University policy requires special permission from the University’s International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) prior to travel in specific circumstances for students and faculty/staff/units leading students abroad.
Application Process for Unit-Organized, Sponsored, or Supported Programs
Applicants are encouraged to apply early. A complete application must be submitted electronically at least six to eight weeks before proposed travel. The committee will not consider applications received less than two weeks prior to scheduled departure to ensure that a thorough review can be done to better assure student safety. Flights should not be booked prior to applying to the ITRAAC travel approval.
The application must generally show the academic value of the program and how the structure of the program and safety procedures in place mitigate the concerns of the travel advisory. Requests require substantial documentation. Students are responsible for working with their advisers and other appropriate individuals in their colleges/schools in preparing a written request.
Submit all materials described below to firstname.lastname@example.org electronically at least six to eight weeks before scheduled departure. If electronic submission is not an option, submit hard copies to International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee at the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.
The proposal, a written rationale stating the need for the proposed program in the specific site, should be written in essay or letter form and should include the answers to the following questions:
- How many students do you estimate will participate?
- What are the proposed dates of the program?
- Is this opportunity intended as a one-time event or a continuing program?
- What are the compelling academic reasons for the experience in the specific location?
- What alternative sites were considered and why will they not meet academic needs?
- Will the program count as credit toward the degree or toward meeting a general requirement for the degree?
- How does the structure of the program (including housing and transportation) and safety procedures in place mitigate the concerns of the travel advisory?
2. Program overview and/or syllabus
Provide a copy of the program overview or syllabus.
3. Safety, emergency, and evacuation plan
UMN units should provide documentation and procedures regarding safety, security, and evacuation. If working through the Learning Abroad Center or education abroad office on your campus, please attach the evacuation plan you create with them. If traveling independently, please use the Safety and Emergency Plan for Department/Unit Programs template as a model for creating your own plan.
4. Letter of endorsement from department chair
UMN units should submit a letter of endorsement from the department chair (or equivalent) that is leading the program. This letter need not endorse the safety of the location but simply the academic value of the program.
5. Letter of endorsement from dean
UMN units should submit a letter of endorsement from the dean of the college (or equivalent) that is leading the program. If the group will include graduate students, a letter from the dean of Graduate Education is optional. This letter need not endorse the safety of the location but simply the academic value of the program.
6. Additional materials
UMN units should submit any additional materials appropriate for support of the petition. These would include any additional information that would be useful for the committee as background in making a decision, such as any prior relationships that have been established with a site or host institution.
Proposals are approved by the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee.
The proposal must be strongly linked to the unit's academic and program goals. The concerns raised in the proposal section of the application must be adequately addressed and documented. In the absence of a compelling case and justification, it is unlikely that the committee will approve the request.
Note: If a proposal is approved, it is approved under the conditions at the time of approval. If a travel advisory changes, the proposal may need to be reconsidered. If the program is ongoing and the location remains under a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory, the program must be re-approved each time an individual or group of students plans to participate.
Scope of Approval
This approval is specific to the location and dates outlined in the itinerary submitted to ITRAAC and does not authorize travel to any other Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 countries or regions for either personal or University-purpose travel.
Program Development and Support
Faculty/staff or units/departments that are organizing a program to bring students abroad are highly encouraged to work with the Learning Abroad Center or the education abroad office on their campus for assistance with health and safety arrangements. If you do NOT work with the Learning Abroad Center or the education abroad office on your campus, you must handle these arrangements on your own:
- seeking permission to travel to locations with Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisories through the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee
- releases and waivers
- medical insurance
- emergency plans
All students, staff, and faculty approved for travel by the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee will be required to carry international health, security, medical, and evacuation insurance approved by the University of Minnesota.