In Brief

Traveling Internationally for Tufts?

Sign up for a laptop loaner program to ensure data security in the face of increased airport restrictions
September 11, 2017


Tufts graduate students, faculty and staff planning to travel abroad for Tufts-related business are urged to leave their personal laptops at home and borrow one from the university.   

The Travel Laptop Loaner Program is a response to tighter restrictions about electronic devices allowed on airplanes. In June, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced heightened security measures affecting 105 countries and applying to 280 airports with airlines that fly directly to the United States.   

Chelsea Ferrell, program manager for Tufts Global Operations, said scrutiny around laptops means that travelers could be asked to unlock their computers, which could be screened and even confiscated. To ensure data and information security, travelers should store their data remotely, such as on Google Drive or Box.   

“Electronic devices are now subject to more robust scrutiny at airports and border checkpoints,” she said. “The loaner program ensures that data and documents critical to study and research are not at risk of being compromised or lost. Our goal is to help all Tufts travelers effectively and safely conduct university business.”

The university offers either a 12” Dell E7240 Ultrabook or a 13” MacBook Air laptop, with optional carrying sleeve, Ethernet cable, video adapter cable and international power adapters. To borrow a laptop, complete the online request form up to five days before your travel date. Laptops may be borrowed for up to 30 days.

Tufts community members traveling on a university-related international trip are also encouraged to sign up with the Tufts Travel Registry, a confidential and secure database that maintains key travel information and helps university administrators develop strategies in the event of an emergency abroad. Registration for travelers on Tufts business is mandatory for all staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) and is recommended for faculty.

As part of the registry, travelers have the benefit of free-of-charge emergency travel medical coverage with Tufts’ emergency assistance provider, International SOS. The plan covers medical expenses, including hospital room and board, inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, emergency outpatient care, labs and x-rays, inpatient and outpatient mental health, physician office visits, and prescription drugs.

Laura Ferguson can be reached at