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

If you are a student traveling abroad individually, and you are not going through the Study Abroad office, the following steps are REQUIRED for registering your travel.  This must be done 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 Officer).
  4. Complete the online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Training” course offered through ICON.  International Programs will enroll you in this course as part of the registration process. Note: If you completed the ICON course within the last year due to previous international travel, then you do not have to retake it.  

RECOMMENDED items you can 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 any similar programs that might 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 recommended.

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

C. Group Travel Registration  

REQUIRED steps for registering student group travel (i.e. College- or Department-sponsored travel, not organized through Study Abroad), which must be done at least 30 days prior to the group's departure:

  1. Complete the Group Travel Registration Form. Submit the Group Travel Registration Form digitally to safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.
  2. Signed copies of the Conditions of Participation for each student participating should be scanned and sent to safety-abroad@uiowa.edu or via campus mail/in-person to Study Abroad, 1111 UCC, Attn: Health and Safety Officer.
  3. Clear copies of the information/picture page of each student participant’s passport should be delivered via campus mail or in-person to Study Abroad, 1111 UCC.
  4. Review the Health Insurance Information with the group.  
  5. 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 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

If your destination country is under a U.S. Department of State travel advisory with a 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 safety-abroad@uiowa.edu to discuss your proposed travel plans. The International Programs Travel Advisory Committee (IPTAC) will need to review your proposed plans. The IPTAC 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 will not be approved. Student proposals for travel to any location with 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 Travel Warning Destination Petition. Note that Travel Warnings have been recently replaced by a travel advisory system that covers all countries, with high-risk countries identified by either a level 3 or level 4 rating. 
  2. Fill out and sign a travel warning waiver.
  3. Email the Travel Warning Destination Petition and the waiver to safety-abroad@uiowa.edu. The IPTAC will consider the proposal.
  4. If travel is approved, register travel with the University by completing the individual travel registration form and provide a copy of the information page of your passport.

Without receiving prior approval by the IPTAC, 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 IPTAC. If approval for travel is not granted by the IPTAC 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. It is possible to work with the funding organization to adjust travel plans to utilize the funds in a destination not under a U.S. DOS level 3 or 4 advisory.

D.  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 IPTAC 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 IPTAC may recommend immediate departure and suspension of the program (if applicable).

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Study Abroad at 1111 UCC or 319-335-0353 (ask for the Health and Safety Officer) or email safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

Updated: February 2018