University-Sponsored or University-Related International Travel

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University Policy Number 1134


Responsible Office: ,

Policy Procedure:

  • International Travel Handbook
  • International Travel Emergency Operations Plan
  • Trip-specific International Travel Emergency Plan
  • Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas and Countries Under Comprehensive Economic Sanctions

Related Law & Policy:

I. Scope  

This policy governs all international travel that is university-sponsored or university-related. It establishes processes for registering travel with the university. This policy applies to all university faculty, staff, and students, as well as participants in university-sponsored or university-related group international educational travel programs, whether credit-bearing or not.  (Note:  International travel undertaken by faculty or employees for research purposes is governed by University Policy 2101: Travel Authorization and Reimbursement.)

II. Policy Statement

All university-sponsored or university-related international travel must be registered with the university, and travelers must comply with all requirements of this policy.  Employees are responsible for registering group travel activities with Mason Study Abroad; students are responsible for registering for individual educational travel.

A. Employee Responsibilities for Individual or Group Travel

  1. It is the responsibility of the Academic Department to determine the qualifications of employees leading a group of students on an international trip.
  2. Employees traveling to or leading groups traveling to countries or areas under U.S. Department of State Alert or Warning, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 warnings, or countries under comprehensive economic sanctions must follow University Travel Advisory Committee (UTAC) procedures and policies. See Section III.
  3. Employees who lead, coordinate, or otherwise participate in university-sponsored or university-related international must register travel with the university before the international travel experience may be conducted or represented as approved by or sponsored by the university.
  4. Employees must also:

a. Sign and file the International Travel Acknowledgement of Risk and Medical Consent Form;

b. Complete the Trip-specific International Travel Emergency Plan;

c. Contact the Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (ORIA) to determine license requirements if working under a Technology Control Plan (i.e., working with export controlled materials);

d. Maintain confidentiality of student records;

e. Apply appropriate financial controls;

f. Attend required orientation sessions provided by Mason Study Abroad if leading group travel;

g. Behave in a professional manner befitting the university and professional role during travel;

h. Maintain adequate communication with Mason Study Abroad, the relevant department and college, the Office of the Provost, and other university offices, as appropriate;

i. Notify University Police in the event of a crime that involves employees or students, or crimes that occur on property or locations under the control of the university. Crimes that must be reported to University Police include:

1. Murder/non-negligent manslaughter;

2. Negligent manslaughter;

3. Sexual assault (i.e., rape, fondling, or incest)

4. Robbery;

5. Aggravated Assault;

6. Motor vehicle theft;

7. Arson;

8. Domestic violence;

9. Stalking;

10. Larceny/theft;

11. Vandalism, destruction of property, or damage to property;

12. Intimidation; or

13. Simple assault.

j. Notify Mason Study Abroad of the following emergencies if coordination or assistance is needed:

1. Serious injury, illness, psychiatric incidents, death, or hospitalization;

2. Reports or occurrence of infectious disease;

3. Natural disasters;

4. Political unrest or turmoil;

5. Missing employee or student; or

6. Any other situation deemed an emergency by employees or students.

7. Adhere to emergency management protocols as outlined in the International Educational Travel Handbook.

8. Employees must maintain a personal and medical insurance policy and register travel to receive university-approved travel insurance for themselves.

B.  Student Responsibilities for Individual Travel

Students pursuing independently arranged international educational travel experiences, such as internships, independent study, service learning, or dissertation research, must:

  1. Register travel with Mason Study Abroad.
  2. Sign and file an International Travel Acknowledgement of Risks and Medical Consent Form;
  3. Attend any required orientations/trainings;
  4. Pay applicable tuition, administrative and program fees, if any;
  5. Comply with policies and procedures regarding academic advising;
  6. Abide by applicable university regulations and policies, including but not limited to the University Catalog, the Code of Student Conduct, and university drug and alcohol policies;
  7. Students must purchase university-approved travel insurance for the duration of international travel;
  8. Students must have a current personal and medical insurance policy; and
  9. Students traveling to countries or areas under U.S. Department of State Alerts or Warnings, declaration of emergency, or CDC Level 3 Warning or countries under comprehensive economic sanctions must follow UTAC procedures and policies (see Section III).

