ITOC Petition for Exception to Travel Suspension

ITOC Petition for Exception to Travel Suspension

The International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) at Washington University in St. Louis enforces the International Travel Policy and regularly monitors information relevant to the safety of all WU students, faculty and staff abroad, from official sources as well as from domestic and international partners and colleagues. The safety and security of WU faculty, staff and students abroad is of the utmost importance to ITOC.

Except in special circumstances, Washington University in St. Louis will not fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support travel by any student, faculty or staff to or through any country or region for which a Travel Suspension Condition exists (which could include Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts issued by the U.S. Department of State). Requests for exemptions based on “special circumstances” are evaluated on a program-by-program basis. Any expenses incurred prior to program approval are solely the responsibility of the participant or organization.

Decisions for petitions will be based on various factors, including but not limited to:

  • The nature of the Travel Warning
  • The locations most impacted by the Travel Warning, the experience and training of program organizers and local support staff
  • The importance and academic relevance of the program or research
  • Steps the program will take to ensure the safety and security of those involved
  • Steps taken to obtain participants’ informed and voluntary consent regarding participation in light of relevant Travel Warnings.

By submitting a petition, the applicant agrees that if approved by ITOC, all participants will sign a waiver as part of the registration process stating, in part, that they have received and read the most recent Travel Warnings and are assuming the risks of participation.

Should a Travel Warning be issued while a program is underway, ITOC will determine whether conditions warrant suspension of the program and/or departure of the participants from the host country.

Washington University discourages participation in non-WU programs in countries under a State Department travel warning, particularly from the concern that the university will not be able to provide support services, such as supplemental international health insurance.

To submit a petition, please prepare a 1-2 page document with the following information:

  1. The specific area and relevant safety and security issues.
  2. The conditions warranting travel advisories or warnings under the State Department Travel Warning and their impact on your trip.
  3. Review and include country-specific health and safety guidelines listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and International SOS
  4. Detailed preparation participants will receive during orientation to prepare them for security-related issues.
  5. Detailed description of the local support structure on site. Issues to consider include: travel to country, accommodations, in-country travel, communications access, access to medical care, security on the ground, food safety, supervision by or access to in-country experts, etc.
  6. Explain the criticality of the participant’s presence in that particular location.

For questions or more information about this process, please contact:
International Travel Oversight Committee.