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International Travel Planning Policy

Effective Date: February 1, 2016

Latest Revision: February 1, 2017


Policy Statement

An essential part of Columbia University’s mission is “to support research and teaching on global issues” and “to convey the products of its efforts to the world.” These activities frequently involve travel outside of the United States. While traveling internationally can be an enriching experience, it also entails risks. Because of this, careful planning must precede international travel, even for seasoned travelers. Each travel destination requires a different strategy for responding to small inconveniences and serious emergencies.


This policy establishes a set of guidelines and requirements for planning international travel and covers international Columbia Travel, which includes Columbia-Led Travel and Columbia-Facilitated and/or Recognized Travel, as defined below. It does not cover Non-Columbia Travel.


Reason(s) for the Policy

Columbia University supports and encourages travel by individuals whose educational, research, or occupational activities are international in scope. At the same time, the University seeks to reduce risk to travelers and the University by encouraging thorough preparation and common-sense practices while abroad.


Primary Guidance to Which This Policy Responds



Responsible University Office and Officer

Office of the Provost – Vice Provost for Administration and Planning

Office of the Treasurer – Treasurer


Revision History

This policy was established February 1, 2016 and revised effective February 1, 2017.


Who Is Covered by This Policy

Members of the University community participating in international Columbia Travel or organizing international student travel.


Who Should Know This Policy 

Members of the University community who are involved with
supporting, planning, funding, or participating in international Columbia Travel.



To see the full text of this policy, please use the link on the right.