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Short-Term International Travel
Short-Term International Travel

Policy

This policy has been created to provide guidelines with links to procedures and resources for student, faculty or staff organizers relevant to planning and coordinating all short-term student travel abroad. All short term student travel abroad whether the student is in the company of Smith College faculty or staff or not, which is funded by the College, or for which the student receives academic credit, or which is arranged by the College will be subject to this and other related College policies or procedures.

In an effort to organize and address international travel that includes students, Smith College requires that student travelers, group leaders, trip sponsors, advisers and staff making travel arrangements for student travel follow these guidelines. The College may withdraw funding or academic credit for trips that do not adhere to these guidelines. The policy is jointly administered by the Provost's Office and the Office of the Dean of the College.

Scope of travel

This policy applies to all student travel that is funded by the College, whether in whole or in part; all travel that results in academic credit; all travel that is arranged by the College; and all official trips made by recognized student groups.

Examples:

Travel not covered by this Policy

Student and College Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities of Group Leaders and/or the College

All group leaders, whether the leader is a College employee or a Smith student, are responsible for following the guidelines for group leaders and submitting the Group Leader Planning Checklist and Travel Documentation.

Guidelines for Students

Whether students are traveling as part of a group or independently, as they plan their application for study, work, internship, research, travel, or other College-sponsored or College-approved activities abroad, they should carefully research political situations, living conditions, and any health and safety considerations before deciding where to apply or to travel.

Individual travelers must complete the Individual Traveler Planning Checklist and Travel Documentation.

Students who travel on programs that the College has not sponsored assume all responsibility for investigating those programs.

Hazardous Activities

If any hazardous activities are included in the trip (e.g., scuba diving, climbing active volcanoes) or if the trip itself is inherently dangerous or in a dangerous location, (e.g., within the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, war zone or areas covered by US State Department travel warnings) the group leader needs to consult with the Provost's office and Five College Risk Management Office at the earliest planning stages of the trip.

Funding Resources and Other Commitments

Trip participants must follow the procedures and comply with the requirements of all departments that provide funding and/or academic credit for the trip (e.g., if a student is doing research using human subjects, even if it only involves interviews, the student must obtain approval from the appropriate Smith College IRB for their work prior to the travel/research). All funding and/or academic credit must be approved before any travel occurs.

Waivers

A signed Travel_Waiver (PDF) is required of all students whose international travel is covered by this policy. Submit the signed waiver to the office coordinating your funding, your supervisor, your trip advisor, the Associate Provost's office or the Dean of Students office.

Definitions

Academic Credit

In advance of the trip, the College agrees with the student that upon successful completion of the academic work, and pending assessment by the Registrar's Office, the student will be given credit for the work. This does not apply to any work for which credit is requested after the work and travel is completed, e.g., independent, unfunded research which may be used for later support of credit work.

Mandatory field trip (travel required as part of course work)

Arranged

The College arranges or organizes the itinerary, accommodations, or other aspects of the trip but does not provide any funding or offer credit (e.g., a community service trip, club trip). Also, a student/s accompanies a staff member or faculty member even though the College does not fund the travel or provide academic credit.

Advised

A college employee (faculty or staff) recommends a particular place for specific activity, whether for academic purposes or not, but there is no funding or academic credit for the student following the advisor's recommendation.

The College

The Trustees of The Smith College, its present and former trustees, officers, employees, agents and assigns.

Crisis Response Plan

A plan that is designed to assist the traveler or group leader to respond to a crisis of a personal nature, in contrast to local, regional or world events. This includes such events as illness, injury, the requirement for a participant to cut the trip short to return home (e.g., death in the family).

Emergency Response Plan

Emergency Response is defined as responding to external circumstances that could impact the safety of the trip or program participants, restrict their travel plans, or similar conditions. Examples include strikes or terrorist events that cause a shut-down of international airports, outbreak of war or severe political strife in the country the trip is in, a change in the warning status from the US State Department. An Emergency Response Plan is designed to assist the traveler or group leader in responding to local, regional or world events, such as:

  • local or regional pandemic
  • terrorist attacks
  • shutdown of international air travel at a critical time for the group or traveler
  • loss of access to funds

Funded

The College gives the student or the group leader money to defray costs of travel, accommodations, meals, conference or similar fees, stipends or any other money associated with the trip, its registration, purpose or activities.

Group Leader

The person or persons who are leading the trip, including organizing travel logistics, arranging funding, or who have significant trip support functions. Group leaders may be College employees (faculty or staff) or student leaders. Some trips may be "led" by contracted parties, but many of the College responsibilities will still reside with a College staff or faculty member.

Recognized Student Organization

A student organization which has fulfilled the requirements of the College for recognition, and is listed with the Office of the Dean of the Students as an active, recognized student organization.

Resources

Listed on the travel preparations are Web sites that provide country- and region-specific information about health and safety. Students who are not U.S. citizens should also consult the relevant government agency of their home country, as travel advice may vary according to the citizenship or residence of the traveler. The traveler may also want to talk with faculty and other advisers familiar with the places which you are planning to travel, read national and local newspapers, guidebooks on the country, investigate web sites, or look into other resources for information. Staff or faculty can also help the traveler gather and evaluate information, but the final decision about whether and where to go is, of course, the student's own.