Student International Travel Safety
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- VP for International Affairs
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Vice President for International Affairs
- Policy Contact:
- Policy Feedback:
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University units, administrators, and faculty member who are involved in organizing student travel; undergraduate or graduate/professional students who travel overseas on a university-sponsored instructional program or who travel individually using funding from IU.
Indiana University regularly monitors international information relevant to the safety of IU students since their safety and security is of the utmost importance. In evaluating the safety of travel abroad on university-sponsored programs, IU gives primary consideration to Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the Travel Health Notices issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The following policy applies to IU students:
For University-sponsored or organized instructional programs, including faculty-led instruction and other sponsored course work, for undergraduate and graduate/professional students:
Indiana University will not offer or support study abroad programs in, or travel through, countries under State Department Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisories. The same prohibition applies to any region of a country where the State Department Travel Advisory specifies “do not travel” (Level 4) to that region. No exemptions will be considered for State Department Level 4 countries or State Department Level 4 regions. For countries or regions under a State Department Level 3 Advisory, requests for exemptions based on "special circumstances" are evaluated on a program-by-program basis through a process established by the Safety and Responsibility Committee of the system-wide Overseas Study Advisory Council (OSAC). For more information see: https://overseas.iu.edu/policies/safety-responsibility/ta-exemptions.html. Exemption requests should be submitted at least two months prior to anticipated departure.
Travel to countries experiencing serious outbreaks of infectious disease may be prohibited. The Office for Overseas Study (OVST) will consult with the Office of the Chief Health Officer (OCHO) regarding any program traveling to a destination with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
Undergraduate and graduate/professional students who travel to countries or areas under a Level 3 State Department Travel Advisory as part of a program that has been granted a request for exemption must sign a waiver. Waivers must be submitted to the head of the department administering the program.
For individual travel by undergraduate and graduate/professional students who plan to use funding from Indiana University to pursue research, study or other University-related business:
The University will not provide funding for a student to travel to a country under a U.S. Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory. The same prohibition applies to a region of a country where the State Department Travel Advisory specifies “do not travel” (Level 4) to that region.
Undergraduate and graduate/professional students who travel to countries or areas under a State Department Level 3 Travel Advisory must sign a waiver that should be submitted to the department head to be kept in the student's file.
Travel to countries experiencing serious outbreaks of infectious disease may be prohibited. The Office for Overseas Study (OVST) will consult with the Office of the Chief Health Officer (OCHO) regarding student travel to a destination with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice.
|Advisory Level||IU Administered, Unit-Based and Co-sponsored Overseas Study programs||Non-IU Overseas Study Programs (typically undergraduate student)||Individual Student Travel (typically graduate student)|
|DoS 1: Exercise Normal Precaution||Travel supported subject to normal safety/security preparations||Travel supported||IU funds may be used|
|DoS 2: Exercise Increased Caution||Travel supported subject to safety/security preparations commensurate with the travel advisory||Travel supported||IU funds may be used|
|DoS 3: Reconsider Travel |
(includes designated areas in countries otherwise at Levels 1 and 2); and/or
CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice
|Travel not supported, unless an OSAC exemption is obtained|
OCHO consultation required
|Travel not supported||IU funds may be used, but student must sign waiver|
|Dos 4: Do not Travel (includes designated areas in countries otherwise at Levels 1-3)||Travel not supported, no exemption available||Travel not supported||No IU funds may be used, no exemption available|
Information on Travel Warnings
It is the responsibility of the sponsoring unit (e.g. Center, Department, Institute, or School) at Indiana University to comply with and enforce this policy. Current information on travel warnings for individual countries is available at:
US Department of State:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Indiana University units that regularly send graduate students abroad may also obtain automatic email distributions of U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories by registering at:
Providing Contact Information while Overseas
While traveling abroad on university-sponsored or -funded programs, graduate/professional students are strongly advised to provide information about their travel itinerary and contact information in the destination country to their sponsoring unit at IU. This should include hotel and personal addresses, mobile and office telephone numbers, email information, and an alternative contact with an institution or individual in the country. Such information is necessary if emergencies arise either with family members in the United States or with events in the country of residence.
In addition, graduate/professional students are advised to register upon arrival in their country of destination with the U.S. Embassy. This can be done on-line at: https://step.state.gov/. Registration is especially critical where the destination country is one in which a Level 3 Travel Advisory is in effect. In the event that issues affecting the safety of U.S. citizens unexpectedly arise, the U.S. Embassy needs up-to-date contact information for visitors in order to disseminate safety information, evacuation orders, or other updated travel warnings.
This policy was established in August 2006.
Policy contacts and links updated 6-19-17.
Policy updated due to revision of U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory system January 2018.
In November 2020, this policy was temporarily suspended per Department of State pandemic guidelines. It was reinstated in October 2022.
Policy updated to articulate the role of the Office of the Chief Health Officer and update terminology related to CDC travel health notices in January 2023.