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Before You Go With Students

International Travel: Before You Go With Students

*Please note - a Cal Poly faculty/staff trip leader must be present for the full duration of the trip and is responsible for completing the group travel request.

Deadlines for receipt of completed packets by the International Center. Here is a link to the Group Travel Deadlines.

NOTE: 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. 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!

This is a compilation of CSU requirements, planning best practices, and resources to assist in travel planning.

Considering International Travel? Some group members may include personal travel as part of their business/academic trip. Please note; personal travel may be subject to taxation.
Please contact your department administration or Poly Travel for more information.

All approved student travel registrations will incur a $200 fee. This may include, but is not limited to, attending or presenting at a conference, conducting research, participating in an academic or athletic competition, participating in a club activity, or participating in a non-credit international field trip. This fee is in addition to any other expenses, including the foreign travel insurance fee.
This fee supports our efforts in maintaining standards of good practice in the planning and delivery of non-study abroad international programs. Specifically, the revenue helps cover the cost of program administration on international trips, including the development and maintenance of safety modules, program proposal review, planning and delivery of in-person and online pre-departure orientation workshops for students, faculty and staff, maintenance of software programs, student advising, and emergency response while abroad. The fee is non-refundable after the seven (7) calendar day grace period.

Planning International Travel with Students:Register for Group Travel
  • As the faculty/staff group trip leader, you will need to complete all registration forms and signature documents including a Concur Travel Request for all faculty and staff. A Travel Authorization form is required for individual student travel requests. Volunteers (if applicable) and trip leaders may be subject to a criminal background screening. A finalized group roster, student forms and copies of student passports will be requested once the trip has been approved.
  • Designate one or more faculty/staff trip leaders. Typically, the University requires one (1) faculty/staff trip leader for every twenty (20) students. Additional faculty/staff trip leaders will be required to complete a travel authorization form along with additional documents. Please notify the International Center if more than one faculty/staff trip leader will be in traveling with the group. The International Center will send a link to the additional faculty/staff trip leader(s) that will be added to the group travel packet. All faculty/staff trip leaders are required to attend a faculty/staff-led student travel workshop. Only one workshop is required per academic year.
  • Work with the International Center or vendor (if applicable) to create or review emergency medical and safety plans. This includes an agreed-upon meeting point and/or communication plan in case members of the group become separated from each other during an emergency. This information is required to be included in the group proposal. 

Once approved & prior to departure:
  • Submit finalized group roster. The International Center will use the student information to complete a disciplinary and academic review. All Cal Poly travel is subject to disciplinary and academic 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.
  • Encourage your students to enroll in the STEP program. Faculty/staff/volunteers with U.S. citizenship are required enroll themselves. Non-U.S. citizens/Nationals are advised to enroll in STEP Travel & Alerts:
  • Determine if you should have additional insurance coverage. Certain high-risk activities are not covered under the mandated international travel insurance (ex: collegiate sports). Please review the insurance exclusions and contact the International Center with any questions regarding insurance coverage.
  • Arrange for required visas or residence permits (if required). 
  • 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. Risk Management must approve driving abroad on university business. 
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. Translate medications into the appropriate language.  Pack medications in original containers in your carry-on luggage.
  • Verify your passport and student passports are valid and remain 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, contact the International Center immediately. 
  • Verify access to emergency cash without ATM or credit cards. Encourage participants to contact their credit card company to let them know they will be traveling abroad.
  • Encourage participants to copy the first page of their passport and insurance card and carry it separately from their passport. They should provide their emergency contact with copies of each and verify how they should be contacted in an emergency.
  • The itinerary is confirmed to ensure that all road of travel will occur during daylight hours, with sufficient time even if meetings or events are delayed, unless otherwise specifically advised.
  • Verify you have customs letters or export licenses if required.
  • Encourage participants to enter emergency numbers into their cell phone and have a separate list of numbers, if their 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. 
  • Faculty/Staff leading a group of students abroad are required to have access to cellular service.
  • Please note; student travel is subject to academic and disciplinary review by the Dean of Student’s office. The International Center will make a final determination if a student that is on academic probation or under disciplinary review is allowed to travel on University business. 
Week of Departure:
Continue to evaluate the safety and security of your destination(s).  For questions regarding Student Group Travel, please contact Jessica Michelsen (