International Travel Safety Policy


This policy promotes the health, safety, and security of all employees and students when traveling internationally for University-related reasons. This policy complies with the University of Illinois System International Travel Safety Policy


This policy applies to Students, Faculty, and Staff participating in University-Related International Travel. This policy does not apply to domestic travel or Personal Travel abroad.


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost.


International Insurance. All university employees and all undergraduate and graduate Students participating in University-Related International Travel must enroll in the University-Approved International Insurance. Students, Faculty, and Staff enroll travel at

  • The University of Illinois System pays the premiums for Faculty and Staff. Undergraduate and graduate Student travel is the responsibility of the student. Units will pay the premium fee for travel conducted in the course of assistantship responsibility.

Training and Orientations for Faculty and Staff Traveling with Students. Faculty and Staff traveling with undergraduate and graduate Students must attend a mandatory health and safety workshop (hereafter “workshop”) within 12 months preceding the travel abroad. Faculty and Staff must provide a pre-departure orientation to participants and an onsite orientation at each location. The workshop is not required for Faculty and Staff traveling without students.

  • Undergraduate and graduate Students traveling in a group without accompanying Faculty and Staff are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop. If university administered funds (SORF, grants, scholarships, etc.) support the travel, attendance by at least one Student leader is required.

Compliance with Laws, Regulations, and Policies. All travelers on University-Related International Travel must comply with applicable United States, Illinois, University, and international laws, regulations, and policies. These may include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Information Security. University information, including third party information that may be accessed or stored by the University (hereafter “data”), requires appropriate protection at all times, especially during international travel. The university Information Security Policy stablishes requirements for protecting data. More information is found below and at Information Privacy and Security Abroad. Additionally, travelers must comply with destination laws restricting the ability to collect and export personal information about people in those countries.
  • Human Subjects in Research. Faculty, Staff, and Students engaged in university-sponsored research activities involving human subjects, human tissues, or medical records of human subjects must comply with the university Human Subjects in Research Policy.
  • Export Control. All travelers must comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and all campus policies and procedures related to export controls. The university Export Control Policy establishes requirements. During insurance enrollment, itineraries including Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) designated countries are shared with the university Office of Export Control for informational purposes.
  • Working Outside Illinois. Staff must comply with the University of Illinois System Working Outside Illinois Policy for University-Related International Travel longer than 59 days. Travel longer than 59 days will be shared with Human Resources for informational purposes.
  • Biological Safety. All activities conducted at or sponsored by the university that involve biological materials, to include international locations, must comply with the university Biological Safety Policy.

High-Risk Destinations. The University identifies some international locations as High-Risk Destinations based on Department of State travel advisories. (See “High-Risk Destination” in the definitions below.) The University will not require travel to a High-Risk Destination.  Such travel is voluntary and travelers assume responsibility for all associated risk.

  • For degree completion and other academic requirements associated with international travel, an alternate destination will be arranged if possible. Academic units will address situations where alternate destinations cannot be arranged on a case-by-case basis.
  • For Faculty and Staff, travel to High-Risk Destinations will not be a condition of current or future employment.

Requirements for University-Related International Travel to High-Risk Destinations vary by traveler status. These requirements do not apply during Personal Travel.  If travel is disapproved, University support and resources, including agreements, funding, pre-arranged academic credit, and the University-Approved International Insurance, may not be available to travelers.

  • The Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategy (VPIAGS) must review and approve undergraduate Student travel to all high-risk locations.
  • The VPIAGS must review graduate Student travel to destinations with a Level 3 advisory for risk mitigation strategies and must approve travel to destinations with a Level 4 advisory.
  • In rare circumstances, the University reserves the right to review and disapprove Faculty and Staff travel to destinations with a Level 4 advisory based on significant or unusual risk. Hazards creating this risk may include, but are not limited to, declared or undeclared war or other armed conflict, conditions leading to reduced staffing at U.S. embassies, diseases, disasters, and other emerging hazards.

The University reserves the right to cancel travel and/or require travelers to depart an international location due to significant or unusual risk. Identified travelers must depart the destination by the most expeditious and secure means available. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of all University support and resources.

High-Risk Activities. The University may review travel to any destination if substantial risk arises from conditions, activities, and/or inadequate health and safety preparations. (See “High-Risk Activities” in the definitions below.) For Faculty, Staff, and graduate Students, the VPIAGS may advise the unit regarding university concerns; for undergraduate Students, the VPAIGS may disapprove travel or set limits on travel or activities.


Faculty and Staff means all full- and part-time Faculty, Staff, and administrators employed by the University.

High-Risk Activities means participation in 1) available activities or traveling under prevailing conditions that are not included or considered in the Department of State or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisories, 2) activities that are excluded from coverage for the University-Approved International Insurance, and/or 3) activities covered by the University-Approved International Insurance presenting significant risk without a clear connection or benefit to the University or study abroad program.

  • High-Risk Activities may include, but are not limited to, activites conducted in extreme conditions (altitude, heat, cold) or locations (remote, conflict-prone), activities presenting significant or unique threat to well-being (mountain climbing using ropes, rapelling, whitewater rafting), using uncommon transportation (all-terrain vehicles, helicopters, ultra light aircraft), and other such activities or conditions.

High-Risk Destination means countries, states/provinces, or cities identified by the Department of State (DoS) and/or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as Level 3 or 4.  Locations identified by University travel assistance providers (international insurance and/or travel intelligence) as Level 4 or 5 may also be considered as high-risk on a case-by-case basis.

Personal Travel means travel for non-University reasons. Also known as leisure or independent travel, Personal Travel can occur in conjunction with University-related travel abroad outside of official or academic requirements, including during weekends, evenings, or scheduled breaks. Travelers are responsible for their health, safety, and security during Personal Travel, as well as any additional costs arising from Personal Travel.