III. Travel

A. Travel to Hazardous Areas

1. Student and employee travel that is university-related or university-sponsored is restricted from any area affected by the following:

a. U.S. Department of State travel alert or warning; or

b. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3; or

c. State, federal, or province declaration of a “state of emergency” (or similar) warning such as might be issued in the anticipation or aftermath of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event.

2. Exceptions to the restriction in Section III.A.1 may be made on a case-by-case basis by the University Travel Advisory Committee (UTAC), as outlined in 3. below.

3. Individuals or groups intending to travel to an area subject to an alert or warning as outlined above must complete an Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas and Countries under Comprehensive Economic Sanctions. Applications should be submitted 30 days in advance of the proposed travel date or as soon as travel is anticipated.

4. Because regional conflict may extend beyond defined borders, UTAC may also determine that university-related or university-sponsored travel is suspended or prohibited to countries neighboring any countries affected by Section III.A.1. (a), (b), or (c).

5. Refusal to comply with an evacuation order may result in either dismissal from the university in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, termination of employment, or other disciplinary action as appropriate.

6. In the event of an in-country warning or alert issuance, travelers must follow the Trip-specific International Travel Emergency Plan.

7. UTAC may assess risks associated with activities in and travel to other areas, and may restrict travel as appropriate.

B. Travel to Sanctioned Countries

1. University-related or university-sponsored travel to any country or area under comprehensive economic sanctions must be approved in advance by the UTAC. Individual employees are responsible for compliance with all U.S. laws and regulations related to travel to any such country or area. Individuals or groups intending to travel to an area under comprehensive economic sanctions must complete an Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas and Countries under Comprehensive Economic Sanctions. Applications should be submitted 30 days in advance of the proposed travel date or as soon as travel is anticipated.

IV. Definitions

A. International Educational Travel: Any international travel undertaken by a student in association with a credit-bearing course, or by a student or participant in a non-credit-bearing course or program.   International Educational Travel may include: study abroad courses; independent study, internships or student research; or experiential learning or field experiences.

B. University-sponsored: For the purposes of this policy, university-sponsored refers to any means by which the university approves, funds, manages, promotes, admits into, or operates international travel activities whether directly or through a subcontractor; this includes volunteers and agents of the university.

C. University-related: means any international travel activities engaged in by students or employees in their capacity as students or employees. This includes travel related to instruction, research, or business, such as: conferences, presentations, recruiting, site or program assessment, or development. This does not include international travel activities engaged in by students or employees in a personal capacity.

D. Employee: A person who works for the university full-time or part-time and is paid through the university’s payroll system.

V. Compliance

A. The Office of Global Strategy bears primary responsibility for the administration of this policy.  The Office of Global Strategy is responsible for registration, training and coordination with university officials in response to emergencies.  The Office of Global Strategy’s Mason Study Abroad program will review travel registrations to ensure compliance with this policy and associated procedures, will investigate and assess potential threats, and will coordinate physical and personal security during crises. The Office of Global Strategy’s Mason Study Abroad will maintain the university’s records on international travel.

B. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees adhere to this policy and the procedures established by the Office of Global Strategy.

C. The Office of Risk Management is responsible for establishing minimum travel insurance requirements and providing guidance upon request.

D. The Office of Research Integrity and Assurance shall provide information and resources related to compliance with export control and sanctions laws and regulations.

E. Employees and students on university-related or university-sponsored travel must comply with direction provided by the UTAC.

VI. Forms

International Travel Acknowledgement of Risk and Medical Consent Form

Trip-specific International Travel Emergency Plan (Group or Individual)

Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas and Countries under Comprehensive Economic Sanctions

VII. Dates:

 Effective Date:   

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Provost.

Date of Most Recent Review:


VIII. Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed.

IX. Signatures


                        _____/S/_________________                                  ___4/10/2014______

                        Senior Vice President for                                                       Date

                        Administration and Finance


                        _____/S/_________________                                  ___4/8/2014_______

                        Provost                                                                                      Date

Revision approved: August 2, 2016