine learning to compare and rate a variety of factors for each country, and it is updated daily.

Furthermore, Lufthansa has developed its own map-based dashboard that offers a more personalized summary for each passenger. The interactive Lufthansa map shows current travel conditions and rules centered on the traveler’s passport, vaccination status, and ultimate destination. The map then provides a wealth of information for each desired location, including travel restrictions, isolation requirements, travel documents, and direct links to any mandatory travel apps. Each of these online resources contains an impressive amount of continuously updated information.

Any specific provisions or requirements for international students are where each falls short, at least for international educators. Regardless of the caution, each will be a valuable resource for students and student counselors, especially at a time when travel conditions and rules are rapidly changing in destinations all over the world.

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