Approved by: The President
History: Issued              -- October 27, 2009
Revised            -- June 25, 2019
Last Reviewed -- June 25, 2019
Related Policies: International Travel Policy; Transfer of Credit Policy; Travel Policy; Visa Sponsorship Policy
Additional References: Office of Education Abroad
Responsible Official: Associate Provost for International Affairs tel. (202)319-5618

I. Policy Statement


The Office of Education Abroad is responsible for establishing and overseeing University-wide standards and protocols in matters of overseas health, safety, crisis management, and international agreements with respect to International Programs (defined below).  University and University-affiliated groups proposing to undertake in such programs must coordinate with the Office of Education Abroad in planning such programs, and must comply with the requirements of this policy and the University’s related International Travel Policy.  

Individuals who are not traveling as part of a University or University-affiliated International Program are not covered by this policy.  Such individuals nevertheless should follow the requirements of the International Travel Policy.

II. Definitions

  1. International Programs mean structured educational, co-curricular, extracurricular, and/or non-curricular trips that are conducted outside the U.S. for and by University and University-affiliated groups, and where the University or another entity acts as an overseeing authority.  Such programs include, but are not limited to, study abroad programs, volunteer programs, athletics tours, field studies, and alumni trips. Such programs do not include small groups of faculty, staff, or students traveling abroad together for meetings, conferences, or research. 

III. Requirements for All International Programs


  1. Review and Approval
    All new and recurring International Programs, including those led by faculty, must be reviewed, approved, and supported by a University academic or administrative unit, and by the Office of Education Abroad, in advance of the program taking place. To ensure that new programs are reviewed and approved in a timely manner, individuals or units should contact the Office of Education Abroad (tel. 202-319-6010, as soon as a new program or opportunity is identified. 
  2. Execution of International Agreements

    All agreements, contracts, or memoranda of understanding pertaining to International Programs must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Office of Education Abroad, and per the University’s Contract Approval and Signature Authority Policy.  Units or individuals proposing such agreements are responsible for initiating the review process. 

  3. Safety, Security, Trip Registration, and Insurance 
    All international travelers must review the University’s International Travel Policy and the health, safety, and crisis management information linked in that policy, and must register their travel and obtain the University’s mandatory international insurance coverage. Alternative insurance plans do not fulfill this requirement.


IV. Additional Requirements Specific to International Programs Involving Students


  1. Orientation and Training for Students, Staff, and Faculty
    1. Students
    All students participating in University-administered programs must attend a pre-departure orientation.  The Office of Education Abroad also provides students with voluntary advising, informational workshops, on-site assistance and re-entry services, resources for travel in addition to assistance with passport and visa applications, financial aid and scholarship information, and other information pertinent to student travelers.
    2. Program Directors
    All faculty or staff members leading or planning to lead International Programs (whether academic, co-curricular, or extra-curricular) must attend Overseas Program Director Training provided by the Office of Education Abroad and related offices.  The mandatory training covers health and safety, liability, the overseas code of conduct, common on-site and post-program issues, and emergency and crisis management protocols.
  2. Student Program Registration
    Qualified University students may participate in approved International Programs. All University students must remain registered at the University during their program, regardless of whether it is administered by or affiliated with the University or it is an approved non-University program. Students must additionally register with the Office of Education Abroad prior to participating in the International Program.
  3. Transfer of Credits

    In order for International Programs to be accepted toward a University degree: 

    1. University students must have the program and their participation approved by the Office of Education Abroad; and 
    2. All courses and credits taken overseas must be pre-approved by appropriate University academic units and by the Office of Education Abroad. Failure to obtain pre-approval may result in the non-transfer of credit. 

    The transfer of grades and credits is conducted according to the University’s
    Transfer of Credit Policy.