Travel Warnings

Statement of Policy:

Destinations (countries, states, or cities) under active Travel Warnings or Advisories from the United States Department of State, World Health Organization and/or Center for Disease Control may be determined to be high-risk travel destinations. All university related student travel to such destinations requires review by the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee and approval by the Vice President of the Sponsoring Unit.

The full policy is available for review here.

Rationale and Implementation Process

Clemson University is committed to developing a wide variety of international study, research and work opportunities for students; however, the university recognizes that situations exist in which the risks of travel may outweigh the advantages of the international experiences. The University reserves the right to cancel or alter any program when, based on a review of relevant information and resources, we determine that the security or health of students may be threatened.

  • Travel Warnings and Advisories

    The Office of Global Engagement monitors information relevant to the safety of all Clemson students abroad from official sources as well as from our domestic and international partners and colleagues. Evaluation of security concerns and risks of travel includes monitoring the United States Department of State (DOS) travel alerts and travel warnings as well as alerts published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

    The University recognizes that travel warnings vary in severity, that security situations may vary considerably in different parts of a country under a Travel Warning, and that a Travel Warning does not always negate compelling academic reasons for traveling to a country. Therefore, the University will review on a case‐by-case basis all University-sponsored and/or funded student travel to any destination under a DOS, WHO, or CDC Travel Warning.  The faculty or staff leaders of the impacted program(s) or students planning independent travel may petition for approval to travel.

The High Risk Travel Advisory Committee reviews safety and security conditions associated with university related student travel to high-risk destinations. The committee is responsible for recommending to the Provost or Vice President of the sponsoring division when students may use Clemson funds and/or receive academic credit for travel to international destinations. The committee considers a variety of factors - the most important being the safety of the students.

  • More About High Risk Travel Advisory Committee

    The High Risk Travel Advisory Committee is chaired by the Vice Provost for Global Engagement and includes the Dean of Students and the Director of Clemson Abroad. In addition, a representative of college or unit sponsoring the program will participate in the review; and, the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee regularly seeks additional information and counsel from the Offices of General Counsel, Risk Management, Redfern Health Services, Research Compliance or other colleagues with relevant expertise or experience.

    The High Risk Travel Advisory Committee will review petitions for approval to travel to high-risk destinations and make a recommendation to the Provost or Vice President of sponsoring division. The final decision to grant or deny a petition will be made by the Provost or Vice President of sponsoring division, and the petitioner will be notified of the decision.

Denied Travel
If the permission to travel is denied, the student(s) may not use any Clemson funds for his/her study abroad program or receive academic credit either concurrent with the program or after return. In addition, in the case of denial, the Office of Global Engagement will not be able to provide any support to students who still wish to participate in program(s) located in high risk destinations nor will it be possible to maintain the student's enrollment at Clemson during the travel. The university is not responsible for the decision of the student(s) to travel independently to locations under Travel or Travel Health Warnings.

Approved Travel
If permission to travel is granted, then the student(s) may participate in the program, utilize university funding, and receive access to all regular study abroad services offered by Clemson Abroad.

Categories of Petitioners:

  • Clemson Sponsored Group Programs—Faculty-Directed Study Abroad, Service Trips, Conference Travel and other group travel.

    If a travel or travel health warning exists for a location to which a new group program is proposed, the program cannot be approved unless reviewed by the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee and approved by the Provost or Vice President of the sponsoring unit.

    If a travel or travel health warning is issued for a destination in which Clemson operates group programs before the departure date of the programs, the programs will be immediately suspended, pending review. The faculty or staff may submit a request for a waiver of program suspension.

    If a travel or travel health warning is issued for a destination in which Clemson operates a group program while the program is in session but where circumstances pose no immediate threat to student health or safety, the program will be reviewed by the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee which will make a recommendation to the Provost or Vice President of sponsoring division about whether or not the program should be suspended and participants evacuated.

  • Clemson Graduate and Undergraduate Students: Independent Travel for Study, Research or Internships

    If a travel or travel health warning is issued for a destination to which a Clemson graduate or undergraduate student wishes to conduct   independent travel for study, research, conference attendance, or other university-related purpose, the student is required to petition the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee for permission to travel before Clemson funds may be used or academic credit received.

    The university is not responsible for the decision of the student to travel to locations under Travel or Travel Health Warnings. If the petition is denied, then students may not use Clemson funds or receive academic credit from Clemson University for work completed at the destination either concurrently or retroactively.

  • Clemson Students on Non-Clemson Programs

    If a travel or travel health warning is issued for a destination at which a Clemson student wishes to participate in a non-Clemson program, the student is required to petition the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee for permission to travel before Clemson funds may be used or academic credit received.

  • Multiple Programs to the Same Destination & Recurring Programs

    Reviews and subsequent decisions apply to single iterations of a specific program only (unless specified during the review). Approval, or denial, for one program in a specific destination does not automatically apply to another program in that same location, nor will permission to travel be automatically extended for repeat iterations of the program.

    Clemson sponsored group programs that have been reviewed and approved for travel within the past year, may be eligible to petition for an expedited review if the following conditions are met:

    • DOS, WHO, or CDC travel warnings have not changed since the previous review.
    • Previous iterations of the program have operated without safety or security incidents.
    • No changes have been made to the program itinerary or design that would increase risk to the student or program (e.g. change in location, support staff, accommodations and/or activities undertaken).

     Programs meeting these conditions may submit a notification to repeat the program to the High Risk Travel Advisory Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Vice Provost of Global Engagement as to whether the approval should be extended or if full-review is required. If extension of the approval is recommended, the Vice Provost will notify the Provost and Vice President of the sponsoring division.

Process for Petitioning for Approval to Travel to a High Risk Destination:

Please see the Faculty Guidelines for Submitting High Risk Travel Petition or Student Guidelines for Submitting High Risk Travel Petition to review the steps of the process. Please note that most items in the Guidelines are addressed as part of the Travel Waiver Checklist.

  • Faculty or Staff Member leading group travel or Student planning individual travel consults with Director of Clemson Abroad. Process and required documentation will be discussed at this time (Four to six months prior to travel).
  • Request is submitted via the Travel Waiver Checklist form (at least three months prior to travel).
  • Director of Clemson Abroad initiates review by High Risk Travel Advisory Committee (upon receipt of request).
  • High Risk Travel Advisory Committee reviews requests and makes a recommendation to the Provost or Vice President of sponsoring division.
  • Provost or Vice President of sponsoring division makes final determination of whether the university will grant approval to travel.
  • The Office of Global Engagement informs petitioners of the decision.

Approved by Clemson University Academic Council, April 2016