Travel to Risk Designated Countries

Any student traveling to study, conduct research or field work, participate in a service learning project or an international program in a risk-designated country must petition the International Travel Policy Committee (ITPC) for approval. The ITPC, which is appointed by the provost, establishes guidelines and operating procedures for university travel, reviews petitions and makes recommendations that are submitted to the provost for final approval. Recommendations to the provost will depend on the academic value of the travel to the student’s curriculum as well as on the current security and health conditions in the specific country that may affect the student’s safety. Petitions for group programs managed by the Office of International Affairs or other Ohio State units should be submitted at least 30-days prior the application deadline for the program. Petitions from individual travelers on non-OSU managed programs should be submitted at least 60-days in advance of travel.

Specific risk designations applicable to ITPC review include:

  1. Travel to any country currently under a Travel Warning issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) – view a current list of countries under the DOS Travel Warning.
  2. Travel to any country currently assigned a “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – view a current list of CDC Travel Health Notices.
  3. Travel to countries with certain sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). A current list of countries includes: Cuba, Iran or Syria.

Certain countries will have overlapping risk designations.   

Petition Process

Petitions for programming or travel to countries in the specific risk designation categories should be submitted no later than 60-days prior to travel.

  1. Group travelers – All programs traveling as a group (academic, student life, student organization) should complete and submit the Ohio State Group Program petition. Once a program receives ITPC and provost approval, all participants traveling on the program will be required to complete and submit the Individual Student Participating in an ITPC Program petition.
  2. Individual traveler – An individual student seeking to travel to a country with a specific risk designation for independent study, research, service or other university- related travel should complete the Ohio State Individual Student petition.

Petitions should be submitted to Dru Simmons, international risk manager, at

University Funding for Travel to Risk Designated Countries

The use of Ohio State-based scholarships for study, research or travel to countries listed in the specific risk designation categories is subject to additional restrictions.  

  • Undergraduate Students – undergraduate students may only use university funding for Ohio State sponsored group programs that have received approval from the International Travel Policy Committee. With the exception of ITPC reviewed travel to Cuba, undergraduate students may not use university funding for independent experiences in countries included under the specific risk designations.
  • Graduate and Professional Students – graduate and professional degree students proposing travel for an individual project to a region currently in the specific risk designation categories may be eligible to use university financial support pending approval of their Ohio State Individual Student Petition by the International Travel Policy Committee.