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Group International Travel

Guidelines and Best Practices

The Office of International Affairs serves as a university-wide resource for the access, administration, development and risk oversight of university study abroad programming. For those Ohio State units and/or student organizations that are planning international travel opportunities for Ohio State students that are not coordinated through the Office of International Affairs, the following guidelines will help familiarize you with university policies and procedures. Examples of these opportunities include Office of Student Life programs such as Buck-I-SERV Alternative Break or Recreational Sports Adventure Trips, and student organization travel to international locations for service and/or volunteering.

If you are planning a trip or program that is not coordinated through the Office of International Affairs, you are encouraged to adhere to the following guidelines and best practices and you are required to communicate your travel plans to the Office of International Affairs via the Group International Travel Form.

Work with a program provider

The Office of International Affairs strongly recommends that you work with a reputable program provider to help with the logistics of travel, arrival, transportation, excursions, in-country room and board and safety and security for your program. There are a range of providers who can provide customized support for your group, as can several study abroad program providers. As planners and sponsors for the program, you are responsible for due diligence in your choice of provider.

Be aware of university policy and choice of international location

Ohio State student travel to risk-designated countries, including those with a Department of State Travel Warning, must be reviewed by the International Travel Policy Committee and receive authorization by the provost. For more information contact Dru Simmons, international risk manager, at simmons.541@osu.edu.

Contact the international risk manager

Contact the international risk manager early in the planning stages for your trip or program. The international risk manager can provide guidance and other forms of support related to risk assessment, international supplemental insurance and university policies. Contact Dru Simmons at simmons.541@osu.edu.

Complete the Group International Travel Form

Return the completed Group International Travel Form and all supporting documentation to Dru Simmons, at least 90 days before intended travel.

Require students to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation

All student travelers should receive a pre-departure health and safety orientation prior to travel. Orientations can be virtual or in-person. Orientation meetings should be planned and scheduled at the point of submitting the Group International Travel Form.

Attend Health and Safety Workshop for faculty and staff leaders

The Office of International Affairs offers several health and safety workshops each semester for faculty and staff who are leading students to international locations. 

Enroll in international supplemental insurance

Students who are traveling on programs or trips sponsored, administered, funded or otherwise supported by the university are required to enroll in international supplemental insurance available through the Office of International Affairs.

All faculty and staff traveling abroad with students are eligible to enroll in the supplemental insurance. The insurance includes coverage in addition to what is offered in the university benefits plan. If you are leading a study abroad program offered by the Office of International Affairs the insurance is included in the program budget and you will be sent an enrollment form from your OIA education abroad coordinator. If you are traveling with another program or group of students, you can enroll by completing and submitting the Faculty and Staff Insurance Enrollment Request Form.