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Travel Procedures

West Virginia University (WVU) encourages students, faculty, and staff to participate in international activities and promotes the development of opportunities for internationalstudy and research. To this end, WVU attempts to balance the value of participation in international activities against their potential risks. WVU has developed this policy for

international activities to promote safe travel by students, faculty, and staff to and from activities or events that advance the University’s mission of research and discovery, teaching and learning, and community and cultural engagement.  

 For countries in which the U.S. Department of State has issued Travel Warnings, countries for which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

(CDC) has issued Travel Notices as well as countries for which there is a reasonable concern for the health and security of travelers even if they are not specifically identified on either list, a Risk Designated Travel Petition must be submitted for special review by the International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC).

Students, faculty and staff will need to consult the policy for specific details before making arrangements for travel to countries where there are recognized dangers, instabilities or severe health risks. The WVU ITAC is responsible for implementing this policy, including review of requests and recommendations. However, final authority and approval for activities covered by this policy rests with the Provost. This policy stands in addition to all other relevant WVU policies and procedures for travel. Additional information and forms can be found on the Office of Global Affairs Travel Site.

West Virginia University International Travel Policy for Students

This procedure below applies to all undergraduate, graduate and professional student travel sponsored, organized, supported or recognized by WVU.  Travel is sponsored, organized, supported, or recognized by the university when any of the following occurs:

  • Programs organized and/or sponsored by West Virginia University that are part of or contribute to an academic course or degree program including internships, practicum, and research;
  • Academic related international service learning, internships, practicum, research, and volunteer opportunities organized and/or sponsored by WVU;
  • Travel by members of a registered student organization regardless of whether or not the organization requires its student members to attend the activity or event;
  • Other trips organized or sponsored by WVU including the activities of sponsored student organizations;
  •  A program or trip administered by another institution or organization under an agreement with WVU;
  • Travel to meetings of academic-related, professional associations including conferences;
  • Any programs organized by WVU groups such as parents club, alumni organizations, etc.

Travel to countries under a Level 4 travel Advisory even during independent breaks during an approved international program may jeopardize a student’s continued participation in the program. 

If a Level 4 Travel Advisory/CDC alert is issued while a student is already in the subject country, the International Risk Manager in conjunction with the International Travel Advisory Committee will review and assess the situation and make appropriate recommendations and decisions based on concerns for the safety and security of student participants.  The International Risk Manager and ITAC may recommend immediate departure and/or suspension of the program if applicable. 

If a student wishes to travel to a destination for which there is a Level 3/4 or CDC warning, the student must complete a Risk Designated Travel Petition 3 months prior to travel.  This Petition will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the ITAC and the Associate Vice President for Global Affairs.  Notification of approval of permission for travel or denial will be provided to the student in writing by the International Risk Manager. Approval of travel to a Risk Designated country may be revoked at any time due to a change in a Travel Level Advisory or CDC alert.

All students who are United States citizens traveling are required to sign up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at https://step.state.gov/step/ .

For more information see: https://educationabroad.wvu.edu/

West Virginia University International Travel Policy for Faculty and Staff

WVU recognizes that when conducting research, teaching, or public service on a global level, opportunities will arise for faculty and staff to travel to countries that are under a Travel Warning, or Center for Disease Control warning/advisory.  The University does not prohibit such travel, but does endeavor to balance the risks of travel against the value and necessity of the travel.  The following rules and conditions may apply to such travel:

  • All faculty or staff who are traveling for a university related purpose, must register their travel at:  https://international.wvu.edu/travel/registration When completing the travel registration, all WVU employees are required to provide information concerning Federal Export Controls regulations.  The gathering of this information is part of the travel registration process.  Completion of the registration automatically enrolls you in WVU’s international insurance and emergency response program. 
  • Faculty or staff who wish to travel to countries under Level 3 or 4 Advisories are urged to review the Consular Information Sheet and the Advisory (http://travel.state.gov/) and other available materials concerning the conditions in the destination country and to continue to evaluate the value and necessity of the travel against the risks that he/she will encounter if he/she chooses to travel.
  • The Faculty/Staff will take precautions concerning his/her personal safety.  He/she must recognize that the University and the US State Department may not be able to help in the event that difficulties abroad are encountered. 
  • Approval for travel with be at the discretion of the Chair, Dean and/or Associate Vice President for Global Affairs.  They may authorize, prohibit, or require modification to the travel schedule as needed to manage risk.
  • Faculty/Staff who are already in country when a Level 4 Advisory is issued, will be contracted by the International Risk Manager.  The Faculty/Staff member must communicate with his/her Chair, Dean, and/or the Associate Vice President for Global Affairs concerning whether he/she will be required to return to the US or relocate to a safer area.
  • If the Faculty/Staff elects to travel to a country under a Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory or to remain once an Advisory has been elevated and is against the direction of the Chair/Dean and Associate Vice President, then the travel and all associated activity will be deemed outside the scope of his/her employment with WVU.  In this situation, WVU funds may not be used for travel or any associated expenses. 
  • All faculty who are United States citizens are required to sign up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at https://step.state.gov/step/ .