For Students

Group Student Travel

When 2 or more travelers are attending the same international experience, they are considered a “Group.” Certain policies and processes have been established to support the registration of student travelers and all other travelers accompanying students on a group international experience that is not for credit. Registration for group student travel – independent of Education Abroad or USF Health – should begin 6-8 weeks before departure to allow adequate time for USF World to fully vet the experience.

Group Registration Process

Certain policies and processes have been established to support the registration of student travelers and all other travelers accompanying students on a group international experience. This travel type includes faculty, staff, students, and others traveling on a non-credit international activity with (an)other USF student(s) present. A group can be 2 individuals, such as a faculty and a student, or more. The activity may be a research project, service learning experience, internship, conference, or any international activity tied to a student’s status as an active USF student. There are separate processes for USF sponsored Education Abroad Programs. For USF Health students, please view additional or complementary process steps/procedures required by the USF Health International Office.

Any traveler may begin the registration process for the group. Once the group registration is started by a single traveler, a link will be shared with all travelers to register for this group experience. All students must complete an online pre-departure orientation that is good for 1 year.

All Student Leaders, faculty, staff, and other associated travelers must be certified in Title IX, Clery, and International Risk and Security. The training is good for 2 years. Please contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu for more information.

You can find the Group Student Travel Registration Application here.

Please click here to read notes regarding transportation, insurance, and associated USF international traveling costs when embarking on an independent student trip abroad.

Transportation


As a matter of general practice, the International Transportation Use Guidelines apply to all student-related travel. Please review them. In general, students are prohibited from operating vehicles used to transport any participants. USF strongly discourages students from operating a motor vehicle while on a USF student-related international activity, even during their “free” time, as it may void your international insurance. Exceptions can be granted for special circumstances, such as research requirements or returning to your home country. You can download the Petition for a Research Exception or the Return to Home Country Exception here. Contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu if you have any questions. 

Insurance

USF’s International Health and Evacuation Insurance is paid for by USF and is mandatory but only covers the dates of authorized travel. You can purchase the same coverage for independent travel outside the dates of authorized travel. Contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu for more information.

Non-Education Abroad Sponsored Travel Cost

USF World does not receive student tuition or fees to operate. Therefore, when registering with USF World, a Safety & Security Monitoring (SSM) Charge must be paid. It helps support the database, the 24/7 international monitoring, and international assistance. It does not pay for insurance. It may be paid by the traveler or from a USF account. You will be asked to identify who is responsible in your department for this charge. Charges are: 1-14 days $30; 15-28 days $40; and 29 days or more $50.

Definitions to Know

All international student-related travel must follow the procedures maintained by USF World. For USF Health students, please view additional or complementary process steps/procedures required by the USF Health International Office.

The following definitions are derived from USF Policy Number 10-507: USF International Travel Authority.

Terms used in Policy 10-507 should be understood to have the same meanings used in University business processes, unless explicitly defined in this section.

Associate Traveler: Any University and University Direct Support Organization ("DSO") employees and University-appointed volunteers or other non-students associated with any international travel activity tied to a participating individual’s status as an active USF student.

  • These travelers are most commonly referred to as faculty, staff, or volunteer. This term is applicable to those in a leadership role or support function. 
  • This traveler is any non-student individual traveling with a group that could be perceived as an individual that a student might look to for assistance or authority.
  • This traveler does not need to follow the exact same itinerary as a student traveler, but it is typically a similar or related itinerary. 

Business Travel: All other non-student related international travelers which include University and DSO employees, persons of interest, members as defined by University insurance policies, and University-appointed 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, regardless of funding source.
 
Business Traveler: Any non-student international traveler on University business regardless of funding source.

  • This travel is not tied in any way to the status of an active USF student. 
  • These travelers are typically not Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, or Research Assistants. 
  • These travelers typically include University employees, DSO employees, persons of interest, members as defined by University insurance policies, and University-appointed volunteers.

Group: A group is 2 more travelers, with at least one traveler being an active student. The travelers must be on an international activity that is directly tied to the status of any of the student travelers, regardless of funding source. 
 
Group Leader: This is usually an Associate Traveler who has taken the responsibility for organizing the group travel. This traveler may be an active student if the international travel is only being attended by other active students. 

Guest: Non-student travelers who have been invited to travel with the program but have no affiliation to USF. These are likely to be spouses, partners, children, family members, or other dependents of a traveler. USF World regulations and protocols do not permit guests to participate in program activities (including transfers from airports, to program events, etc.) and in program housing specifically reserved by USF World or a partner. Further, participants are expected to travel with the group as the itinerary dictates and not with guests who are also visiting the country. Participants will be expected to engage in all USF travel activities. These activities may not have been previously scheduled, and neither the faculty nor USF World may give you permission to skip these activities to be with guests. Student participants must sleep in USF World arrangements and cannot have any overnight guests.

