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University International Travel Policy

Scope of Policy

The University International Travel Policy governs all international travel sponsored or co-sponsored by the University. This includes undergraduate, graduate, professional degree or certificate programs, or autonomous programs arranged by a campus, a school, the College, or a department.


SCU will support university-sponsored international travel to destinations with: 

  • U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisories Level 1 and Level 2 and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notices Level 1 & 2  AND
  • Where there is no obvious risk to a participant’s health, safety, or to the likelihood of being able to carry out the goals of the international travel successfully
  • For student travel, we may also give consideration to infrastructure for student support including, but not limited to: University staffing, campus health centers, program center staffing, onsite local protocols and support for health, safety or immigration that may impact travel.
  • University-Sponsored travel is not supported to locations with an overall DOS Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4 unless the Provost grants an exception. Certain areas within countries with an overall advisory Level 1 or Level 2 may be designated Level 3 or Level 4, and neither travel nor transit through, such as stopover, may occur in these destinations.

University-Sponsored International Travel

University-sponsored international travel includes individual faculty/staff travel funded by or supported through resources, such as employee time, while employed by SCU. All university-sponsored travel requires approval.
Examples of university-sponsored international travel include: Credit-bearing and non-credit bearing student experiences, such as study abroad programs; internships; field studies; service learning; research; volunteer or work programs; fellowships; and/or faculty/staff professional development activities travel with boards, alumni, or people external to the University that is organized and/or funded by Santa Clara University. 

Travel Not Sponsored by the University

Non-university-sponsored international travel  has no formal affiliation with Santa Clara University.  Examples include:  personal travel; vacation; programs or internships abroad that students pursue independent of SCU.  

Approval of International Travel

The Associate Provost for International Programs grants approval for University-Sponsored international travel. The Associate Provost may engage the Travel Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) in their decision. All student travel requires an SCU faculty/staff member to fulfill the role and responsibilities of SCU Program Coordinator which are defined in the travel procedures, and approval is contingent upon continual monitoring of current global and in-country health and safety conditions up to and through the official dates of the university program, initiative, or sponsored travel.

Prior approval of University-sponsored travel may be rescinded at any time if travel involves destinations in which:

  • Current health and safety conditions pose unusual or significant risks; OR
  • The DOS issues a Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4; OR
  • The CDC or WHO issues a travel advisory; OR
  • U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposes restrictions; OR
  • The University's Travel Accident/Security Insurance policy excludes coverage;  OR
  • There is a failure of the SCU Program Coordinator to monitor in-country health and safety conditions and/or fulfill their role and responsibilities

Assessing Risk

When assessing the health and safety conditions for existing and potential education abroad opportunities, in addition to other sources of evidence of potential risk to participants, Santa Clara University gives primary consideration to Travel Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State. In addition to DOS Travel Advisories, the University gives consideration to health and safety risks articulated by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and also locations that are excluded from the University's Travel Accident/Security Insurance policy.


Policy History

  • Policy initiated April 13, 2004
  • September 2013 policy updated to separate procedures
  • February 2018 policy updated to reflect January 10, 2018 nomenclature changes from the US Department of State
  • Travel Policy COVID-19 Addendum approved May 12, 2021
  • Travel Policy COVID-19 Addendum removed March 7, 2023
  • Travel Policy updated for clarity and readability April 19, 2023


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