International Resources

International Travel Services

Welcome to USF World's Travel Services home. USF World is committed to facilitate, promote and support all USF System faculty, staff and student international travel. You will find a great deal of information below that we believe should serve you well as you plan and eventually travel abroad on behalf of USF. If you cannot find what you are looking for, or have questions or comments about our content, please contact Ben Chamberlain, International Risk and Security Officer, at bchamberlain@usf.edu.
 
Safe travels!
Ben Chamberlain, USF World
 
 
 

BREAKING NEWS: USF Business or Student Travel to Cuba

With the restoration of diplomatic relations in July there is no longer a specific legal/statutory restriction barring state funded travel to Cuba by State University System faculty members. International travel remains subject to the established requirements of travel licenses and export controls. Thus, it remains necessary to have a license to travel to Cuba. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements of such travel. USF's Office of Export Controls has information about Cuba Travel here.  USF's Office of Export Controls can be reached at (813) 974-5638 or email Marsha Pesch, Export Control Officer at mpesch@usf.edu.

For an International Risk and Security Review for Cuba, please click here.

 

 

GUIDELINES AND SERVICES 

USF World is responsible for providing the business traveler services as is appropriate for their approved USF international travel. Whether your travel involves a short conference in London or a research project in the jungles of Cameroon, USF World is here to help. Please take advantage of the services listed here to help make your next global experience productive and enjoyable.

  1. Business Travel v. Student Travel Protocols
  2. Travel Safety Information
    1. Research Your Intended Destination
    2. Request an Export Controls Review
    3. Request a Risk and Security Review
    4. Request a Pre-Departure Orientation
    5. Enroll in STEP
    6. Prepare for Your International Flights
  3. 24/7 International Assistance
  4. Document Safety and Crime Prevention
  5. Health and Wellness Preparation
    1. Visit the USF Travel Clinic
    2. Check with the CDC
    3. Learn About Your Prescriptions Overseas
    4. Pre-Existing Conditions and Disabilities
  6. Insurance Considerations
    1. Sign Up for CISI Health and Evacuation Insurance
    2. Insurance for Accompanying Family Members
    3. Insurance Outside Authorized Dates of Travel
    4. Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance
    5. Auto, Boat and Air Carrier Considerations
  7. USF, College and Department Travel Authorization Guidelines
    1. USF General Travel Policies
    2. Department and College Specific Procedures

 

International Business Travel

If you are planning for international business travel that does not involve students, you have come to the right place. Business travelers must obtain approval and authorization at the collegiate/departmental level. However, USF World is your resource for guidelines and services necessary for a safe and productive international travel experience.

Business travel includes all non-student international travelers which comprises faculty, staff and volunteers on university business in support of a specific program of instruction, research, site visit or public service, or more general programs of professional development, international conferences or university operations.

 

International Student Travel

If you are contemplating international travel that includes any students, all international student travel must be registered with EAO and authorized by USF World. Comprehensive guidelines can be found here: educationabroad.global.usf.edu.

Student travel is any undergraduate or graduate student or university-sponsored student groups, and the associated faculty, staff and volunteers engaged in any USF-sponsored international travel. This includes but is not limited to, travel conducted as part of a USF course or program requirement, elective, or any international activity affiliated or promoted by USF or its employees.

 

 

 

TRAVEL SAFETY INFORMATION  

Research your intended destination: Whether you have traveled to your intended destination 100 times or never before, it is a best practice to review the local news, cultural customs, geography and geo-political issues before you go. Unlike the years of yore, no location can be considered free of risk. Currently, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Worldwide Caution that provides information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. There are also many other resources available to you. We have selected three up-to-date resources that we have found to be extremely comprehensive and helpful.

  1. U.S. Department of State: The U.S. Department of State has a wealth of information including such things as passports, country profiles, and current travel alerts & warnings. Within the country profiles there is information about: embassies and consulates; destination description; entry, exit & visa requirements; safety and security; local laws & special circumstances; health; and travel & transportation.
  2. United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office: This United Kingdom website offers much the same information as does the U.S. Department of State but from the UKI's perspective. It also offers interactive resources for travel and living abroad by region and country.
  3. GoinGlobal Guides: Country and city guides are accessible once logged in through USF's unique link and select the career guide option. Critical information for traveling abroad is located in the blue tab marked "Country Guides" located at the top of the page. Each country guide contains helpful information for navigating a city or specific region of a country and includes sections on local history, culture, cuisine, key language phrases and pronunciation, local financial customs, expense calculations and entertaining 'How to act like a local' advice. Also included are embassy contacts in each country and a list of professional networking organizations.

Request an Export Controls Review: USF is committed to the highest level of compliance with U.S. export control regulations. The Office of Export Controls at the University of South Florida was established to help faculty, researchers, and staff navigate the complex environment of export regulations. If your intended destination is listed as a country of concern here you must contact the Office of Export Controls as soon as possible. For example, a license to Cuba can take months to procure. USF's Office of Export Controls can be reached at (813) 974-5638 or email Marsha Pesch, Export Control Officer at mpesch@usf.edu.

