While international travel can be a routine part of many sponsored research projects, it’s important to take time before you depart to consider the following:

What is considered international travel?

"International travel" is defined differently by the University of Colorado Procurement Services Center (PSC), the Fly America Act and federal sponsors. PSC defines international travel as travel that is outside of the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. US territories and possessions are considered domestic travel in the Fly America Act and, typically, by federal agencies. There are some federal agencies that treat travel to Canada and Mexico as domestic travel for award budgetary purposes.

Where am I going?

Research your destination to determine what level of risk there is and if there are any travel advisories. The U.S. Department of State is a great resource and offers current destination-specific information.

What’s the risk? 

Depending upon the destination or nature of the visit, extra precautions should be taken:

  • If a laptop is necessary, University of Colorado Boulder recommends using a 'clean' laptop that does not contain any confidential or sensitive information or software when travelling internationally to ensure that important information is not compromised and networks remain secure. Currently the Export control loner laptop program OIT supports is suspended until further notice.  If you have questions regarding this process please contact itso-sec-review@colorado.edu. See also the Office of Export Controls Foreign Travel with Computers and Other Electronic Devices information.
  • If you plan to travel internationally with property or equipment, contact the OCG property team at ocgproperty@colorado.edu prior to departure.  Additional documentation may be required to substantiate location and date of purchase to Customs upon departure and re-entry to the United States.

What will be discussed?

Are sensitive or confidential topics being discussed that will attract unwanted attention? Ensure that the proper precautionary steps are taken and should suspicious contacts reach out to you to solicit information, make sure that it is promptly reported to the proper authorities.

Additionally, federal export and sanctions regulations prohibit the unlicensed export of commodities, software, technology and payments to or from certain countries, entities and individuals for reasons of national security, foreign policy or protection of trade. Visit the Office of Export Controls International Travel page for additional information

How long will I be going?

Make sure that any relevant financial institutions, insurance companies as well as family members, are aware of your plans to minimize risk.

Are there any sponsor requirements?

The Fly America Act is typically enforced on all Federal projects but there may be other travel requirements included in your award about which you should also be aware, such as specific written sponsor pre-approval for an international trip. See the Fly America Act page for additonal information. If you would like any guidance, contact your Grant or Contract Officer in OCG.

Other Resources

The University of Colorado and the Federal Government provide numerous resources to assist with international travel, including the following: