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International Travel and Programs Policy for CU-Boulder

Approved by the Provost – August, 2014

CU-Boulder International Travel Policy

I.  Introduction

To better support international activities and to address and minimize health, safety, and other risk issues for the university and its faculty, staff, and students, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) establishes the following policy regarding faculty, staff, and students participating in international travel. This policy serves to require review of international travel plans to mitigate risk, and to inform faculty and staff regarding issues related to risk management, health and safety, and export controls and will allow the campus to maintain better records of its international work.

International travel involving three or more students that is CU-Boulder-sponsored, CU-Boulder-affiliated, or related to a CU-Boulder activity/program (including, but not limited to, activities such as study abroad programs, international travel that is part of a class or is sponsored by an academic unit or Residential Academic Program, international service learning, internships, or volunteering, recognized student organization trips abroad, international research, and attending international conferences) must be reported to the CU-Boulder Office of International Education, as outlined in the policy below.

This policy excludes personal leisure or vacation travel that has no connection to CU-Boulder. CU- Boulder does not recognize any obligation to support international travel by staff, students or faculty, which is undertaken strictly for personal reasons and CU-Boulder is not responsible for assistance or liability in the event of any adverse consequences resulting from such travel. 

This policy is subject to the existing CU System policy regarding international travel, which remains in effect.

II. Policy

A. The CU-Boulder International Travel Policy applies to the following three types of international travel and programs:

  1. International travel by students, or staff or faculty accompanying students, related to their CU-Boulder status or positions or who are travelling on university business.
  2. Study abroad programs offered by CU-Boulder for academic credit.
  3. International travel sponsored by or affiliated with CU-Boulder or by a CU-Boulder student organization, which has three or more students participating in the travel (including both affiliated and independent student organizations registered with SOFO).

       International travel or programs that fall into these categories must comply with the requirements detailed below.

B. Faculty, staff, or students leading, organizing or otherwise responsible for international travel sponsored by or affiliated with CU-Boulder or by a CU-Boulder student organization (including both affiliated and independent student organizations registered with SOFO) that has three or more students participating in the travel, must contact OIE (303-492-6016) as early as possible before the travel/program begins. OIE will review the travel plans to ensure that best practices are being followed regarding arrangements for the health, safety, and security of the travelers, and to make sure that university policies are being followed;  OIE will provide pre-departure information for travelers and group leaders, and will insure travelers in a comprehensive group major medical/evacuation/repatriation insurance program.  There is a fee for these services and for the insurance coverage. 

C. All study abroad programs at CU-Boulder must be operated through OIE and have the approval of the campus Study Abroad Committee.  This quality control ensures that programs have appropriate planning, implementation and oversight.  Faculty interested in teaching a course abroad to CU-Boulder students can reference the following website, which provides information about “Global Seminars” and guidelines on submitting proposals:

D. If the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning related to a certain country or area within a country, CU-Boulder will not approve student travel to that country.  This includes travel for academic credit or international travel which involves three or more student participants.

Guidance on international travel from the Office of International Education

OIE has developed a set of guidelines for all faculty, staff and students participating in activities abroad. The guidelines below apply to all travelers and provide a checklist of essential points to be used in preparation for travel abroad.

Note: International travel sponsored by CU-Boulder or by a student organization which has three or more students travelling (or with any number of students who will be earning CU-Boulder academic credit) should contact the Office of International Education (303-492-6016) as early as possible before the travel/program begins.

If it is determined that the program qualifies as a study abroad program, it must be operated through the Office of International Education and have the approval of the campus Study Abroad Committee. This quality control ensures that programs have appropriate planning, implementation and oversight. Faculty interested in proposing a study abroad program can reference the following website, which provides information about “Global Seminars” and guidelines on submitting proposals:

Guidelines for Professional/Academic International Activities

  1. Follow university policies for travel (e.g. travel authorization, ticket purchase, etc.):
  2. Be aware of Export Controls:  You can find more information on Export Controls and tips on traveling with laptops, research equipment and other high-tech items at:
  3. If you plan to conduct research abroad, consult the Human Research Committee website at:
  4. Review U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information:  The U.S. Department of State provides valuable information sheets for every country in the world.  The information covers safety, crime, entrance and visa requirements, contacts for consulates and embassies, etc.:
  5. Review any U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts. Note that CU-Boulder students are not allowed to travel to countries with a US DOS Travel Warning.  Travel Warnings are issued when the U.S. government wants citizens to very carefully consider whether or not they should travel to that country.  Travel Alerts are issued due to short-term events the U.S. government thinks citizens should know about before planning travel:
  6. Register your trip on the online U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP):
  7. Be aware of required visas and travel documents: You may be required to obtain a visa or other travel documents in addition to a passport.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct visa type for the activities that you are undertaking in the host country.  Failure to obtain the correct visa can lead to legal action by the host country. (For example, engaging in research without the proper permission in a foreign country can potentially lead to legal action and arrest by local authorities.)

    Information on entry/exit requirements for U.S. citizens can be found on the appropriate U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information page:

    Visa requirements may be different for citizens of countries other than the United States.  We recommend that non-U.S. citizens review the host country’s embassy website to identify entry and exit requirements for the host country applicable to their nationality.

  8. International travel resources: For information regarding general and auto liability, and employee workers’ compensation insurance while traveling internationally, e-mail URM on at:

    As of September, 2014, CU provides faculty, staff, and students with insurance coverage through the GeoBlue Traveler Plan. The coverage is for travelers conducting university business who are travelling outside the U.S. for less than 180 consecutive days and who are under age 80. There is no premium charge to employees.  Travelers can locate their Group Access Code number from their CU International Letter emailed from Christopherson after they book their international travel through that travel agency. Travelers use the access code to register online:

    For more information about the GeoBlue plan, contact University Risk Management or PSC-Travel.

    Students and faculty going abroad on a CU-Boulder program will have access to the OIE group insurance policy which provides major medical, evacuation, and repatriation coverage.

  9. Insurance: The University of Colorado provides a resource for international travel and assistance program, International SOS, to help with emergency situations while traveling outside of the U.S., for its employees, students, and authorized travelers. For information on this program and how to access it while traveling, refer to the University Risk Management (URM) website at: or call 303-860-5682.

    Note that I-SOS is not an insurance plan. If a client uses the evacuation or medical services of I-SOS, I-SOS will bill the client. 

  10. Reference the travel safety webpage on the OIE website for health, safety and travel tips: