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International Travel Policies

Nyugati Station, Budapest (Hungary)

Photo credit: Hariharan Srinivasulu '21 (Hungary, AIT, spring 2020)

State Departmental Travel Advisories

Travel advisories of level 3 or 4 are issued by the U.S. State Department when conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans "reconsider travel" to that country (level 3) or advise that Americans "do not travel" to that country (level 4). Level 3 or 4 advisories are also issued when the U.S. government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.

Travel Petitions

A petition is required should a student wish to study in a country with identified increased risks (usually a level 3 or 4, or with parts of the country at level 3 or 4). In addition to the requirements for all petitions ( See: Petition Programs), students must write a statement outlining what the academic significance of this particular country and program is to them, and indicate what personal knowledge and experience the student has of the country, culture, and language.

The petition will be reviewed by members of the International Travel Risk Management Committee and other members of the community as deemed necessary by the Provost.

If a petition is successful, students and their parents or guardians will be required to sign a supplemental acknowledgement of risk. Should a program in a country under a travel warning be canceled, participants may incur financial losses and might not receive credit. Students are encouraged to consider supplemental insurance options to cover losses if programs are canceled.  

Risk Management

Interdepartmental collaboration in risk management is critical to implementing successful off-campus programs.

OCS supports risk management efforts at Swarthmore through the following activities:
  1. OCS serves as the centralized resource for risk assessment and management related to international off-campus student activities. On-campus stakeholders work closely with OCS staff to craft an appropriate plan for mitigating risks through intentional program design.
  2. OCS publishes risk management information that can be readily accessed online by students, faculty, and staff.
  3. OCS mitigates risks to student health and safety by influencing student behavior before students go off campus through comprehensive advising, pre-departure orientation, and re-entry debriefing.
  4. OCS complies with institutional, state, and national regulations that pertain to international education. 

International Travel Risk Management Committee

Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Provost & Dean of the Faculty
Pat Martin, Director for Off-Campus Study
María Luisa Guardiola, Faculty Advisor for Off-Campus Study & Professor of Spanish
Jim Terhune, Vice President of Student Affairs 
Sharmaine LaMar, General Counsel & Secretary of the College
Alice Turbiville, Associate Vice President for Finance & Assistant Treasurer
Tomoko Sakomura, Dean of Students & Professor of Art History
The committee serves to develop policies and procedures concerning international travel by members of the College community and to centralize the dissemination of appropriate resources. The committee meets regularly during the academic year.
Specifically the committee:

  • Reviews petitions for undergraduate student travel to countries with U.S. State Department level 3 or 4 travel advisories.
  • Develops policies and procedures related to the health, safety, and security of participants in international College activities and to the College’s international travel risk management.