Request a Risk and Security Review: The same resources that are used by the Education Abroad Office are also available to the USF business traveler whether it is concerning travel to a conference or a yearlong project abroad. In today's world, no location is free from risk. Whether the country is under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or not, a thorough risk and security review of your intended travel and activities can prove extremely valuable. To get more information about this service, please contact Ben Chamberlain, the international risk and security officer at bchamberlain@usf.edu.

Request a Pre-departure Orientation: The international risk and security officer has a pre-departure orientation that can be delivered in person or on-line to a single traveler or a team of travelers. It can be customized to the specific location and activities that your travel requires. To get more information about this service, please contact Ben Chamberlain at bchamberlain@usf.edu.

Enroll in STEP: The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State is a free service. Once you set up an account it is yours for life. Simply update your itinerary in your STEP account and the local U.S. Embassy will instantly know you are there. You will then be able to receive security messages, alerts and warnings by email.

Prepare for your international flights: Airports are more crowded and busier than ever. This means that you need to be prepared for flight delays and other unfortunate situations such as missing a flight or lost baggage. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you navigate the increased security, crowds and lines at the airport:

  1. Use luggage tags with a flap. Secure luggage, if permitted, with a TSA-approved lock and a strong baggage strap. Carry extra TSA-approved locks as some countries may still cut locks to inspect baggage.
  2. When it comes to traveling with liquids in your carry-on, remember the 3/1/1 rule for carry-on bags (3.4 ounce bottle or less; 1 quart-size Ziploc bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin)
  3. Gather information about the airport, especially if you have connecting flights.
  4. We recommend that you obtain a small amount of your destination's local currency before departure. Talk with your financial institution to order the currency. Go to www.oanda.com for currency exchange information.
  5. Remember to inform your bank and credit card companies that you are traveling internationally or you may find your cards locked when you try to use them abroad.
  6. Remember that all medications, whether they be prescription, over the counter, or simply vitamins, should be in their original containers. TSA generally questions anything that resembles medicine that is not labeled properly and without the proper documentation.
Back to Top

 

 

24/7 INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE 

24/7 International Assistance Line: The safety of all USF international business travelers is of the upmost importance to USF World. Therefore, USF World has established a 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1 (813) 317-5815 and an Emergency Assistance Email at EAassist@usf.edu. The 24/7 International Assistance Line can be called direct or collect at any time of day or night. It will be answered by the international risk and security officer, or his delegate, who will listen to your question or concern and liaise with an available service, when appropriate.

Some of the services that may be accessed include: CISI International Insurance; Medical Director of Student Health Services; Title IX Office; USF Police; U.S. Embassy; and the U.S. Department of State Duty Line.

 
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY WHILE TRAVELING ABROAD

If there is a threat to life, limb, or eye, USF faculty, staff, volunteers and students should seek local assistance immediately. Dial the local equivalent to "911" or use other known local resources for help.

To activate USF response protocols for any threat to your health, safety or security, call USF's 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1 (813) 317-5815. Carry this number with you at all times!

Be prepared to give:

Listen carefully to instructions you are given.

Back to Top

 

  

DOCUMENT SAFETY AND CRIME PREVENTION 

Is your passport valid? Do not assume. Look. If it is not valid for at least 6 months after your return date you may need to replace it. Visit the Country Profile at Travel.State.Gov and check out the Quick Fact: "Passport Validity" to be sure. In recent years there has been an unprecedented demand for passports; therefore, if you need a new passport you should apply as early as possible. You should plan on at least six to eight weeks for standard processing.

Your passport is one of the most sought after items by pickpockets and thieves abroad. The most common crime our travelers have reported experiencing is being pickpocketed. Never carry your passport in your pocket, wallet or purse. Always use a lanyard passport holder that hangs around your neck, hiding your passport under your clothes, when you are traveling through airports. NEVER pack your passport or any other important documents in your checked-in luggage or your carry-on luggage.

In addition, USF World recommends that you "sanitize" your wallet and purse and only carry with you what you absolutely need on your travels. Such items as credit cards, driver's license (if needed) and money should be worn in a pouch or a money belt as close to your body as possible. Leave all keys and other items at home that are not needed abroad.

Leave a detailed travel schedule with your office or family and check in with your home or office upon arrival. Tell them of itinerary changes. Make photocopies or scan electronically your valuable documents and maintain an "emergency file" at home with someone you trust that contains copies of: airline ticket with itinerary, passport, traveler's checks, driver's license, blood type and Rh factor, eyeglass prescription, name of doctor and dentist, supplemental insurance policies, and the credit cards you take abroad. Keep a set with you (preferably electronically on an encrypted thumb drive) in a separate place from the originals you carry.

If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. You can also contact 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1 (813) 317-5815 for assistance.

Back to Top

  

 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS PREPARATION 

Visit the USF Travel Clinic: It is recommended that you make an appointment with the USF Travel Clinic six to eight weeks before departure. This is especially important if you are not up-to-date on immunizations or need special vaccinations; take prescription medications; or have a pre-existing condition or chronic disease. Even if you think you are in perfect health, a visit is still recommended if you are traveling to Africa, Central/South America, Eastern Europe, Russia or SE Asia.