Student means any undergraduate, graduate, or professional Student enrolled in a degree program, credit bearing non-degree program, professional certificate, or executive education program at the University.

University-Approved International Insurance means the negotiated global group insurance policy that provides health, medical evacuation and repatriation, and security evacuation coverage for University-related travel abroad.

University-Related International Travel means travel outside the United States (50 states plus the District of Columbia) by Students, Faculty, and Staff for purposes and activities related to the University. Travel to U.S. territories and journeys on the High Seas are also considered international travel for enrollment in the University-Approved International Insurance, which provides coverage in those locations.

  • Purposes and activities for Students include, but are not limited to, teaching, research, internships, externships, training, study abroad programs, Student teaching, university service, conferences, or travel by registered student organizations, club sports, or varsity athletic teams. These include both credit and noncredit-bearing activities and any activity receiving University financial support.
  • Purposes and activities for Faculty and Staff include, but are not limited to, business trips, conferences, Faculty exchanges, Faculty-led study abroad programs, teaching, research, service, or sabbaticals. University-related travel is not dependent on receiving University funding.


International Travel Insurance Enrollment

  1. Students in formal study abroad programs in My Study Abroad are automatically enrolled.
  2. Students, Faculty, and Staff conducting university-related international travel enroll their travel at by selecting the appropriate link (“Enroll as: a Student, Graduate Student, or Faculty/Staff”). Students with an assistantship must enroll as a graduate student, not Faculty and Staff. Units will pay the premium fee for travel conducted in the course of assistantship responsibility.
  3. Enrollment should be submitted at least three weeks before travel to facilitate timely processing.
  4. If the university becomes aware of undergraduate or graduate Student travel that is not enrolled in the insurance, the university will enroll and charge the student. Student premiums are billed to the Student account. Units may pay any Student premiums but will pay premiums for travel within an assistantship. The enrollment form provides more information.
  5. The University of Illinois System pays Faculty and Staff premiums.
  6. Upon final processing of enrollment, travelers will receive documentation of coverage via their university email.
  7. Enrollment will be used to identify travel to OFAC-designed countries and staff travel longer than 59 days.
  8. More information is at

Mandatory Workshops on Health and Safety Protocols and Best Practices  

  1. International Safety and Security will schedule at least four workshops each semester, posting the schedule at Additional workshops can be scheduled as required.
  2. Faculty and Staff should contact International Safety and Security at at least 45 days before departure to schedule a workshop.
  3. Participants from Student groups receiving funding but without accompanying Faculty or Staff will contact International Safety and Security at least 60 days before departure to schedule workshop attendance.
  4. International Safety and Security shares the names of all Faculty and Staff completing the workshop with the Clery Office for verification of compliance with Campus Security Authority training.

Travel to High-Risk Destinations

  1. Formal programs administered in My Study Abroad are reviewed and approved before students can commit to the program.
  2. Other undergraduate and graduate Students should self-identify high-risk locations after reviewing information at (International Safety and Security will monitor destinations during insurance enrollment and attempt to identify High-Risk destinations as appropriate but final responsibility resides with travelers.)
  3. Undergraduate and graduate Student travel to a High-Risk Destination requires submission of the appropriate Travel to High-Risk Destinations form. The form and instructions are found at
  4. Students will receive confirmation of approval or disapproval and risk mitigation strategies as appropriate. Students may not travel to High-Risk Destinations until they receive approval and complete all required risk mitigation actions identified for approval.
  5. When processing insurance enrollment, International Safety and Security will contact Faculty and Staff undertaking travel to High-Risk Destinations that necessitates university review based on extreme or unusual risk. Travelers will submit the Faculty/Staff Travel to High-Risk Destinations form as requested. The form and instructions are at The VPIAGS will consult with appropriate unit leadership to determine approval or disapproval of Faculty and Staff international travel.
  6. More information on the review and approval process is at

Information Privacy and Security

  1. Travelers should review and apply best practices related to Information Privacy and Security before, during, and after travel. Travelers must balance travel plans with data necessary to bring into or out of the country and the complications, risks and existing security and privacy considerations of existing devices.
  2. As possible, travelers will eliminate or minimize personally identifiable information (PII) except what is essential. When in doubt, leave it out (home).
  3. Travelers will not take information that is unneeded, particularly student information. The university’s Information Security Policy establishes requirements for protecting data.
  4. Travelers should consider using a loaned or data-free device while travelling, specifically if local authorities or others may access personal devices or has strict laws, such as civil or criminal penalties, on the transfer of personally identifiable information across borders.
    1. Some departments may provide laptops or devices which are suitable for this purpose.
    2. Loaned laptops should not have PII on it at departure and must be cleared of PII before returning.
    3. Information on best practices during travel can be found on the university’s IT Abroad webpage.
  5. For advice on managing data privacy while travelling, please contact For advice regarding loaned devices, please check with your IT department or the Help Desk for options.


Exceptions will be reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case by the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategy.


  1. University of Illinois System International Travel Safety Policy
  2. Foreign Travel Guide for University Employees
  3. Policy on Health and Safety in Study Abroad
  4. Student Code
  5. Information Security
  6. Export Control
  7. Working Outside Illinois
  8. Human Subjects in Research
  9. Biological Safety
  10. Guidelines for Non-University Individuals Accompanying Study Abroad Programs
  11. Training Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students
  12. Other Resources
    1. High-Risk Destinations
    2. High-Risk Activities
    3. Safety and Wellness Tips
    4. Managing Emergencies While Abroad
    5. About International Safety and Security
  13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    1. International Safety and Security Policy FAQs
    2. International Insurance FAQs
    3. International Safety and Security Training and Resources FAQs


Director for International Safety and Security,