International Travel Policy

  1. Introduction

    The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving, and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. The University is engaged around the world through the educational activities, research, and service of its students, faculty, and staff.

    The University’s International Travel Policy is intended to promote the health, safety, and security of all members of the University community while traveling abroad. The University respects the academic freedom of faculty to pursue their scholarly endeavors through international travel. As such, this policy is designed to support the international engagement of its students, faculty, and staff in a responsible manner.

  2. Policy

    This International Travel Policy applies to faculty, staff, and all students traveling outside of the United States of America for University-related purposes, which may include but are not limited to study, research, internships, service, conferences, presentations, teaching, performances, or athletic competitions. Schools, colleges, or business units may have additional policies and procedures that support this overall policy.

    This International Travel Policy outlines the University’s requirements with regard to the University’s policy subject to: (A) the University Travel Registry; (B) travel abroad health insurance; (C) emergency evacuation insurance; (D) University Travel Warnings or University Travel Restrictions; and (E) international travel involving student groups. A summary chart of these requirements may be viewed at http://global.umich.edu/uploads/policy-summary.pdf.

    1. University Travel Registry

      The University Travel Registry is a confidential and secure database for maintaining key travel information for faculty, staff and all students traveling off-campus, including international travel, for University-related (or personal) purposes. The University Travel Registry is the official and authoritative source of traveler information that forms the basis for the University’s emergency response protocols and communications strategy (e.g., alerts, warnings, evacuation notices) when responding to an emergency or critical incident abroad.

      The International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) is responsible for the overall management of the University Travel Registry. Day-to-day operational functions may be delegated to a senior administrator.

      All faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad for University-related purposes must register their international travel in the University Travel Registry before the expected departure date and, if possible, should update the University Travel Registry as additional information becomes available or changes occur throughout the duration of the trip, including additional countries added during travel.

    2. Travel Abroad Health Insurance

      Faculty and staff traveling internationally for any University-related purpose are covered under the University’s blanket travel abroad health insurance policy.

      All students traveling abroad for any University-related purpose are required to have travel abroad health insurance coverage from the University’s authorized vendor. The University’s authorized travel abroad health insurance must be obtained for/by students traveling internationally regardless of whether the student traveler has other related coverage.

    3. Emergency Evacuation Insurance

      All faculty, staff, and students traveling internationally for any University-related purpose are covered under a blanket policy for emergency evacuation due to political unrest or natural disaster.

    4. University Travel Warnings or University Travel Restrictions

      The University may warn travelers and/or impose additional requirements for faculty, staff, or students seeking to travel to destinations where health, safety, or security risks are determined to be of sufficient significance as to require unusual caution.

      Consistent with the provisions outlined below, the University reserves the right to prohibit or suspend travel for University-related purposes to any destination by faculty, staff, or students if significant health, safety, or security concerns pose extreme risks that warrant such a decision. For example, travel to destinations experiencing serious outbreaks of infectious disease, war or violent civil unrest may be temporarily prohibited.

      The Vice Provost for International Affairs, based on recommendations from ITOC, is responsible for determining which destinations are under a University Travel Warning or University Travel Restriction. For an updated listing of these destinations, see: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/warnings-restrictions.pdf.

      1. University Travel Warnings

        Travel to destinations for which the University has issued a Travel Warning due to a significant level of health, safety or security risks should conform to the following guidelines:

        1. Students cannot be required to participate in any education abroad experience in destinations subject to a University Travel Warning in order to satisfy a degree requirement.
        2. Regular recurring undergraduate study abroad programs may be suspended. Regular recurring undergraduate study abroad programs are defined as those programs that take place annually.

          Individual students may submit a written safety plan (template available online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/safety-individual.docx) to ITOC requesting an exception to travel to destinations subject to a University Travel Warning. If approved, these students will be required to register in the University Travel Registry, obtain University approved travel abroad health insurance, and submit an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability and Financial Obligation to ITOC (form provided online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/warning-waiver.pdf).

