International Travel ServicesWelcome 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Safe travels!
Ben Chamberlain, USF World
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.
- Business Travel v. Student Travel Protocols
- Travel Safety Information
- Research Your Intended Destination
- Request an Export Controls Review
- Request a Risk and Security Review
- Request a Pre-Departure Orientation
- Enroll in STEP
- Prepare for Your International Flights
- 24/7 International Assistance
- Document Safety and Crime Prevention
- Health and Wellness Preparation
- Visit the USF Travel Clinic
- Check with the CDC
- Learn About Your Prescriptions Overseas
- Pre-Existing Conditions and Disabilities
- Insurance Considerations
- Sign Up for United Health Care Health and Evacuation Insurance
- Insurance for Accompanying Family Members
- Insurance Outside Authorized Dates of Travel
- Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance
- Auto, Boat and Air Carrier Considerations
- USF, College and Department Travel Authorization Guidelines
- USF General Travel Policies
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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:
- 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.
- 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)
- Gather information about the airport, especially if you have connecting flights.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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: GeoBlue Health and Evacuation Insurance; Medical Director of Student Health Services; Title IX Office; USF Police; U.S. Embassy; and the U.S. Department of State Duty Line.
- Make sure your personal cell phone is activated for international long distance or that you purchase a temporary phone in country that has international service.
- If your cell phone works abroad, download the Smart Traveler App from Google Play or the iPhone Store. It will give you quick access to the phone numbers and addresses of the U.S. embassy and consular offices for the country(s) you will visit, as well as alerts, warnings and more.
- ALWAYS test your phone the first day in country by making an international call and then receiving an international call.
- Program the USF 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1 (813) 317-5815 into your phone.
- Program the Emergency Assistance Email into your phone or email application: EAassist@usf.edu. This email is also monitored after hours and on the weekend. But for immediate service, always call the 24/7 phone number.
- Make sure you have the correct country codes and international access codes for dialing internationally. You can identify them here: http://www.howtocallabroad.com
- Make sure you know the local emergency ("911") numbers. You can find local "911" numbers here.
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:
- your name
- specific location
- a phone number where you can be reached if the call drops
- the nature of the emergency
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.
Individuals who require disability accommodations for travel should request such accommodations through the appropriate USF process. For USF employees, follow the accommodations request procedure outlined by Human Resources. For USF students (including USF Health Students) consult with Students with Disabilities Services.Back to Top
Initiate Coverage for GeoBlue Health and Evacuation: The University of South Florida System has committed to a robust and comprehensive international health and evacuation insurance policy for all USF System international business travelers. There is no additional cost to travelers for this coverage. This policy provides coverage for health expenses, medical evacuation, and evacuation in case of political unrest and natural disaster.
A business traveler is anyone traveling on a USF sanctioned international experience. This includes faculty, staff, alumni, donors, contractors, colleagues from other institutions, and government officials participating on USF System sanctioned international business travel.
To initiate coverage, all that a USF System business traveler must do is complete the electronic Travel Authorization and have it approved in the FAST workflow by the Fiscal Approver and Supervisor before any Travel activities occur. All international travel associated with USF, regardless of source of funds, must have an electronic Travel Authorization. If your estimated USF travel expenses are going to be zero, the Travel Authorization may require that you enter a minimum of $1 to complete the form.
- The policy will cover 100% of the costs for covered medical expenses up to $250,000 as well as provide evacuation coverage for situations involving natural disasters or civil unrest.
- The information you provide on the electronic Travel Authorization also assists USF World to support you if an emergency situation arises while you are abroad.
- To get your GeoBlue ID card, you need to register online. Download the GeoBlue Member Guide for registration instructions, member services, benefits, and claim information.
- Registration is required only once per year. Once registered you can print the ID online, review plan benefits, locate qualified providers and hospitals and much more.
- Download the GeoBlue Phone App Brochure. With GeoBlue on your smart phone you can do many things such as arrange direct pay, search for providers, find medications, file a claim and much, much more!
24/7 medical Assistance Phone Number: If you have any health issues while abroad, you can request medical assistance or ask any question about access to medical services by calling direct or collect +1 (610) 254-8771. Many times, GeoBlue can arrange for a Guarantee of Payment or direct billing on your behalf. There are times you will need to pay out of pocket and then submit a claim for 100% reimbursement. You will want to have the Group Access Code handy: QHG9999USFBT. Also, you may have USF contact GeoBlue on your behalf and open a case by calling the USF 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1 (813) 317-5815.
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 non-USF travel partners, you can view plans and get a quote here.
If you would like to purchase coverage for your additional travel time, you can view plans and get a quote here.
Consider Purchasing Travel Insurance: GeoBlue 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.
- Automobiles and Vans: Auto Liability, Comprehensive and Collision coverage does need to be purchased if USF faculty or staff on USF business are renting or leasing a vehicle in another country. The insurance must be purchased in the country from where the vehicle is being rented/leased to avoid any gaps in coverage. Do not rely on insurance policies that are part of a credit card benefit, or a personal automobile insurance policy that was written in the United States. This is a reimbursable expense.
- A valid driver license that is likewise valid in the country where the vehicle operation occurs is required. Some countries allow a valid U.S. driver license while others require a valid international driver license. The U.S. Department of State often provides this information in the Country Information Sheet.
- Verify that the number of passengers being transported and that the type of vehicle
used can be operated legally under the driver license restrictions for the operator.
USF recommends operating nothing larger than a 12 passenger van.
- Vans holding 15 or more passengers are not recommended. They may require a CDL - Commercial Driver License or a Chauffer License. They are also not recommended due to the higher level of risk for serious and fatal rollover crashes per recent NTSA studies.
- Boats: Renting or leasing a boat to transport USF students is not recommended in most cases.
However, in certain situations it may be supported provided insurance and licensing
can be verified and the use aligns with the educational goals of the program.
- In certain countries, using a local ferry is not recommended. Check out travel.state.gov for more information.
- Air Carriers: Always use FAA regulated carriers when traveling to and from your countries of destination
- Be wary of in-county regional carriers and charter services
- You can verify IATA certification here.
USF, COLLEGE AND DEPARTMENT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION GUIDELINES
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.
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 Sciences, Department 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.