  • They must have received permission of the Group Leader and the Education Abroad Office. 
  • They must be insured under the USF international health and evacuation insurance policy.
  • They should not disrupt or alter the study abroad program in any way.
  • Minor children must be adequately supervised at all times.
  • USF World and USF faculty cannot make special arrangements for student’s guests, and will not support family members in the event of an emergency.

Independent Student Traveler: Any undergraduate or graduate student engaged in any international travel activity tied to an individual’s status as an active USF student who is traveling alone and/or not accompanied by another USF student or non-student traveler.

  • This traveler may be participating on a USF international experience alone such as a research experience, internship, site visit, or conference.
  • This traveler may be participating on an experience run by a third party provider, exchange provider, or other entity that may not have an agreement with USF. 
  • This traveler may be traveling alone or may be participating in an experience with others. However, the other students and non-students in the international experience are not affiliated in any way with USF and do not fit the definition of a "student traveler" or "non-student traveler."

Insurance: USF’s International Health and Evacuation Insurance is paid for by USF and is mandatory but only covers the dates of authorized travel. You can purchase the same coverage for independent travel outside the dates of authorized travel. Contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu for more information.

International Travel: This is travel to any location outside of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and therefore includes all international bodies of water and U.S. territories, as well as foreign countries.

Lead Associate Traveler: An Associate Traveler that is the designated point person for a group of student travelers.
 
Non-Student: Anyone that is not an active USF student.
 
Personal Travel: This is any travel before, during, or after a USF international travel experience that is not a formal part of the USF international activity. 

  • Travel occurring during registered program dates is generally covered by the USF international health and evacuation coverage.
  • Travel Warning policy applies to travel during registered program dates.
  • Other restrictions may apply.

Proposal:  A proposal is the electronic registration in the Education Abroad database of a group international student-related activity.

  • A proposal may be created by a student or a non-student traveler. 
  • Generally the proposal creator is considered the Leader of the group or is the Leader’s designee. Sometimes an Education Abroad Advisor may create the proposal on behalf of the Leader.
  • This process is generally for USF faculty, staff, and student organizations planning to create or propose a new international experience for students. These experiences may include a new faculty led program, a service learning experience, a group of students traveling to a conference, or any other travel where more than one student is traveling together on a similar itinerary. 

Registration: in the International Travelers Database is used by USF World to track student-related travel. Specialists are on duty to continuously monitor international events and provide 24/7 international assistance at a moment’s notice.

Requirements: The tasks that must be accomplished before one is permitted to travel internationally on a USF student-related or business-related activity.

Safety and Security Monitoring (SSM) Charge: USF World does not receive student tuition or fees to operate. Therefore, when registering with USF World, a Safety & Security Monitoring (SSM) Charge must be paid. It helps support the Database, the 24/7 international monitoring, and international assistance. It does not pay for insurance. It may be paid by the traveler or from a USF account. You will be asked to identify who is responsible in your department for this charge. Charges are: 1-14 days $30; 15-28 days $40; and 29 days or more $50. 

Student-Related Travel: Student-related travel is any international activity tied to an individual’s status as an active USF student, regardless of the source of funding for the travel. This includes undergraduate or graduate student, any University recognized student group, and the associated University employees, University Direct Support Organization ("DSO") employees, and University-appointed volunteers engaged in any international travel conducted as part of a USF program requirement, elective, research project, or service-learning activity.
 
Student Traveler: Any undergraduate or graduate student engaged in any international travel activity tied to an individual’s status as an active USF student regardless of funding source. 

  • These travelers typically include Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, or Research Assistants since their role is generally tied to their status as an active USF student.

Group Traveler Requirements

The following international student-related traveler requirements are managed by the International Risk and Security Team in USF World. Please contact the International Risk and Security Coordinator if you have any questions about the orientation process or any of these requirements.

Associate Traveler Requirements

Associate Traveler Registration Process:
Once a proposal is created, all Associate Travelers will be required to complete an Associate Traveler Application to register their participation with the international activity.
 
Associate Traveler Field Book
Attain and review a copy of the Associate Traveler Field Book. Generally you will be introduced to this during the mandatory International Risk and Security Orientation session.
 
Associate Traveler Risk and Security Orientation
All Group Leaders and Associate Travelers must complete this face to face orientation once every 2 years and complete an online refresher on off-years. See the Risk and Security Orientation Registration Process for further details.
 
