The University of Iowa

Travel Registration for University of Iowa Students Traveling Internationally

Students traveling abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa are subject to the University of Iowa's International Travel Policy for Students. This policy applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students) traveling outside of the U.S. in a student capacity for University of Iowa related purposes.

University of Iowa students are required to register their university-related travel with International Programs. As part of the registration process, participants will be automatically enrolled in the Regents-mandated International Health Insurance Plan and in most cases billed for it on their U-bill. Students are also asked to provide a copy of their passport during registration.

A. Students Traveling on Programs through Study Abroad

If you are a student going on a program arranged through the UI Study Abroad office, your travel will be registered for you once you confirm participation in your program.  Your study abroad advisor will provide information about additional requirements.  

B. Individual Travel Registration

REQUIRED steps for registering individual student travel abroad for independent activities not arranged or advised for through the the University of Iowa Study Abroad office.  The following steps should be completed at least 30 days prior to departure.

  1. Verify that your travel destination(s) are currently NOT under any U.S. Department of State Advisory with a risk rating of 3 (reconsider travel) or 4 (do not travel.)
    • To do this, visit the U.S. Department of State's website and enter your destination(s) in the search bar.
    • If your destination has a high-risk designation of 3 or 4, go to Section D. If not, move on to Step 2.
  2. Review the International Health Insurance Information and familiarize yourself with it.
  3. Submit the following items to Study Abroad (1111 UCC, Attn: Health and Safety Advisor, or email to
  4. Prior to departure, complete the online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Training” course offered through ICON for the current academic year.  International Programs will enroll you in this course as part of the registration process. Note: If you already completed the ICON course within the current academic year due to previous international travel, you can simply log back in to review the content.  

ADDITIONAL items to do prior to your travel:

  • Register your travel plans with the U.S. Department of State through their "Smart Traveler Enrollment Program" (STEP). This is only for U.S. citizens and can be extremely useful if a situation arises requiring U.S. State Department assistance, such as having your passport lost, or stolen while abroad.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact your home country embassy for information about similar programs that may be available to you from your country of citizenship.
  • Consult the Health Preparation Guide.  Do not turn this in to International Programs, but rather use it as a tool to determine whether there are any health issues you should be prepared to deal with while abroad.  Meeting with your healthcare provider before travel is strongly advised.

FOR RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS please refer to the following information:

C. Group Travel Registration  

REQUIRED steps for registering student group travel (i.e. Athletic team travel, College- or Department-sponsored group travel, non credit-bearing and/or not organized through Study Abroad.) The following steps should be completed at least 30 days prior to the group's departure:

  1. Confirm that the intended international travel destination(s) for the group are not currently under a U.S. Department of State high-risk travel advisory of Level 3 (reconsider travel) or Level 4 (do not travel). If a high risk rating of 3 or 4 is assigned to the intended destination(s) abroad, consult International Programs prior to proceeding with group travel registry by contacting 
  2. Complete and submit the Group Travel Registration Form digitally to
  3. Confirm that all travelers have read the Conditions of Participation.
  4. Submit clear copies of the information/picture page of each group traveler’s passport. These should be scanned and sent to or sent via campus mail or delivered in-person to Study Abroad, 1111 UCC.
  5. Review the Health Insurance Information with the group.  
  6. Students will be enrolled in the online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Training” course offered through ICON.  They must complete this course before departing. Note: If students completed the ICON course within the last year due to previous international travel, then they do not have to retake it.

ADDITIONAL items for group travel:

  • Ask student participants to consult the Health Preparation Guide and recommend that they meet with their healthcare provider to discuss their health in relation to the proposed international travel.
  • Have students register their travel plans with the U.S. Department of State through their "Smart Traveler Enrollment Program" (STEP). This can be extremely useful for U.S. citizen travelers if a situation arises requiring U.S. State Department assistance, such as having your passport lost or stolen while abroad.   Students who are not U.S. citizens should consult with their embassy to see if similar services are offered by their country of citizenship.

D. Prior Approval for Travel to High-Risk Areas Required

The U.S. Department of State assigns a travel advisory rating for each country. If your destination country is under a U.S. Department of State travel advisory with an overall risk rating of 3 (reconsider travel) or 4 (do not travel), and if you still wish to pursue your travel plans despite the risks indicated in the warning or alert, please contact International Programs at to discuss your proposed travel plans. The International Programs Travel Advisory Committee will need to review your proposed plans. This review committee includes representatives from International Programs, Risk Management and General Counsel. Student proposals for travel to any location with a level 4 (do not travel) rating or a level 3 (reconsider travel) rating will be considered case-by-case. 

To petition to travel to a high-risk destination with a level 3 or 4 rating from the U.S. Department of State, you are expected to:

  1. Fill out a Request to Travel to a High Risk Destination form. 
  2. Fill out and sign a travel risk waiver.
  3. Email the Travel to a High Risk Destination petition and the waiver to The travel advisory committee will consider the proposal.
  4. If travel is approved, register travel with the University of Iowa by completing the individual travel registration form and provide a copy of the information page of your passport.

Without receiving prior approval from the International Programs Travel Advisory Committee, students will not be able to transfer credit, register for study abroad, participate in university-affiliated travel, or use university-based funding for travel to a country under a U.S. DOS travel advisory with a high risk rating of 3 or 4.

In addition, UI International Programs/Study Abroad scholarship funding for high-risk level 3 or 4 destinations will not be released without approval from the review committee. If approval for travel is not granted prior to departure for a destination under a U.S. DOS level 3 or 4 advisory, any UI funding received for international travel will be revoked and UI travel registration and insurance will not be processed for that destination. Depending on the source, it may be possible to work with a funding organization to adjust travel plans to utilize the funds in a destination not under a U.S. DOS level 3 or 4 advisory.

E.  Travel Advisories Issued After Student Departure

Should a U.S. Department of State level 3 or 4 travel advisory be issued while a student is already in the subject country, the International Programs Travel Advisory Committee will convene to assess the situation and make appropriate recommendations and decisions based on concerns for the safety and security of student participants. Depending on the situation, the review committee may recommend immediate departure and suspension of the program (if applicable).

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the Health and Safety Advisor in UI International Programs or contact UI Study Abroad at 1111 UCC or 319-335-0353 

Updated: June 2021