Check with the CDC: All travelers should review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information. It is recommended that you are familiar with the published CDC guidelines regarding your intended destination. Learn about such topics as recent health alerts or immunization requirements. This will make your appointment at the USF Travel Clinic that much more productive and informative.

Learn about your prescriptions overseas: Many U.S. prescriptions are not available outside of the United States and some are even illegal. Even some common over-the-counter medications here are not available or possibly illegal abroad. Contact the USF Travel Clinic for further information. Travelers should bring enough of their medication to last for the entire travel experience. If you run out, it may be difficult or impossible to fill your prescription overseas. You also should always carry your medicines in the original containers. Never a clear plastic bag! And, if possible, carry copies of prescriptions, written with the generic (or scientific) drug name, as trade names vary from country to country.

Pre-existing conditions and disabilities: Always carry your blood type and information on any medical conditions with you while abroad. It is not unusual that while abroad, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than what you find in the United States. Plan ahead. The U.S. Department of State country profiles often report on accessibility issues under the section Local Laws & Special Circumstances. Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is another resource. Founded in 1981, it is a disability-led non-profit organization headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, USA, working to advance the rights of people with disabilities globally.

Back to Top

 

 

INSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS 

Sign up for CISI Health and Evacuation Insurance: USF World strongly suggests that your travel is registered within our University Related Travel Registration Program. Doing so will enroll you in USF's Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance. The cost is $50 for each month of travel and this cost is a legitimate business expense and can be reimbursed in the TAR/TER process.

Insurance for Accompanying Family Members: If you plan to travel with a spouse or other family members, it is very important to obtain additional medical insurance coverage as the medical insurance provided by USF only provides coverage for USF travelers on USF business during authorized dates of travel. 

Insurance Outside Authorized Dates of Travel: If you plan to arrive early or extend your travel time abroad for non-USF matters such as vacation or leisure time, it is very important to obtain additional medical insurance coverage as the medical insurance provided by USF only provides coverage for your authorized dates of travel.

While you may believe your domestic health insurance policy will cover the costs for any medical care needed by you outside of your business travel time or for any medical care needed by your accompanying family members abroad, it is likely you will be required to pay upfront and later seek reimbursement. Keep in mind that hospitalization or evacuation abroad can cost as much as $40,000. In addition, the international benefits offered by many domestic companies can be very difficult to manage when abroad.

If you would like to purchase coverage for your additional travel time or additional non-USF travel partners, there are dozens of companies that specialize in international medical insurance policies. Here are two that you may be interested in: CareMed or Insure My Trip. (CareMed is an affiliate of CISI based in Germany).

Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance: CISI Health and Evacuation Insurance is not Travel Insurance. Travel insurance can be purchased individually through the air carrier or the agent you used to book your flights. It is not a reimbursable expense. It will protect you in the event of flight delays, lost baggage, and other issues.

Auto, Boat and Air Carrier Considerations: Faculty/staff intending to drive abroad should research vehicle insurance and driver's license requirements for each country. You can be held liable for any accidents or damage if you are driving without the proper driver's license. Be sure to check country information sheets (travel.state.gov) for road conditions and known hazards.

Back to Top

  

 

USF, COLLEGE AND DEPARTMENT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION GUIDELINES 

USF General Travel Policies

USF Travel Department: Under the purview of the USF Controller's Office, it is the responsibility of the Travel Department to process all payments related to USF business travel. USF Travel receives Expense Reports and requests for Advance and Direct Payments related to travel; audits submissions for compliance with current university policies and procedures; and processes payments to employees and outside vendors incurring travel expenses on behalf of the university. Please refer to these pages for contact information, relevant information, important forms and direction regarding the proper submission of requests.

College of Arts and Sciences Travel Resource
This resource is designed to create a safe and efficient travel experience and provide useful tools and information.

Department of Psychology
Travel on university business using USF funds must be authorized in advance and travelers are not to make commitments to travel or to incur travel expenses without first obtaining the appropriate approvals.

Philosophy Department
A TAR must be processed before airline or hotel tickets are purchased. Do not purchase before the TAR is submitted and processed by Yvonne.

College of Behavioral and Community SciencesDepartment of Communication Sciences & Disorders
Travel on university business must be authorized in advance and travelers are not to make commitments to travel or to incur travel expenses without first obtaining the appropriate approvals.

College of Marine Sciences
Florida statute 112.061 requires all USF business travel to be by "the most efficient and economical means of travel (considering time of the traveler, impact on the productivity of the traveler, cost of transportation, and per diem or subsistence required)." Other considerations are the nature of the business, number of travelers and amount of equipment or material to be transported.

USF Health College of Public Health
All travel through university resources – state, grant, overhead, auxiliary funds – is required to adhere to the USF Travel guidelines as stipulated in the travel manual. All travel is processed through the on-line FAST Travel Module.

Back to Top