Clery Act and Campus Security Authority Orientation (CSA Orientation):
All Group Leaders and Associate Travelers must complete this online orientation once every 2 years and complete an online refresher during  off years. See Clery Act Campus Security Authority Orientation Registration Process for further details.
 
International Health and Evacuation Insurance
All Group Leaders and Associate travelers will be enrolled in the USF’s required International Health and Evacuation Insurance as a Student-Related Traveler (Class 1). This is a mandatory condition of travel associated with students. You can learn more in the Insurance Information section.
 
Personal Travel:
Personal travel may be conducted prior to or after the international activity. The additional purchase of international health and evacuation coverage for personal travel is strongly encouraged.

  • Group Leaders and Associate Travelers are expected to be in residence with the students during the entire international experience. 
  • Group Leaders and Associate Travelers should always be available to immediately respond in-person 24/7 to a student in distress. 
  • Registered travel dates may differ with the registered travel dates of students, as warranted.

Title IX Orientation (Responsible Employee - RE Orientation):
All Group Leaders and Associate Travelers must complete this face to face orientation once every 2 years. See Title IX Responsible Employee Orientation Registration Process for further details.

Group Leader Requirements

Besides the following Group Leader Requirements, all requirements for an Associate Traveler apply to the Group Leader.
 
Determine Risk Level
Determine the risk level of the destination you are traveling to. You can do this easily by following this link to our Risk Level Chart.

  • If the country is a Risk Level 1 or Level 2, please confirm that the specific location does not have an additional security risk level. You can do that by reviewing the current U.S. Department of State Risk Advisory.
  • Contact the International Risk and Security Office if unsure.
  • If the country or location is a Risk Level of 3 or 4, follow the directions for obtaining approval for travel from the Global Risk Assessment Committee.

Proposal Creation Process
If this is a new experience, complete the processes as outlined in the Proposal Creation Process. If this is an experience that has previously been registered with USF World, contact the office and speak to the advisor who supported the travel before. In most situations, the previous proposal can be electronically copied and updated with minimal effort. 

Emergency Card:
Work with your USF World representative to create an Emergency Card and distribute it to all participants on the travel experience before departure. You can find a useful template here.
 
Travel Specific Pre-Departure Orientations:
Organize at least one or more travel specific pre-departure orientations to be held before departure. Also, schedule a travel specific orientation on the first day of the program to review all necessary travel-specific and risk and security information.
 
Post Travel Recommendations
Associate Traveler Evaluation:
Travelers are asked to complete a short on-line Evaluation Form upon return from the program. For all first-time travel, Group Leaders should meet with the Education Abroad advisor post-travel to have an in-depth conversation about the program. 

Student Reentry Event:
It is best practice to hold a reentry meeting or event with students following their return from the international experience in most cases. Group Leaders or Associate Travelers may also create an online reentry program to help students reflect on their experiences.

Student Traveler Requirements

Registration Process
Once a proposal is created, all Student Travelers will be required to complete an application to register their participation with the international activity.  Follow all processes as instructed in the Student Traveler Application.
 
High Risk Travel Waiver (Depends upon destination):  
You will be asked to sign this waiver if you are going to country under a U.S. Department of State Risk Level of 3 or 4, or your location has otherwise been designated as high risk travel. Your Group Leader will inform you if you need to sign this document.  You can read more about high risk travel and the Global Risk Assessment Committee that reviews and approves such travel at the section found on the right side of the screen.

General Pre-departure Online Orientation in CANVAS:  
After you have started the electronic registration process by beginning your application, you will receive an invitation to participate in a General Pre-departure Online Orientation in CANVAS. You must complete this orientation at least once within a calendar year of your proposed student related international travel. 

Student Traveler Fieldbook
Within the CANVAS pre-departure orientation, you will be given access to the Student Program Guide in the Resources page of the course.  We recommend that you download it, read it, and keep it hand for reference. It provides vital information that applies to both pre-departure planning, the international travel experience, and support for your return. You can download a copy in the Resources section of thid website.

International Health and Evacuation Insurance:  
After you have been accepted into the international travel experience of your choice, you will be enrolled in USF’s required coverage. This is a mandatory condition of travel and paid for by the University. Registration materials will be sent to your USF email address. You can learn more about the United HealthCare Global insurance policy in our Insurance Information section. 

Medical Information Health Questionnaire:  
Please complete your medical questionnaire thoroughly and disclose all relevant medications you may be taking and any health conditions, both temporary and chronic. We also recommend that you make an appointment with Student Health Services to discuss the health conditions and how you can best prepare for them. Contact Student Health Services Travel Clinic for an appointment. 

  • 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 Accessibility Services (SAS). You can also refer to the SDS Checklist in the Resources section of this website.

Emergency Card:  
Generally an Emergency Card that contains important phone numbers relevant to your group experience. You can create your own from this useful template. Make sure that you note the emergency phone number, as well as those of your in-country and home emergency contacts, into the cell phone which you will have with you while abroad.

Guest Requirements

Student Travelers
Students are generally not permitted to bring a guest, children, or family members with them on a USF international activity. USF World regulations and protocols do not permit guests to participate in program activities (including transfers from airports, to program events, etc.) and in program housing specifically reserved by USF World or a partner. Further, participants are expected to travel with the group as the itinerary dictates and not with guests who are also visiting the country. Participants will be expected to engage in all USF travel activities. These activities may not have been previously scheduled, and neither the faculty nor USF World may give you permission to skip these activities to be with guests. Student participants must sleep in USF World arrangements and cannot have any overnight guests. USF World and USF faculty cannot make special arrangements for student’s guests, and will not support family members in the event of an emergency.

Associate Traveler Family Members and Guests
Group Leaders and Associate Travelers may decide to bring accompanying family members with them on the international experience. USF reserves the right to impose limits and/or conditions on the roles, activities, and presence of family members or guests who accompany Group Leaders and Associate Travelers. Such limits or conditions derive from programmatic concerns: health, safety, risk, academic, and other concerns. In some cases, accompanying family members or guests may not be permitted to join some or all activities.
 
Liability:  
USF assumes no responsibility for accompanying family members or guests. It is the responsibility of all family members (including spouse/partner and dependent children) of the Associate Travelers to read the U.S. State Department information sheets if they participate in any group travel by land, sea, or air. The family members and guests are responsible for their own safety.
 
Excursions
Accompanying family members and guests may participate in program excursions and field trips, provided that such participation does not create increases in costs that would be transferred to student travelers AND that their participation in the program in no way interferes with the academic nature of an experience. Program excursions are planned to accommodate all students plus the Group Leaders and Associate Travelers. If there are empty seats on the bus, boat, or other arranged travel, accompanying family members and guests may travel with the group at no extra cost. However, at no time will a bigger or additional bus, boat, or other mode of transportation be arranged in order to accommodate accompanying family members and guests and thus pass on additional costs to the student travelers.
 
Excursion Expenses
If participating in group excursions, accompanying family members and guests must separately pay all per person expenses (i.e. entrances to parks or museums, theatre tickets, etc.). In no case is program money to be used to fund family member and guest participation in special events. If the cost for the family member and guests is included on the group receipt, it must be deducted before the receipt is submitted for reimbursement to the University.
 
Group Meals
If participating in group meals, the Associate Traveler must reimburse the program for any expenses incurred by accompanying family members and guests if a separate bill cannot be obtained. Program money should not be used to buy meals for accompanying family members and guests. The exception to this policy is entertainment of host institution guests to which a couple is invited for a meal. The Group Leaders and Associate Travelers may bring his/her spouse/partner/guest to such an event and receive reimbursement for the meal.
 
Minor Children
Minor children accompanying Group Leaders and Associate Travelers must be adequately supervised at all times. The presence of minor children or other family members and guests should not disrupt or alter the international experience in any way.
 
International Health and Evacuation Coverage:  
Guests must be insured under the USF policy and the costs must be paid for personally by the traveler. Please refer to the Insurance Information section if you have any quesions about coverage.

Training and Orientation Registration Process

**All Associate Travelers and Student Leaders must be certified in the following trainings and orientations. The Clery Act and Title IX trainings are a University-Wide requirement. If you cannot register through GEMS, or have other issues completing the trainings, please follow this link.**

Risk and Security Orientation Registration Process

Log into https://my.usf.edu/. Under Business Systems, select GEMS Self-Service. At the Main Menu (top left of screen) select Self Service> Learning and Development> Request Training Enrollment. Search by Course Name: EAO Risk&Security Orientation and View Available Sessions. (Hint: Search "EAO"). If a suitable date and time is unavailable, please contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu.

Title IX Responsible Employee (RE) Training

Log into https://my.usf.edu/. Under Business Systems, select GEMS Self-Service. At the Main Menu (top left of screen) select Self Service> Learning and Development> Request Training Enrollment. Search by Course Name Title IX Responsible Empl Trng and View Available Sessions. (Hint: Search "Title"). If a suitable date and time is unavailable, please contact GlobalTravel@usf.edu.

Clery Act Campus Security Authority (CSA) Training

Log into https://my.usf.edu/. Under Business Systems, select GEMS Self-Service. At the Main Menu (top left of screen) select Self Service> Learning and Development> Request Training Enrollment. Search by Course Name: CSA Orientation-Online Trng and View Available Sessions. (Hint: Search "CSA").