The following policy addresses concerns about the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff during international travel. This policy is in addition to all other University travel policies. See the Travel Guide for University Employees maintained by the Office of Business and Financial Services, available on-line at Travel Guide for University Employees.
International Travel Policy
- The University shall review on a case-by-case basis all University-sponsored, student travel to regions under a United States Department of State (or other agency) “Travel Warning.” University sponsorship includes, but is not limited to: funding administered through the University; advising for travel through the University; pre-arranged course credit arising from the travel; travel through a Registered Student Organization; travel required for completion of a degree. This case-by- case review applies to travel on University programs with or without faculty leadership, programs provided by other universities or entities, or individual student travel deemed to be under University sponsorship.When Travel Warnings are posted for regions to which student travel is anticipated, the University will not permit such travel until adequate review has been conducted and conditions surrounding such travel are deemed acceptable. Permission for travel under University sponsorship may be denied at any time. The University may demand withdrawal of students currently in a region when a Travel Warning is posted for that region. If students refuse to depart the affected venue, University support shall be withdrawn, which might result in financial loss to the student such as requiring repayment of student financial aid. Additionally, it is not always possible for the University to assure full cost and credit recovery to students who do comply with a mandated withdrawal and this is a risk students assume when they undertake study or research abroad.
Students or faculty/staff sponsors of student travel must submit a proposal to Student International Academic Affairs at least two months prior to anticipated travel, meeting the criteria enumerated in Section 4(a-e), below. Permission to travel may be denied, in which case all elements of University sponsorship shall be withheld.
Students traveling individually or on University or other programs must complete a “Special Waiver for Student Travel to ‘Travel Warning’ Regions.”
- The University will review on a case-by-case basis plans for travel by faculty and staff on University funding to countries for which Travel Warnings have been issued. These plans should be submitted to International Travel Policy, Office of the Provost, not later than one month before the desired departure date. Permission for travel using University funds may be denied.
- Travel on University funds will not be authorized to countries for which a mandatory evacuation order has been issued. When the U.S. Department of State issues a mandatory evacuation order, all faculty, staff, and students who are in the country must contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain all relevant information and guidance, and must leave the country by the most expeditious and secure means available. They are also required to contact their sponsoring University department at the earliest opportunity with information about their whereabouts and plans.
- Plans submitted for University review should include:
- Explanation of the purpose of the travel and the reasons why the purpose justifies travel to a country with a current Travel Warning in effect.
- Confirmation that all travelers have reviewed the relevant sources of essential information (see below), are fully informed of the content of the current Travel Warning for the planned destination, and that faculty/staff have individually discussed the risks of travel with their unit executive officer, that graduate students have discussed the risks with their research advisor, and that undergraduate students have discussed the risks with a relevant advisor or faculty person.
- Confirmation that before departure all travelers will have purchased insurance to cover emergency medical treatment, evacuation, and repatriation. Students are required to obtain this insurance through the Study Abroad Office.
- Assurance that all travelers will register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest their destination before arrival in-country and will keep the Embassy or Consulate informed of their whereabouts while in-country. This should be done on-line: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/step.html.
- Faculty/staff must provide a separate letter from their unit executive officer confirming that the risks associated with the planned travel have been discussed with each traveler, that each traveler is fully informed of the risks, and that the unit executive officer believes the travel is justified in view of the risks.
- Graduate/Professional students must provide such a letter from their research advisor.
- Undergraduate students must provide a faculty recommendation noting soundness of academic plan, academic imperative for study or travel to a Travel Warning region, and an assessment of the student’s maturity and reliability consonant with the presumed additional risk inherent in the region.
Sources of Essential Information
- All members of the University community who are contemplating international travel are expected to monitor and observe all U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, and Consular Information Sheets, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Alerts, Travel Advisories, and Notices. In addition, travel warnings, restrictions, or advisories issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture must be monitored and followed.
- Prior to international travel, faculty, staff, and students should become aware of the risks associated with international travel. Several key reference sources provide general information on travel, as well as specific area, risks and precautions. These include:
- The sources below provide specific information regarding travel safety and resources. It is essential to monitor these sites to determine the risks to the international traveler for the area of travel. Be sure to view information on all international transit points (e.g., stopovers) as well as your destination. The sources are:
- Travel warnings, public announcements, and Consular Information sheets issued by the U.S. Department of State (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html);
- Travel alerts, travel advisories, and notices issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (http://www.cdc.gov/travel/outbreaks.htm); and,
- Travel advice, disease outbreaks, and information on emergencies issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) (http://www.who.int/en/).
- Additional international travel resources and services can be found at:
Questions about this policy should be directed to the Office of International Safety and Security, (217) 333-6104.