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International Field Trip Guidance

Academic field trips are defined as a university course-related, off-campus activity led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes. A field trip would include the gathering of data for research, museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest. The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer and could extend over multiple days. This definition does not apply to activities or placements in the context of a teacher preparation program, intercollegiate sports, or service-learning placements, all of are governed under separate policy.

International Academic Field Trips take on liability in addition to that normally associated with domestic field trips. Documenting your discussions with students on the hazards of the trip is essential so, whenever possible, instructions to students should be put in writing.

International Travel Approval

International travel must be approved by the President’s Office. See preparing for your international field trip below for additional direction.

International Travel Insurance

All CSU students, faculty, and staff traveling internationally on university business must obtain Foreign Travel Insurance through CSU’s recognized carrier. Insurance coverage for international field trips cannot exceed 364 days.


Guidance for International Field Trip Leaders

When preparing for international travel as part of academic field trips, Risk Management recommends you include the following liability limiting tips in classroom discussions.

Liability Limiting Procedures

The intent of liability limiting procedures is not to inhibit the educational experience but rather to help faculty make decisions that are in their own interest and for the protection of their students and the University.

  • The University’s policy on the use of drugs and alcohol and associated legal concerns that may apply to the destination city/country.
  • Understanding that the University’s standards of student behavior are still in effect during the entire trip.
  • Review of the conduct between students and faculty, program administrators and others with regard to sexual-harassment and assault, including reporting procedures.
  • Details of crime and safety risks in the destination city/country they will visit.
  • Identification of possible physical risks that may be encountered in each of the planned visitation areas.
  • Safe practices for the consumption of food and drink.
  • Emergency procedures including communication procedures.
  • Explanation of transportation risks and precautions within the foreign country.
  • Any requirements or accommodations required for disabled students or those with special needs.

Every trip should require attendance at one (minimum) orientation meeting  where the following information should be covered:

  • Arrangements for any out-of-country visas, immunizations, etc.
  • Discuss travel and packing tips, medical and health concerns, modes of transportation, hours of departure and return.
  • Review background information pertaining to upcoming cultural differences that a student may experience while visiting foreign countries.
  • Obtain waivers and health forms. Participants should file a waiver for medical treatment and a health questionnaire explaining any special medical problems or needs to the trip leader. All forms that are required for students to sign must be completed and collected at that time.
  • Remind participants to carry sufficient personal medication supplies and physician documentation for medication to last the length of travel or to replace medication lost during the trip.
  • Provide current health and safety information to participants (i.e. prophylactic precautions, viral infections carried by insects and how to protect themselves against known infectious disease breakouts - check with the World Health Organization). 
  • Provide information about emergency medical assistance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation procedures. Review options for medical insurance coverage for foreign travel.
  • Identify health and safety products or services that may not be available at overseas locations.
Emergency Action Planning and Preparedness

Review emergency preparedness processes and the crisis response plan

Code of Conduct
  • Conduct orientation briefings once the destination is reached which include information on health and safety, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in the host country.
  • Communicate codes of conduct for staff and students, addressing such issues as fraternizing, consuming alcohol, controlling activities, and conduct during “free time”.
  • Advise participants of the consequences of non-compliance and take appropriate action when aware that participants are in violation.
  • Review International Programs Policies and Procedures.


Preparing for your international field trip

International field trips in which faculty/staff are traveling with students should follow the below steps to initiate travel approval and insurance coverage.

Complete the Foreign Travel Approval & Insurance Request Form

Presidential approval and Foreign Travel Insurance (FTIP) is required for all international travelers. If your destination country is listed on at least one of the above travel warning lists, a travel approval form will need to be submitted so that insurance coverage is bound.

  • Submit 30 days prior to departure for War Risk Countries
  • Submit 20 days prior to departure when traveling to Hazardous Countries
  • Submit 7 days prior to departure when traveling to Non-hazardous Countries

Once coverage is bound, Risk Management will email the traveler and provide recommendations for travel.

Register your trip with the U.S. Embassy

The State Department’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) formally registers your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Travelers will receive important information about safety conditions in your destination country as well as make it easy for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency, natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergency.

If traveling as part of the University’s Study Abroad program, please contact the Center for International Programs and Studies to learn more.