CSU Policy: International Travel

Policy Title: International Travel Category: Administration
Owner: Vice Provost for International Affairs Policy ID#: 5-1024-001
Office of International Programs
Web: https://international.colostate.edu/
Email: educationabroad@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-5917
Original Effective Date: 10/3/2014
Last Revision: 2/10/2019
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This policy governs international travel by CSU faculty, staff and students for all official CSU purposes. Its purpose is to protect the safety of travelers, and assist students, faculty and staff in obtaining the required approvals for international travel.


This policy applies to all CSU faculty, staff and students.


International Travel: “International Travel” is defined as travel outside of the United States.


Colorado State University recognizes that no worthwhile endeavor is without risk, including international travel.  The university considers risk in terms of both the likelihood and potential consequences of an event.

The University accepts a certain amount of risk for research and educational innovation as it pursues its strategic goals, and recognizes that effective decision making requires balancing risks against possible benefits to be realized. International travel, while it involves some risks, is beneficial to our students and must include destinations around the globe in order to allow CSU students and employees to pursue their chosen courses of learning.  At the same time, the University must do its utmost to promote and protect student and employee health and safety.

Faculty and staff who travel to high risk destinations, such as those on CSU’s Higher Risk Destination List, or doing higher risk activities, such as scuba or mountaineering, may be subject to additional procedures as required and/or recommended by the Office of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) in consultation with International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) and other stakeholders.

Under the guidance of the Vice President for University Operations and the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the ITOC supports colleges and departments in discharging their responsibilities towards student international travelers, and for faculty and staff accompanying them in official or semi-official capacities. The ITOC oversees CSU procedures to prepare student travelers for and to mitigate the potential impact of a wide variety of risks. The ITOC consists of members from units across campus, including Education Abroad, Risk Management and Insurance, Student Affairs and Legal Counsel. As the nature and location of risks and mitigation strategies change over time, the University will review this policy regularly to assure it remains current.


The following provisions apply to international travel by students, faculty and staff:

  1. Use of federal grant funds requires travelers to comply with the “Fly America Act” using only “US Flag” commercial carriers. It is acceptable for the tickets to be purchased from a US Flag carrier if the flight is contracted to a non-domestic carrier for the actual plane and flight crew. Some grants may further stipulate maximum lodging and/or per diem rates or impose other requirements. In addition, travelers expending federal funds received under a grant, contract or other assistance from a U.S. Public Health Service agency (National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), Agency for the Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), Indian Health Service (IHS), or Substance Abuse & Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA)) must report travel on the CSU Role and Responsibility Survey. It is the responsibility of the department head and the traveler to understand these special requirements.
  2. Generally, fare upgrades are not allowed; however, fare upgrades can be booked for international trips in in accordance with CSU Financial Rule 5.15.4. Approval for such upgrades must be granted in writing by the University Controller.
  3. Liability coverage normally provided by the rental car company does not carry over to non-domestic locations. For international rentals, liability coverage (not collision damage and loss waiver) should be purchased and is reimbursable. Check with the Office of Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) before renting a car outside of the U.S.; best practice is to confirm the inclusion of insurance at the time of booking.       Travelers must comply with the insurance regulations of the country being visited, and should be prepared to purchase higher levels of insurance than may be necessary for domestic rentals.. Best practices should be followed as possible abroad, such as securing comprehensive insurance coverage (Collision/Loss Damage Waiver and Liability) and renting from reputable companies with well-maintained vehicles.
  4. All CSU official travel must be authorized prior to departure. Students traveling internationally are required to register with the Office of International Programs (OIP) Education Abroad Unit. All faculty and staff must receive approval from RMI prior to departure. This includes no cost travel. This approval is obtained by registering travel into the Kuali TEM system. 
  5. For the safety of CSU students, faculty, and staff, it is highly recommended that all university international travelers review CSU’s list of higher risk countries and US Department of State travel advisories, as travel to certain countries may be discouraged, restricted, or forbidden. If faculty or staff members are traveling to a country with an advisory, RMI may  approve the travel registration, provided a signed waiver is received. Prior to any student travel to these countries, students or their faculty or staff leader must submit a signed proposal request and seek approval from the ITOC. Travelers to all destinations and especially high risk countries are urged to also register with the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) through the Department of State.
  6. All international travelers should familiarize themselves with the University’s policy on Export Control. Faculty, staff, and students who are employed by the University are required to strictly comply with its provisions. While most foreign travel does not require a license, traveling to certain countries with export-controlled items, software, technology, or information may require an export license. If a controlled export is involved, the traveler must also contact the Export Control Administrator or the Office of General Counsel, who will work with the individual to determine whether approval or licenses are necessary.


Compliance with this policy is required. Travel that does not comply with this policy is not considered official CSU travel, and benefits such as CSU insurance coverage, emergency support or other services are not available to the traveler or sending department. Additionally, failure to register CSU travel may result in repercussions including denial of travel reimbursement requests, impact on financial aid, or denial of academic credit. For assistance with interpretation or application of this policy, contact the Office of International Programs (student travel) or the Office of Risk Management and Insurance (employee travel).


International Travel Oversight Guidance and Procedures  

International Travel Registration and Resources for Students

Risk Management International Travel Registration for Employees

Resources for Employees Taking Students Abroad

Petition Process for Student Travel to Higher Risk Countries

CSU List of Higher Risk Countries

Export Control at CSU

Health and Safety Resources

Family Members or Visitors on Education Abroad Programs - Travel Guidelines

Transporting Students or on Driving for Education Abroad Programs

U.S. Department of State Travel Advice

CSU Financial Rules


Approved September 11, 2007; Revision approved by Amy Parsons, November 17, 2014; Revision approved by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations February 10, 2019


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