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International Travel: Before You Go

Deadlines for receipt of completed packets by the International Center:

Individual student/faculty/staff travel
  • 60 days in advance for individual international travel 

Annual Group Travel Deadlines
  • November 1 for travel during Spring Quarter including Spring Break
  • February 1 for travel during Summer Quarter 
  • May 1 for travel during Fall Quarter 
  • October 1 for travel during Winter Quarter including Winter Break
NOTE: These deadlines are for both high hazardous and non-high hazardous travel. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for competition teams, presentations at conferences, and for grant supported research with accompanying justification. 

It is recommended that travelers submit packets early to allow additional time for internal deadlines. Please understand this process requires participation on the part of the traveler, department/division and college that is authorizing the trip - therefore, we encourage travelers to start early! Please see the Cal Poly International Center Flowchart.

This is a compilation of Cal Poly & CSU requirements, planning best practices, and resources to assist in travel planning.
Considering International Travel?

  • If you are a Cal Poly Employee arranging a field trip or any travel with students, instead review the Before You Go (Traveling with Students)
  • Determine if you will be traveling to a "High Hazard Country/Region."  
  • Determine if any visas or residence permits are necessary and what types. 
  • Faculty/staff/students often consider including personal travel as part of their business/academic trip. Please note; personal travel may be subject to taxation. Please contact your department administration or AFD for more information.
  • All approved student travel registrations will incur a $200 fee starting with trips that depart January 1, 2018 or later. The fee is non-refundable after the seven (7) calendar day grace period. If the departure date is less than 3 weeks from when the student registration is completed, then there is no grace period and the student fee will be assessed the date the student registration is completed. The fee will appear on your student account page on your Cal Poly Portal.
  1. Contact your department and college for permission to travel.
  2. Gather passport, anticipated travel information, emergency contact information. Identify equipment, data, and materials you might take and if your travel is under a federal contract.
  3. Complete all registration forms and signature documents.
  4. Student travel is subject to academic and disciplinary review. Students must remain in good disciplinary and academic standing in order to participate. Students that have been on disciplinary probation or are currently on disciplinary probation / review, should check with the International Center to verify their eligibility to participate. Travel expenses may be non-refundable.
  5. Faculty/Staff must register in the SMART Traveler Enrollment (STEP) program to obtain Travel Alerts and Warnings. All students with US citizenship will be enrolled by the International Center. Non-U.S. citizens may still enroll with their home country and/or sign up for travel alerts through the State Department by going to:
Once approved & prior to departure:
  • Determine if you should have additional insurance coverage. Certain high-risk activities (ex. scuba diving) are not covered under the mandated international travel insurance.  The foreign travel insurance may cover up to 14 days of personal travel (reimbursable to your department). If you plan to include more than 14 days of personal travel as part of your business trip aboard, you will need to purchase an individual policy for the additional dates of personal travel. Please contact the International Center with any questions regarding coverage.
  • Arrange for required visas or residence permits. 
  • Driving Abroad - as you make arrangements, be sure to consider road conditions, verify availability of seat belts, and plan to limit road travel to daylight hours. 
  • Address all possible health considerations (allergies and medical conditions), guided by:
    • CDC Travelers’ Health site 
    • Cal Poly Health Center Travel Clinic (students only), or an outside Travel Health Clinic and/or personal physician if necessary/recommended. 
    • Necessary vaccinations or medications are obtained.
    • Determine if there are any restrictions on personal medications. Bring an extra 2-3 day supply, in case of travel complications and translate medications into the appropriate language.  Pack medications in original containers in your carry-on luggage.
  • Verify your passport is valid and remains valid for at least 6 months after the planned return date and there are no stamps in passports that may present problems for this trip.
  • Verify that each traveler has a visa or residence permit, if required.
  • Continue to evaluate the safety and security of your destination(s).  If there are any questions or possible questions, contact the International Center immediately. 
  • Verify access to emergency cash without ATM or credit cards. Contact your credit card company to let them know you will be traveling abroad.
  • Copy the first page of your passport and insurance card and carry separately from your passport. Provide your emergency contact with copies and verify how you may be contacted in an emergency.
  • Confirm your itinerary to ensure that all road travel will occur during daylight hours, with sufficient time even if meetings or events are delayed, unless otherwise specifically advised.
  • Verify that you have customs letters or export licenses, if required.
  • Enter emergency numbers into your cell phone and have a separate list of numbers, if your wallet is stolen (credit cards, bank).
  • Contact your cellular service provider prior to departure to verify your service and charges while abroad.
  • Faculty/Staff with phones issued by Cal Poly should contact their telephone coordinator for additional support. 
Questions? Please contact the International Center, (; 805-756-6118.