        3. Faculty and staff may submit a written safety plan (template available online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/safety-group.docx) to ITOC requesting an exception to lead student groups to destinations subject to a University Travel Warning. If approved, the group leader must ensure that students register in the University Travel Registry, obtain University approved travel abroad health insurance, and submit an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability and Financial Obligation to ITOC (form provided online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/warning-waiver.pdf).
      2. University Travel Restrictions

        Travel to destinations for which the University has issued a Travel Restriction due to extreme health, safety or security risks will generally be prohibited for University-related purposes unless appropriate safety planning has been documented (form available online at:  http://global.umich.edu/uploads/safety-individual.docx). Undergraduate students will be evacuated from these destinations, and, if deemed necessary, faculty, staff, and graduate or professional students may also be evacuated.

        1. Undergraduate students may NOT travel for University-related purposes to destinations that the University has determined to have extreme levels of risk to the health, safety, and security of University personnel, property, or interests. Undergraduate students who travel to destinations under University Travel Restrictions or remain in those destinations after being advised by the University to evacuate are not eligible for University funding or academic credit and may be subject to restrictions in other benefits or services and discipline.
        2. Faculty and staff wishing to travel for University-related purposes to destinations under University Travel Restrictions for urgent and compelling reasons must register in the University Travel Registry and are expected to file an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability and Financial Obligation with ITOC (form provided online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/restriction-waiver.pdf). They are requested to submit a written safety plan to ITOC (template available online at:  http://global.umich.edu/uploads/safety-individual.docx).
        3. Graduate or professional students may submit a request with a written safety plan (template available online at: http://global.umich.edu/uploads/safety-individual.docx) to ITOC for an exception to travel to destinations subject to a University Travel Restriction. If approved, they will be required to register in the University Travel Registry, obtain University approved travel abroad health insurance, and file an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability and Financial Obligation with ITOC (form provided online at:  http://global.umich.edu/uploads/restriction-waiver.pdf).
    5. International Travel Involving Student Groups
      1. University Travel Abroad

        Group leaders (faculty, staff or graduate students) leading students abroad to any destination for study, research, or other reasons must have their plans reviewed and approved in advance by the Dean or designated administrator of each academic or business unit in which the program is based. Group leaders are responsible for ensuring that: (a) all trip itinerary, lodging, and overseas contact information is entered into the University Travel Registry; (b) all students have obtained travel abroad health insurance through the University’s authorized vendor; (c) verification of the Travel Registry registration and travel abroad health insurance has been provided to the Dean or designated administrator of each of the schools or colleges in which the students are enrolled; (d) follow University guidance, including University Travel Warnings and University Travel Restrictions; and (e) comply with best practices for health, safety and security planning for pre-departure orientation, during the trip, and post-trip review.

        The sponsoring University unit is responsible for completing these tasks for Sponsored Student Organizations (SSOs) traveling abroad.

        NOTE: A Sponsored Student Organization is a recognized student organization that has a substantial and formal relationship with a sponsoring University unit and exists pursuant to the guidelines established by the appropriate campus division of student affairs. An SSO must be sponsored by an executive officer, dean, or director of a major academic or operational unit and must have a mission that is consistent with the missions of the University and sponsoring unit. A sponsorship agreement between the student organization and the sponsoring University unit must be on file with the appropriate campus student activities office.

      2. Student-Initiated Group Travel

        In order for the University to provide comprehensive response in the case of an emergency, Voluntary Student Organizations (VSOs) initiating group travel abroad to any destination for study, research, or service are required to (a) enter all trip itinerary, lodging, and overseas contact information into the University Travel Registry; (b) obtain travel abroad health insurance through the University’s authorized vendor; (c) follow University guidance, including University Travel Warnings and University Travel Restrictions; and (d) comply with best practices for health, safety and security planning for pre-departure orientation, during the trip, and post-trip review.

        NOTE: A Voluntary Student Organization is a recognized student organization that exists pursuant to the guidelines established by the appropriate campus division of student affairs. A VSO has access to certain University-controlled benefits and resources and is accountable to the University for legal compliance, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to established community standards.

AttachmentSize
Printable PDF of SPG 601.31.101.39 KB
Details Column 1
SPG number: 
601.31
Date issued: 
March 6, 2012
Next review date: 
March 6, 2015
Applies to: 
Faculty, Staff, and Students
Owner: 
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Primary Contact: 
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs