Education Abroad Opportunities: Addressing Health and Safety Risks
Last Update: February 2009
Responsible University Officer:
- Associate Vice President - Global Programs and Strategy Alliance
- International Health, Safety and Compliance Director
- Updated: February 2009
- Primary Contact : Stacey Tsantir
Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
Scope of Policy
This policy governs all education abroad opportunities undertaken by students enrolled in the undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree or certificate programs of the University. This includes university sponsored and co-sponsored programs--whether through a learning/study abroad office, another unit of the University, and non-university-sponsored programs.
Waiver and Insurance Requirements
All University units offering an education abroad opportunity must require all participating students to sign a Release and Waiver approved by the Office of the General Counsel as a condition of participating in the program. For programs offered outside the learning/study abroad offices on each campus, the faculty or staff leading the education abroad opportunity must obtain and submit the students' signed waivers to the study abroad office on their campus prior to the students travel and retain a copy in the College's designated location. For non-university-sponsored programs, students are independently responsible for completing the Release and Waiver and turning it into the learning/study abroad office on their campus.
Students are also required to have mandatory international health insurance previously approved by the Office of Risk Management and available through the learning/study abroad offices on each campus. The insurance may be included in the program fee or can be purchased from the learning/study abroad offices on each campus. Eligibility requirements can be found in International Health Insurance Eligibility Requirements in Appendices of this policy.
Further information on both the required waiver and insurance is provided in Administrative Procedure: Preparing for Education Abroad Opportunities.
Travel Warnings and Suspension of Education Abroad Opportunities
The International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) is responsible for deciding whether to suspend an education abroad opportunity sponsored by the University when a significant health or safety concern is raised regarding the opportunity. Prior approval of the Committee is required for any education abroad opportunity involving travel by University students to a location subject to a travel warning from the State Department. The Committee's role, composition and decision-making criteria are outlined in Administrative Procedure: Suspending Education Abroad Opportunities.
Individual Student Action
Students who choose to participate in a non-University sponsored education abroad opportunity in a country, region or area where the University has suspended its education abroad opportunities must take a leave of absence from the University to do so and cannot be registered for any University credits during this period. Any student who chooses to participate in a non-University sponsored program in a country, region or area where the University has suspended its programs does so voluntarily and is acting outside the control and responsibility of the University. Students on leave of absence from the University are not eligible for financial aid from the University.
REASON FOR POLICY
This policy endeavors to support education abroad opportunities, and at the same time place great importance on protecting the welfare and safety of students.
- Mandatory International Insurance and Release and Waiver forms and instructions can be found in the international insurance area of the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) website.
- Education Abroad Opportunities
- This includes, but is not limited to, study abroad programs, internships, field studies, service learning, research, volunteer or work programs, or professional development activates (including conference attendance) sponsored or endorsed by the University.
- Non-University-Sponsored Education Abroad Opportunities
- These are outside programs that have no formal affiliation with the University of Minnesota or the education/study abroad offices.
- University Co-sponsored Programs
- These are credit-bearing study abroad programs administered by other institutions or organizations which are endorsed by the education/study abroad offices.
- University Sponsored Programs
- These are programs developed, administered, and evaluated by the education/study abroad offices, or programs organized, sponsored, or administered by specific colleges or departments and exchanges. Sponsored programs include credit education abroad programs, internships, field studies, service learning, research, volunteer or work programs.
- Associate Vice President for Global Programs and Strategy Alliance
- Chair the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC). Notify unit and/or program directors when an educational opportunity has been suspended or canceled by the committee. Name a designee to perform these responsibilities in the Associate Vice President's absence.
- Campus Contacts or Offices
- Each campus must determine the primary campus contact(s) or office(s) responsible for sharing and enforcing this policy, and provide the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) with the primary campus contact or office for communications on issues related to this policy.
- Director of Sponsoring Unit for University Sponsored Programs
- In emergencies, take immediate steps to remove students from a country or area. Notify the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) within 24 hours of decision to suspend education abroad opportunities.
- Faculty /Staff Leading Individual Education Abroad Opportunities
- Faculty and staff offering education abroad opportunities outside the learning/study abroad offices on each campus must obtain signed waivers from all students participating in the program and submit the signed waivers to the learning/study abroad office on their campus prior to the students' travel and retain a copy in the College's designated location. Faculty/staff offering these programs also must require the students to have university-approved international health insurance, which can be purchased through the learning/study abroad offices on each campus.
- International Health, Safety and Compliance Director
- Provide background information on specific health and safety risks and participate in the decision whether to cancel or suspend education abroad opportunities. Call a meeting of the International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC).
- International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC)
- Determine when to cancel or suspend education abroad opportunities because of significant health or safety risks to students. In the members' absence, appoint alternates to serve on the ITRAAC. Make exceptions to suspension of education abroad opportunities on a case -by -case basis.
- Students participating in a University sponsored education abroad opportunity must sign a waiver and obtain university-approved international health insurance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There is no FAQ for this policy.
- Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code
- Student Conduct Code for Education Abroad
- Global Programs and Strategy Alliance
- University Catalogs
- U.S. Department of State-Travel Warnings
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Overseas Security Advisory Counsel (OSAC)
- January 2009 - Statement and Responsibilities clarified, Updated Contacts section, Updated procedures, and added Appendix: International Insurance Eligibility Requirements.
- January 2007 - Statement, definitions and responsibilities and procedures rewritten.
- February 2004
Policy published publicly - April 2005