The international travel policy has been adopted to ensure a consistent set of travel standards to be followed by all units of Washington University in St. Louis. The policy applies to all international travel that is sponsored, is funded in any part, or involves the granting of degree credits by the university.
International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC)
The International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) is advisory to the provost and makes policy recommendations on overseas travel conducted by students, faculty and staff of Washington University. The ITOC is chaired by the assistant provost for international education and includes key administrators from each WUSTL school as well as representatives from the chancellor’s office, general counsel, university risk management and faculty. The ITOC will convene at least once a semester to review the university’s travel policies and procedures. The ITOC Executive Body consists of the assistant provost for international education, the assistant to the chancellor, the head of risk management and the university’s insurance officer. The executive body will meet when necessary to make immediate determinations whether travel restrictions should be placed on particular countries or regions of countries under circumstances described in the Washington University International Travel Policy.
Sponsored or Supported International Travel
Any international travel funded by WUSTL, awarded credit by WUSTL, or otherwise sponsored or supported by WUSTL, including but not limited to trips abroad in connection with a WUSTL-recognized and/or WUSTL-funded student organization.
Travel Suspension Condition
A travel suspension condition is defined for any country or region for which one of the following conditions applies:
- The U.S. State Department has issued a warning that orders departure of U.S. dependents and non-emergency personnel; recommends that U.S. citizens depart the country; advises U.S. citizens against all travel to the country; or recommends that U.S. citizens defer nonessential travel to the country.
- The travel assistance organization International SOS has rated the country as “High Risk” or “Extremely High Risk.”
- The ITOC Executive Body has determined, based upon information from the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other sources, that the country or region is experiencing a serious and uncontrolled infectious disease outbreak or other serious health hazard which warrants cancellation or suspension of undergraduate travel.
- The ITOC Executive Body has determined, in its sole discretion, that other safety concerns warrant cancellation or suspension of undergraduate travel.
International Travel Registry
The international travel registry is a centralized online database of WUSTL international travelers where travel itineraries are registered.
Travel Policy for Undergraduate Students
All undergraduate students traveling abroad are required to be entered into the international travel registry. Group leaders of undergraduate students are also required to enter all itinerary, lodging and overseas contact information in the international travel registry, and to provide a copy of this information to the dean or designated administrator of each of the schools or colleges where the students are enrolled.
Other persons traveling in a group are also encouraged to register with the international travel registry as individuals, especially if they have separate travel arrangements or itineraries.
In addition to following procedures outlined by the student’s respective school or college, each undergraduate student traveling alone or in a group, whether led by WUSTL faculty or staff or not, must provide a signed waiver indicating that he/she is aware of potential risks and provide a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.
Application of Travel Suspension Conditions
The university will not fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support travel by any undergraduate student to or through any country or region for which a travel suspension condition applies.
If a travel suspension condition occurs while an undergraduate student is in an affected country or region, the university reserves the right to end its sponsorship at that time, and to require the student to end the trip and leave the country. Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis by the ITOC Executive Body.
Travel Policy for Graduate and Professional Students
Graduate and professional students are cautioned, but not necessarily prohibited, from traveling to or remaining in countries or regions for which a travel suspension condition applies. The ITOC Executive Body will make a determination whether to fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support travel of graduate and professional students to countries or regions for which a travel suspension condition exists, taking into account the distinct educational and research objectives of graduate and professional students.
In the event that a graduate or professional student is permitted to travel to countries or regions for which a travel suspension condition applies, the student must sign a secondary country-specific waiver and release form, indicating that she/he has read and understands the facts underlying the travel suspension condition and associated risks. The student must also provide all travel, lodging and contact information by entering their travel into the international travel registry.
Travel Policy for Medical Students
Medical students are prohibited from traveling to countries or regions for which a travel suspension condition applies. If a travel suspension condition occurs while a student is in an affected country or region, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reserves the right to require the student to end the trip and leave the country. Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Travel Policy For Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff are cautioned, but not prohibited, from traveling to or remaining in countries or regions for which a travel suspension condition applies. However, no one may be required by a faculty member, adviser or supervisor to travel to or through any country or region for which a travel suspension condition applies.
Faculty or staff traveling with university funding to pursue research, study or other university-related business in a country for which a travel suspension condition applies are expected to notify their dean (or designate), chair or supervisor and to provide all travel, lodging and contact information by entering their travel into the international travel registry.
Travel on university funds will not be authorized to countries or regions for which a mandatory evacuation has been issued prior to departure.
Faculty and Staff leading student trips
A faculty or staff member who is leading a group which includes graduate or undergraduate students must:
- Secure from all students a signed waiver acknowledging possible risks
- Secure from each undergraduate student a signed parent/guardian consent form
- Bring applicable travel warnings to the attention of the deans or designated administrator of the school or college where the students are registered and provide information about steps to ensure safety
- In the event of a travel warning issued prior to departure, provide the ITOC Executive Body in advance of departure an outline of the proposed itinerary that explains the academic relevance of the program for the students despite the travel warning and that: discusses the location and environment of the proposed travel, including health/security/safety issues; describes onsite health/security/safety support resources and services; and explains plans for group orientation prior to departure and on arrival to mitigate risk.
(Approved by the International Steering Committee on Oct. 26, 2011)
Travel Policy (PDF)