I will be traveling internationally. Will I have access to university resources while abroad?


There are many factors to consider when considering international travel:

  1. Is the country or region you are traveling to sanctioned by the US government?
  2. Does the country you are traveling to enforce restrictions on access to services outside its borders?
  3. Some countries may inspect electronic devices at border crossings, even demanding encryption be unlocked. If this were to occur, would the border agents be able to view or copy any sensitive information?
  4. Are you taking the absolute minimum necessary in terms of data and devices?
  5. Are the devices you are taking secure? Are they encrypted? Are they protected by strong passwords? Do they have all security updates applied?

Restriction of UIC Services Due to Export Controls

Due to the ever-changing nature of geopolitics, it is impossible to produce or maintain a list of university services that will be accessible when you reach your destination.

At the time of this writing (May 2022), it is known that the following university resources may not be available from countries sanctioned by the US government:

  • Duo 2-Factor Authentication
  • Microsoft 365
  • Zoom

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) has a web page devoted to export controls at UIC (research.uic.edu/compliance/export-controls/) which includes a link to a 5-minute video on the subject of international travel.

If you believe that you will be traveling to a country that is subject to US Export Controls, contact the UIC Export Controls Compliance Office at uicexport@uic.edu prior to travel.

OVCR also has a page offering guidance on traveling with electronic devices and sensitive data: research.uic.edu/travelguidance

Other International Restrictions on IT Services

It is also known that some countries (e.g. China) restrict access to certain services from within its borders.

Although this list can change frequently and without notice, some of the more common services reported to be blocked from within these countries are:

  • Facebook
  • Google Workspace apps, including Gmail
  • Instagram
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • YouTube
  • and many other sites and apps

UIC VPN as a Method to Bypass Some International Restrictions

When traveling internationally, if you encounter restrictions connecting to a service, you may be able to access those services by selecting the “Library Resources” group when connecting to the UIC VPN service.

Initiating the VPN connection in this manner will cause all your internet traffic to be sent in an encrypted tunnel from your location to UIC before making its way to its actual destination. In this way, your connections will make it appear as if you are located at UIC.

For more information, review How do I log in to the UIC VPN?

NOTE: UIC VPN will not work from sanctioned countries and regions, as the VPN service requires the use of Duo 2FA, which will not work from these areas.


Article ID: 2417
Tue 5/10/22 9:39 AM
Wed 5/11/22 11:17 AM