STUDY ABROAD AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL GUIDELINES

FOR LOCATIONS SUBJECT TO U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL WARNINGS

Florida Atlantic University (“FAU” or the “University”) strongly supports international education activities through undergraduate and graduate study abroad and exchange programs, faculty research and teaching abroad, and other forms of international institutional cooperation.   FAU strives to make overseas learning and academic work experiences accessible to all who are interested.

At the same time the safety and security of our students, employees and faculty are of the highest concern. Potential risks and hazards are often associated with international travel for educational purposes. FAU routinely does not sponsor study abroad and exchange programs to locations on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list (the “general prohibition”). FAU further follows the advice and directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in determining whether a program should proceed. Exemptions to this general prohibition may be granted through petitions as described in these guidelines.

In order to help ensure the safety and well being of FAU students, faculty, and employees, the Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Office of International Programs (the “OIP”), created the FAU Study Abroad Safety and Security Committee (the “Committee”). The Committee advises the OIP and the University on best practices in the areas of student safety and program security for overseas studies. The Committee also reviews petitions for FAU approved study abroad programs, or access to approved affiliated study abroad programs, in locations where there are U.S. State Department Travel Warnings. The Committee will consider exceptions to the general prohibition based on a careful review of the safety and related features of the program under review, and the academic need and merits of the program being proposed.   Such exemptions may be granted only when petitioned by University program leaders or organizers. The Committee will also deliberate on the suspension of any approved program in locations on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list, and any other location where there may be an FAU program or affiliation, when world conditions alter the safety and security assessment of a program. Committee recommendations will be advisory to the Provost who will decide if an exemption should be granted or a program suspended. In emergent circumstances, when time does not permit a full committee meeting, the Provost may act independently or upon a recommendation of the OIP.

FAU Study Abroad Safety and Security Committee 

Director, Office of International Programs Catherine Meschievitz
Dean of Undergraduate Studies/Academic Affairs Edward Pratt
OIP Senior Coordinator for Academic Programs Tania Tucker
Associate Dean/Division of Student Affairs  Corey King
Office of Legal Counsel        Audra Lazarus
Director, Student Health Services      Cathie Wallace
Risk Management Officer                                                           Gene Young
FAU Ombudsman/President’s Office                                            Patty Singer
FAU Faculty Members at Large Rupert Rhodd
  Josephine Beoku-Betts

 

GUIDELINES FOR STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

The Committee will meet periodically during the academic year and at special meetings called as needed to review petitions to start, re-start or suspend a specific study abroad program, or access to a specific study abroad program at a university or institution, in a location where there is a U.S. State Department Travel Warning.[1]  

1. Petitions may come from FAU faculty program leaders or FAU program organizers.

2. Petitions from individual students are not accepted. FAU students interested in studying at an institution not given an exemption by FAU in a location where there is a U.S. State Department Travel Warning may, if they choose, enroll in the overseas institution directly. In such instances, the student may be able to arrange for transfer credit back to FAU after the study abroad experience. Such overseas experience will not be under the auspices of FAU.

3. Petitions by program leaders or organizers shall be made in writing to the Committee, c/o Dr. Catherine Meschievitz, OIP Director, and shall contain the following information:

a) a completed FAU Study Abroad Program (SAP) application for a specific FAU faculty led short term program (the OIP SAP proposal and guidelines can be found at this link  http://www.fau.edu/goabroad/SAP_Guidelines.php )

or

b) if the request involves establishment of a specific student exchange agreement, direct enroll partner agreement, or affiliation with a provider program at a university overseas, a copy of the draft agreement and full description of the academic nature of the program to be accessed (university information, study abroad course descriptions, faculty);

and

c) the target student pool at FAU for the proposed program/program access, and the academic need for this access;

d) details on the geographic and political environment of the program and its relation to security and safety issues;

e) information on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning for this country and its relationship to the location of the proposed program, as well as any relevant advice and directives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for the target location;

f) details on the pre-departure orientation the students will attend to prepare them for security related issues, with examples;

g) description of the local support structure on site and the safety and security precautions to be followed (including travel conditions, communication practices and policies, medical care access, and evacuation procedures);

h) confirmation that the organizers are willing to require participants to sign a special waiver acknowledging receipt and review of the applicable Travel Warning and affirmation their participation is voluntary;

i) signatures noting support and approval by the director and chair of the submitting department or program, and the approval of relevant College Dean(s) or his/her designee.

4. Submissions may also include other information of relevance, such as other institutional study abroad activity in the proposed location, photographs of the site, or other information.

5. The Committee will call upon expertise at FAU or elsewhere on the region and the field as they see fit to help their review of the submitted proposal. Individuals may be invited to Committee meetings to aid discussion.

6. The Committee may also review the possible need to suspend a program previously approved either in a location where an exemption had been approved earlier, or locations where world events have altered the safety and security assessment of the program, and obtain data and information relevant to items in 3 (a-g) above, in order to recommend if a program shall be suspended.

7. The Committee’s recommendations will be advisory to the Provost who will decide if an exemption should be granted or a program suspended.

8. In emergent circumstances, when time does not permit a full committee meeting, the Provost may act independently or upon a recommendation of the OIP.

Faculty interested in submitting a petition are strongly encouraged to consult with Dr. Catherine Meschievitz prior to preparation of any petition. Questions about this and the FAU Study Abroad Safety and Security Committee can be addressed to Dr. Meschievitz at 561-297-1039 or cmeschie@fau.edu.

GUIDELINES FOR OTHER INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL UNDER FAU AUSPICES

In addition to study abroad programs, the procedures for which are discussed above, FAU encourages faculty, staff and students to take advantage of research, teaching, other educational opportunities, and humanitarian travel projects in international locations.   If any official FAU activities (i.e. research, teaching, other educational opportunities, or humanitarian travel projects that are sponsored, endorsed or funded by FAU) will occur in a location where there is a U.S. State Department Travel Warning, the faculty, staff and students will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that the travel is voluntary and that they are aware of the safety and security concerns associated with their travel plans. The waiver may be obtained from the Provost Office. Individuals planning to participate in these activities under FAU auspices should consult their appropriate divisional offices and the Provost Office for guidance on, and approval of, any such international travel.      

The FAU OIP website has additional information on safety and security concerns for international travel and study. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to refer to this information as they plan for a possible international experience. www.fau.edu/goabroad

INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INSURANCE

FAU study abroad participants and study abroad faculty leaders and teaching staff are required to have accident and sickness coverage insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International or CISI. CISI provides accident and sickness medical expenses, medical evacuation, and security evacuation coverage (e.g.natural disasters, political turmoil) as well as other forms of assistance while studying abroad. Fees for this insurance are part of the study abroad program fee and will vary due to the length of the program undertaken. OIP will arrange coverage for individuals in this category.

Participants in other international travel under FAU auspices may also purchase CISI insurance. Students can obtain coverage at the study abroad rates. Costs for individuals in this category are a personal expense, and coverage may be obtained through OIP. Faculty and staff rates will vary due to the length of the travel, with a minimum of one month, and are also a personal expense. Vacation travel is not eligible travel. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to consider adding this insurance for their university related international travel. More information about CISI and how to get coverage for your university travel needs can be found at this link: www.fau.edu/goabroad/Health_Insurance.php

 


[1] Additionally, Florida Statutes Section 1011.90(6) forbids use of state funds for travel to terrorist nations as defined by the U.S. State Department, and study abroad will not be approved for those locations.

 

 

 


 

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