These guidelines are for faculty interested in taking students to high-risk destinations, whether as part of a study group, extended study, independent research, athletic event, or any other Colgate-sponsored activity. “High-risk destinations” may include countries where the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning
, as well as countries without a Travel Warning but that still pose a significant threat to the safety of students/faculty and to the running of the program.
While the university supports student travel, study, and research abroad, we want to make sure that faculty and students are fully aware of the potential risks. The approval process detailed here is intended to help the university to evaluate travel based on the most complete and accurate information available.
Please note the following explanation of U.S State Department announcements and how they may influence student travel destinations.
U.S. State Department Travel Announcements
The U.S. State Department issues three types of announcements:
Country-specific information sheets
- Country-specific information sheets
- Travel alerts
- Travel warnings
are available for every country of the world. They describe entry requirements, currency regulations, health conditions and availability of medical support, the crime and security situation, description of the country’s infrastructure, recommendations for travelers, as well as emergency telephone numbers for U.S. consulates and embassies. Travel alerts
provide information about relatively short-term and/or transnational conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers. They are issued when there is a perceived threat, even if it does not involve Americans as a particular target group.
The third and most serious announcement is the travel warning
. In some dangerous situations, the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Warning, recommending that Americans defer travel to a country or to a particular region within a country.
Proposing a Program or Trip
Before beginning a proposal, the faculty member must meet with the directors of Off-Campus Study
and Risk Management
to discuss general safety issues and to verify the level of the travel warning and/or the risk level as presented in the country-specific information sheet.
Proposals to take students to high-risk destinations undergo an additional review by the Risk Assessment Committee, comprised of:
- Director of Off-Campus Study/International Programs
- Risk Manager
- Dean of the Faculty
- Faculty chair of the Off-Campus Study Committee
- Vice President for Finance and Administration
The Risk Assessment Committee is responsible for assessing the inherent and potential security risks of a proposal's destination and will have the authority to reject a proposal if the security risks assessed are considered too high for students and faculty. Prior to making any decision, the committee will consult with and may request additional information from the faculty/staff member who submitted the proposal.
The faculty proposal for a new or existing study group, extended study, or for any Colgate-supported event (athletic competition, student research, club activities, etc.) in a high-risk location must address the following issues and questions: