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FAQs: Travel Review

In what circumstances does my travel need to be reviewed by Tufts University?

If you are a student (undergraduate or graduate) traveling to a country with an active U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Warning, you need to apply for travel review. If you are a faculty or staff member organizing a trip on behalf of a group of students destined for one of these countries, you will need to apply on their behalf.

What information do I need to submit in my application?
  • Purpose of travel
  • Proposed travel itinerary
  • Outline of risks as identified in the DOS Travel Warning and/or Alert and/or International SOS (ISOS) security information and mitigation procedures
  • Summary of your conversation with an ISOS security analyst for the destination
  • Letter of endorsement form from the sponsoring unit or department signed by the school’s EAD
  • Any additional materials that would be useful for the committee as background in making a decision, such as prior relationships established with the site or host institution, maps of the region, etc.

How long does the review take?

It is recommended that you should plan for 4-7 weeks. The Review Committee for International Travel Safety meets monthly to review applications. These dates are posted on the Tufts Travel Safety website to help you plan. Don’t wait to the last minute! Some applications may require editing or revisions prior to being forwarded to the committee for review. The application deadlines and decisions dates are listed here.

*The committee will accept late applications in rare situations, but will NOT consider applications received less than two weeks prior to scheduled departure.

I’m a medical resident. Does my travel need to be reviewed?

Yes. The international travel policy applies to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students, residents, and fellows. If you are travelling with a university program with an established internal review, such as the Global Health Program at the medical school or the Global Service Learning Program at the dental school, please follow the instructions of your program administrator.

I’m an international student and I’m going back to my home country, which is on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warning list. Do I need to apply for travel approval?

If you are traveling for university purposes, you are required to apply. This policy applies to all Tufts students including international students. If you are returning home for purely personal reasons (such as vacation or visiting family), then travel review is not required.

I’m traveling to a country where a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning has been issued. However, I will not be traveling to the regions specifically listed in the warning. Do I need to apply for travel approval?

Yes. The Review Committee will consider the region of the proposed travel and the region-specific information of the Travel Warning. In your letter, be sure to address the general risks listed in the Travel Warning and how your travel will mitigate these risks.

What information do I need to provide for the review?

Your proposed travel plan should be as detailed as possible.  In addition to your proposed itinerary, you will be asked to provide detailed information about your plans for housing and transportation (such as whether your accommodations are gated, and if it is advisable to hire a driver).

In addition, you should review the specific U.S. State Department’s Travel Warning and country-specific information, and in your proposal, state how you plan to mitigate the health, safety, security issues, and concerns specifically listed in the Travel Warning.  Even though it may be obvious, clearly state what precautions you will take. For example: “I will not walk alone at night,” “I will not carry large sums of cash,“ “I will avoid large crowds and demonstrations,” and “I will register my travel with the local U.S. Embassy before I leave the U.S.,” as applicable to your situation.

You will also be asked to provide a detailed communication plan. Staying in touch with your family, your sponsoring department, the office of risk management, and on-site contacts will mitigate concerns and risks. Questions you might want to think about are: Do you plan to carry a cell phone? Where and how often will you have internet access on-site? How often do you plan to report to your Tufts contact?

I also want to register my travel with the local U.S. Embassy before I leave the U.S. How do I do that?

This can be done through the Smart Traveler Enrollment System (STEP). If you are not a U.S. citizen or green card holder, we recommend registering at your home country’s equivalent service, if one exists.

Any questions that are not answered here?  

Email Chelsea Ferrell, Program Manager for Global Operations, or call 617-627-4649.

Last modified 12/07/2017