In order to book international travel, you will need to process an international travel request through Concur. The request will be approved by your department chair and then the Dean. You will need a speedtype to submit the request.
After your travel request is approved, you will receive a notification from the Concur system advising you to call Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) to book your travel at the number they provide.
As an employee, there is an emergency medical/security/natural disaster coverage provided by GeoBlue. You are automatically enrolled in this coverage when you book through CBT and will receive more information after you book. Please note that personal travel and dependents are not automatically covered. You will need to purchase plan extensions for personal travel or dependents.
The Institute of Medicine or the BICOL Foundation may be able to provide guidance.
Student International Travel Procedure and Process - International SOS Ratings
Student travel to locations with an International SOS medical or travel risk rating of “insignificant,” “low,” or “medium” does not require special review and approval.
Student travel to locations with an International SOS medical or travel risk rating of “high” requires special review by the International Risk Management Committee (IRMC) and approval by the provost or executive vice chancellor (i.e., a travel appeal process).
Student travel to locations with an International SOS medical or travel risk rating of “extreme” is not permitted.
The COVID-19 impact rating for “travel” deals with the level of difficulty in entering the country (e.g., border entry requirements such as PCR testing, vaccination requirements, and/or quarantining upon arrival). Most of the requirements are based on nationality or from which country one is traveling. Thus, no matter if the “travel” impact rating is “low,” “medium,” or “high,” the request does not require special review. The student will work with the third-party provider or OGE to meet the entry requirements in order to proceed with travel.
The COVID-19 impact rating for “domestic operations” refers to the capacity of the medical facilities and the degree to which essential and non-essential businesses are operating. For ratings of “low” or “medium,” no special review is required. A rating of “high” requires review by IRMC and approval by the provost (i.e., a travel appeal process).
Process - Travel Appeal Process for Different Populations
Each application, no matter if the traveler is going independently, with a third party, or on a faculty-led course, will contain a question asking the applicant to select from a drop-down menu the International SOS travel and medical risk ratings for the destination (and for now the COVID-19 impact for domestic operations).
The question prompt will also encourage the traveler to email themselves the ISOS country guide and to review the country information from the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If any of the ratings are “high” the applicant will be asked to contact the Office of Global Education for further guidance. (See below for travel appeal to “high” risk destinations for further details.)
This step will familiarize the traveler with International SOS and act as an implied “informed consent” regarding traveling to the destination.
The application for independent travelers already contains the following questions: -A) Describe your proposed accommodations for the duration of your trip. B) What risks are associated with your choice, and how will you mitigate these risks?
-B) Describe your proposed daily transportation to/from your study/work site. B) What risks are associated with your choice, and how will you mitigate these risks? Use the International SOS (Member#: 11BCAS000006) and U.S. State Department websites as resources.
-C) Identify the potential risks to your health and safety in your host country. Consider the risk of natural disasters, political instability, crime, terrorism, and exposure to disease. Be thoughtful and comprehensive in your response. B) How will you mitigate these risks? Use the International SOS (Member#: 11BCAS000006) and U.S. State Department websites as resources.
-D) Describe the availability of emergency care in your host city. Include the name, address, and phone number for the nearest emergency facility. How far is it from your work site? What transportation is available? If purchasing the recommended university international health and evacuation insurance, contact International SOS for information about hospitals and clinics in your host city.
The application for faculty-led programs contains an extensive risk identification and mitigation matrix (see attached “Faculty-led waiver.doc”).
All travelers are required to create an emergency action plan (EAP), regardless of the destination risk rating.
For destinations deemed “high” risk by International SOS, the traveler (or faculty on behalf of the group) must submit additional information addressing mitigation measures for each issue making this destination higher risk (e.g., for violent crime, terrorism, kidnapping, etc.).
The traveler may upload risk management plans from any on-the-ground support they may have. IRMC must review the travel appeal and determine the recommendation to make to the provost.
This process will require OGE to identify the specific risks that need further assessing and to request sufficient information for IRMC to make an informed recommendation. For example, if the risk is for kidnapping, IRMC would be interested in the mitigation measures for transportation and accommodations, as well as the daily activities of the program.
OGE would compile the relevant information and the chair of IRMC would send to the committee for review. IRMC would review the request at the next possible IRMC meeting, return to the traveler with any questions, then make the recommendation to the provost. We request that the provost then make a decision at their earliest convenience.
For this academic year, if the only reason a destination is “high” is due to COVID-19, the following process will be followed. A COVID-19 waiver would be collected for each student/faculty, and each student and faculty going on an OGE program would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Affiliated and approved third party: OGE will collect risk management plans from providers with whom students are planning to study. OGE will review plans for quality and keep on file. If housing, transportation, and other factors are adequately addressed, we would seek provost approval in advance for these specific providers. Once approved, students would not have to submit an appeal to study with these third-party providers. (No IRMC review required.)
Faculty-led: In addition to the risks identified in the OGE “Release from Responsibility, Assumption of Risk, and Waiver” (see sample attached), the faculty must address COVID-19 precautions that would be taken for the specific itinerary of the course. These risks and mitigation measures must be added to the OGE “Release from Responsibility, Assumption of Risk, and Waiver” for students to review and acknowledge. (IRMC review required.)
Independent/residents/students going on unaffiliated 3rd party: Complete travel appeal to address COVID-19 risk mitigation. (OGE review required but no IRMC review required.)
Dual citizen/home country:OGE application only (which includes EAP). (No IRMC review required.)
Ali I. Musani, MD, FCCP Vice Chair, Global Health Department of Medicine 303-724-3621