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Program Description:

Group Travel

*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.


Introduction to the Group Travel Request Process

All international travel conducted as Cal Poly business must go through the Cal Poly International Center. Travel abroad may include activities such as attending conferences, participating in tours, conducting funded research, or taking students on non-credit international field trips. Travel requests must be submitted to the International Center by the deadlines listed below. The International Center will process the paperwork and submit to the Provost's office on your behalf. Expenses related to international travel should not be incurred until you have completed the travel authorization process and received written approval for your travel. Deadlines for receipt of a completed group travel packet by the International Center:

Group 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 
  • September 15 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. 

Please review the "High Hazardous Countries Lists" to find out if your destination is deemed high hazardous. It is recommended that travelers submit packets early to allow additional time for internal deadlines. This process requires some information gathering on your part -- we encourage you to start early! Please see the group travel flowchart for more information.

Ready to Begin?

The following steps will help guide you through the process of requesting your international travel with students. The application process works best when you use a desktop or laptop computer. Please do NOT use your phone.

Step 1: Seek approval from your department/division and dean's office. 

Step 2: Review the international travel resources including “Before You Go with Students," and the "High Hazardous Countries Lists."

Step 3: Save or print out the directions below. The system has a security function that will time you out of your session. Please be sure to save your work as you go along.

Step 4: Click the “Apply Now” button located at the top and bottom of the page. You will be prompted to login with your Cal Poly username and password.

Step 5: Update your Applicant Profile. Please sure to include your date of birth so that they system can verify that you are 18 years or older in order to sign the signature documents. This only needs to be completed the first time you enroll.

Step 6: Select your destination from the list of locations or search for the location by city name, and then click "Add to Itinerary." If you are traveling to multiple locations, you may create more than one leg of your travel in the same application by continuing to build your itinerary this same way. Once you are finished building your itinerary, click "Update."

*Please note: Personal travel attached to international travel for business purposes may be taxable. If you have questions, please review the CSU travel policy or contact Beatrice Jones ( for assistance.

Step 7: On the next page, complete the Group Travel Proposal which includes a Dept/Dean Pre-Approval Letter from your department head/division supervisor or the person approving your group travel. We strongly suggest that you discuss your plans with them prior to submitting the formal recommendation request through the online system. We have provided sample information and language that you may want to consider utilizing as part of your emergency contact information and contingency plan. If you are using an outside service provider, please upload their forms (itinerary, contract, etc.) to "Attached Documents." You upload by selecting the document type, "Service Provider Forms." EWB groups upload their health and safety plans by selecting "EWB HASP." 

Step 8: Please complete the Travel Authorization forms and have them signed by your department and dean’s offices. The Cal Poly International Center will be responsible for obtaining the Provost’s signature on your behalf. Students that receive a reimbursement from Cal Poly are also required to complete a travel pre-authorization form. The student travel pre-authorization forms may be turned in after the travel packet has been approved. All approved student travel registrations will incur a $200 fee starting with trips that depart January 1, 2018 or later, please be sure to take this into consideration when completing the cost estimate for students.

**Students that receive a reimbursement from Cal Poly are also required to complete a travel pre-authorization form. The student travel pre-authorization forms may be turned in after the travel packet has been approved, but should be submitted to the International Center prior to the departure date. 

Step 9: Please complete all required Registration Forms and Signature Documents from the checklist. Once submitted, a checkmark will appear in the boxes under the "Received" column. You will receive an e-mail notification from the Cal Poly International Center once your application has been submitted. The International Center, Risk Management, Provost's office and President's office will review your travel information. This process usually takes 3-4 weeks. During this time, you may be asked to provide additional information or meet with the Director of the International Center.

Post-Approval Requirements
Once the group travel proposal is approved, all trip participants will be asked to register through the Cal Poly International Center on-line system. Trip leaders (faculty/staff members traveling abroad with the students) will register as "Trip Leaders," while the students will use a special, program-specific travel registration link provided by the Cal Poly International Center.  For this reason, it will be important for the Cal Poly International Center and the trip leader to communicate regularly.  

All faculty and staff members leading a group abroad are considered "Trip Leader(s)" and will be required to  complete the "Trip Leader" registration. In addition, all "Trip Leaders" are required to attend a workshop on trip leader roles and responsibilities and crisis response. The trip leader(s) will be sent an email with the date/location of the workshop. Please note, the trip leader should be a Cal Poly employee (faculty or staff member). Students and volunteers are rarely allowed to be designated as "trip leaders." All requests for exceptions must be approved by the International Center. All questions and requests should be emailed to  

Once a trip is approved, the trip leader must submit a finalized list of student names and email addresses to The International Center will send a link to student participants to complete the student participation forms and passport information electronically. Students must remain in good academic & disciplinary standing to participate in a trip abroad. Please remind them of this policy prior to payment due dates. All approved student travel registrations will incur a $200 fee starting with trips that depart January 1, 2018 or later. 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.

All approved trips abroad on Cal Poly business must be covered by the Foreign Travel Insurance Program. The insurance must be paid by a Cal Poly department or dean's office. A generic card will be emailed to the traveler with the insurance information.The department or dean's office may request reimbursement from the student. Insurance coverage will be for the duration of the trip conducted on Cal Poly business. Personal travel days before or after the Cal Poly business trip will NOT be covered by the foreign travel insurance. Travelers are responsible for purchasing their own travel insurance policy for personal trips.

Returning to View/Complete Your Request

Returning to View/Complete Your Request. You may return to work on your Group Travel Request at any time, as long as it is completed prior to your departure date.  To return, click "Cal Poly Login/Register" at the top of the page to be taken to your Applicant Home page.  From here, click on the blue link for "Group Travel Request."  Please do not hit "Apply Now" from this page more than once, as it will create multiple applications for you. 

Why Are These Steps Important?

Trip leader and student registration in the system allows the Cal Poly International Center and the University the ability to provide our travelers with the necessary health and safety support, including travel medical insurance information and other pre-departure resources.  Additionally, in the unlikely event of an emergency while the group is abroad, the Cal Poly International Center will be able to quickly coordinate response and assistance with the insurance carrier and relevant departments.


The Cal Poly International Center welcomes questions, or (805) 756-6118.