International Travel Policy – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \

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Hobart and William Smith Colleges International Travel Policy Involving Students

Hobart and William Smith Colleges offer a broad menu of off-campus study options around the world and the safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff participating in these programs is of the utmost importance. In evaluating existing program locations and proposals for new sites, HWS risk management staff draw on guidance from a variety of sources, including the US Department of State (DOS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), international partner institutions, host country governmental agencies, and independent organizations specializing in international safety and security issues.

The Colleges’ policy on international travel involving students has given primary consideration to the Department of State’s Travel Advisory system (scroll down and click on “Travel Advisory), which provides guidance to those traveling abroad by assigning countries to “risk levels” based on an assessment of a variety of risk indicators. While DOS ratings will continue to factor into policy guidelines, risk management staff will employ a more holistic approach in evaluating locations with elevated risk levels due exclusively to COVID-19. Destinations deemed higher risk due to other factors (including civil unrest, crime, terrorism, etc.) will be closely scrutinized as described below.

The following policy guidelines apply to any HWS faculty or staff member taking students abroad. The purpose of such travel might include, but is not limited to:

  • Participation in an off-campus study program or other educational experience
  • Participation in a conference, meeting, presentation, or research
  • Participation in an athletic or cultural event

These guidelines also apply to students pursuing any independent international activity funded, credited, or otherwise supported by HWS, and affiliated partner institutions abroad which host HWS students.

Proposals from students involving international travel, as well as proposals from faculty and staff involving international travel with students, must be submitted on the appropriate form and are subject to review by HWS institutional risk management staff as outlined below.

LINK for STUDENT International Activity Proposal Form
LINK for form for STAFF international travel with students
LINK for form for FACULTY international travel with students (conferences, research etc – NOT programs through Center for Global Education
LINK for form for Faculty-led SHORT-TERM Center for Global Education programs
LINK for form for Faculty-led SEMESTER Center for Global Education programs

  • Level 1 – Travel is permitted. However, travel to specific areas within Level 1 countries that are identified as high risk (often labeled as “Do Not Travel To” or “Reconsider Travel To” in the Department of State Travel Advisory) for reasons other than COVID-19 is typically prohibited. Proposals that include travel to such high-risk areas must be reviewed by HWS institutional risk management staff and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions will be granted only in extraordinary cases.
  • Level 2 – All off-campus programs and proposals involving student travel to Level 2 countries will be reviewed by HWS institutional risk management staff. All programs based at affiliated partner institutions and all semester-long faculty-led programs based in Level 2 countries that are part of the Center for Global Education regular program menu will be reviewed annually (the current list of faculty-led programs may be found here. All faculty proposals for short-term programs involving travel to Level 2 countries must be reviewed by HWS institutional risk management staff before they can be reviewed by the Committee on Global Education and considered for approval by the Committee on Academic Affairs and Provost. All student proposals including travel to Level 2 countries are subject to risk management review before final approval can be granted. Note that travel to areas within Level 2 countries that are identified as high risk (often labeled as “Do Not Travel To” or “Reconsider Travel To” in the Department of State Travel Advisory) for reasons other than COVID-19 is typically prohibited. Proposals that include travel to such high-risk areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions will be granted only in extraordinary cases.
  • Level 3 – All off-campus programs based at affiliated partner institutions and all semester-long faculty-led programs based in Level 3 countries will be evaluated annually by HWS institutional risk management staff. All faculty proposals for short-term programs involving travel to Level 3 countries must be reviewed by HWS institutional risk management staff before they can be reviewed by the Committee on Global Education and considered for approval by the Committee on Academic Affairs and Provost. Student proposals including travel to countries rated as Level 3 for reasons other than COVID-19 are typically prohibited. Such proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and exceptions will be granted only in extraordinary cases.
  • Level 4 – Proposals of any kind involving student travel to countries rated as Level 4 for reasons other than COVID-19 are typically prohibited. Such proposals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and exceptions will be granted only in extraordinary cases.

All proposals must address health risks identified by the Centers for Disease Control for locations included in program itineraries. In the case of proposals including travel to areas of particular concern, modifications to program itineraries may be recommended or required.
Proposals involving student travel to locations where the Colleges’ insurance carriers deny coverage cannot be approved. Depending on the circumstances relating to any student travel included in a proposal, vendors and partner institutions utilized for travel or other purposes may be required to provide certificates of insurance that meet the requirements of the Colleges and their insurance carriers. Any institutionally sponsored or affiliated travel is conditioned upon the Colleges’ ability to maintain sufficient coverage through our insurance carriers.
Students participating in any off-campus program offered by Hobart and William Smith Colleges may not travel independently at any time during a program to a location that is identified as Level 3 or 4 or as a high risk (“Do Not Travel To” or “Reconsider Travel To”) area for reasons other than COVID-19 in any country. Exceptions may be granted in extraordinary cases with the prior approval of the Center for Global Education.

Students traveling abroad as part of a group sponsored by the Colleges or participating in an internship or other activity using funding provided by the Colleges or receiving credit from the Colleges may not travel to a location that is identified as Level 3 or 4 or as a high risk (“Do Not Travel To” or “Reconsider Travel To”) area for reasons other than COVID-19 in any country. Exceptions may be granted in extraordinary cases with the prior approval of the Center for Global Education.

Updated travel advisory information for all countries is available at the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Proposals reviewed by HWS institutional risk management staff may be approved, provisionally approved pending modification, returned for revision, or denied. Anyone wishing to appeal a decision may do so by submitting a written letter within one week of notification. The letter must be submitted to the Provost and Dean of Faculty whose decision will be final.

Those faculty, staff, and students whose proposals are approved will be required to submit a list of those traveling on an approved program/activity along with a travel itinerary and contact information.

HWS staff will continue to monitor safety and security conditions in locations where individuals or groups may be traveling on approved programs/activities. HWS reserves the right to reconsider proposals and/or require modification of program itineraries should safety and security conditions change prior to departure or during the course of an international program/activity.

CONTACT

Please contact CGE if you have any questions:

Phone: (315) 781-3307

Email: hwsabroad@hws.edu