Traveling internationally?

Virginia Tech requires all faculty- or staff-led Co-Curricular International Programs involving student participants to follow the procedure listed below. This includes programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level for group travel, group research, groups attending a conference, international service trips, and other programs that are Virginia Tech sponsored co-curricular (non-credit) programs. Registered student organizations (RSOs) or student groups with a special interest are not university supported nor are they university affiliated.

Program directors (VT faculty/staff) should submit the information with significant anticipation of their program. Programs should not be recruited for until the Hokie Sentinel Global Travel Assessment is approved.

When filling out the HSGTA form, select the type of program on the bottom tab. If any assistance is needed with this form, please contact VT Engage's Associate Director for Global Engagement, Eliza Wethey.

Programs planning to travel to countries with US State Department Warnings or CDC Warnings will require additional review through the Global Travel Oversight Committee as established in the Global Travel Policy. Study Abroad Funds will be created for programs upon approval.

Proposals must be approved by the Department Head as well as the Dean/Vice President before coming to VT Engage, Global Education, and the Global Travel Oversight Committee (GTOC) for final review. Proposals will be reviewed for approval based on the following criteria:

  • Overall merit – what are the goals of the program? What is the impact on students?
  • Program leader’s experience – has the program leader traveled to this destination previously? Is he/she familiar with the country, culture, language, etc? Is the program destination and/or subject matter in line with the program leader’s expertise?
  • Student preparation & selection – how are students prepared emotionally and intellectually for the trip?
  • Program partner – who is the program partner? How were they selected? What is their relationship to the community where you will be working?
  • Overall uniqueness of the program – will this program appeal to students? Would the program leader be able to recruit enough students?
  • Risk management – program leaders are required to purchase CISI Insurance for all participants in the program. Are there any safety or health concerns associated with travel to this country? Is the intended destination deemed “safe” by the US State Department, CDC, CISI Worldcue and Webcorp? Risk prevention must also be reviewed for medical, food/water, lodging, transportation, security/safety, communication,excursions, and personal time.

Program directors (VT faculty/staff) must require students to submit the following forms and program documentation at least one month prior to program departure. These forms should be uploaded to the Canvas drop box. Please contact Eliza Wethey to have your students added to the Canvas site.

Student form checklist

All students must turn in the following forms and documents. The information will be collected and audited by VT Engage.

Program information checklist

Program directors are required to submit the following information to VT Engage at least one month prior to departure:

  • Final participant list
  • Complete flight itinerary (including dates and flight numbers) during program. 
  • Final program itinerary
  • Program leader’s overseas cell phone number
  • Travel medical insurance confirmation for all participants (see below for information)
  • STEP enrollment confirmation for all US citizen participants (see below for information)

Per Virginia Tech’s Global Travel Policy all program participants must be enrolled in the university’s mandatory travel medical insurance plan. 

CISI is a leading provider in travel emergency and evacuation situations, which offers affordable coverage that can be purchased in small increments (one week/two week/three weeks/monthly). Self-enroll online by following the instructions below.

 

To enroll:

  •  Email VT Engage (elizaw8@vt.edu) for the Sponsor Code.
  • Go to the CISI self-enrollment page.
  • Under Personal Data, you may enter the Program Name, but you do not need to enter a Participant ID.
  • Be prepared to pay for the insurance with a credit card. CISI costs approximately $33/month, regardless of your age or destination.
  • Once your payment has processed, you will be able to save as a pdf, print, or email your insurance information and ID card. (You can also login to the online system at any time to retrieve this information.)
  • Email the confirmation of CISI purchase to elizaw8@vt.edu.

Please note: CISI is only available for Virginia Tech sponsored programs (Study Abroad, Co-Curricular Programs, Research, Conferences, USCO/USLP Programs.)

CISI is NOT available if: you are traveling for leisure OR if you are a Registered Student Organization traveling internationally. 

To find other travel insurance providers, click here

Register U.S. citizen travelers with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure. STEP sends the latest travel updates and information on any destination.

Leaders must email confirmation of STEP enrollment to elizaw8@vt.edu.

The Department of State’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) administers the Consular Information Program, which informs about conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security while traveling.

VT Engage will supply all travelers with an emergency card upon receipt of travel information at least one month prior to departure. Students are required to carry the emergency card while abroad.

Program Director(s) must notify VT Engage if there are any changes in participants, contact information or other pertinent information.