Being a PhD student might not pay terribly well, but I’ve discovered a number of benefits offered by UC Berkeley that can substantially offset the cost of travel, and thought I’d share them here.
- Travel grants: The Graduate Assembly offers travel grants to grad students who are presenting at conferences. If you’d just like to attend a conference, the Student Opportunity Fund and Academic Opportunity Fund will cover registration and travel costs for both undergrads and grad students – no presentation required.
- Travel insurance: Students traveling more than 100 miles away from campus for research can get free evacuation insurance through the university. If you have SHIP and you need medical care whilst away from campus, your expenditures will be reimbursed through Aetna On Call.
- Travel health: You will pay exponentially less for prescription medications through the Tang Center travel clinic than you would at any other pharmacy.
Finally, whilst this isn’t Berkeley-specific, I’ve found it useful to sign up for Global Entry now that I’m planning frequent international travel out of SFO. It’s $100 for ten years, and gives you access to an expedited lane for passport control. Once you’ve been assigned a Known Traveler Number through Global Entry, you can also use this to request access (for free) to TSA Pre-Check expedited security screening for travel on participating airlines within the US. TSA Pre-Check doesn’t appear to be offered for international flights at this time, but if you’re willing to pay $180 per year, you can skip the security lines for any flight at SFO with CLEAR.