Travel & Study Abroad
The university’s physician-led COVID Response Team is closely monitoring local, regional, national and global trends related to the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and will continue to do so – informed by appropriate federal and State of Ohio guidelines and restrictions.
All practices are subject to change as additional guidance is issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal authorities as well as state, local and international authorities.
The goal of travel processes is to protect the health of the general public as well as that of our faculty, staff and students.
Currently, standard policies apply to university-related domestic and international travel. These include:
UC policy requires all employees to obtain an approved travel request in advance via Concur. Concur provides travelers information specific to every country considered for travel. Based on the uncertainty of future travel plans, it is strongly recommended that all travel be booked via UC’s contracted travel agency, AAA. Based on recent experiences, those units that did not do so lost more money and experienced more difficulties when trying to cancel or rebook travel.
Finally, use of a university purchasing card is also strongly recommended. It simplifies the task of creating travel expense reports by those who perform those duties.
Students will return to the practice of completing the required travel registration with UC International prior to travel.
Health recommendations: Full vaccination is strongly encouraged. Those who are unvaccinated should consider virtual alternatives. University-sponsored travelers are expected to follow CDC travel guidelines related to facial-covering requirements, distancing guidelines and other relevant safety measures. Vaccination, quarantine and/or testing may be required for travel/entry by parties other than the university, such as airlines or countries through which travelers might pass.
Risks associated with COVID-19: Locations have disparate risks associated with COVID-19. Travel is not recommended to destinations that are experiencing a surge in cases.
International travel by faculty and staff
Proposed university-related international travel by faculty and staff requires review and approval at the unit level by the chair or supervisor; subsequent review and approval at the dean or vice presidential level; and finally, review and approval at the Office of the Provost level.
Faculty, staff and students involved in clinical care must follow the restrictions and guidance of any health system or clinical entity in which they participate in clinical activities.
Faculty and staff should consult with their supervisor and Human Resources prior to any international travel, either on university business or for other reasons, to determine how any potential quarantine period will be addressed and work duties fulfilled.
International travel by students
Study and co-op abroad will re-open for spring 2022 for select locations and programs via a petition process. International students studying or co-oping in their home countries are not required to petition.
UC’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) will manage the petition process. ITOC, in partnership with UC’s COVID Response Team, will continue to actively monitor the global health and travel environment to help safeguard our students and community. The global context may change suddenly and unexpectedly at any time. UC’s approval to travel is contingent upon student’s meeting host country and program entry requirements – which are subject to change.
UC International will contact all students with pending applications for spring 2022 abroad and explain the petition process. A website outlining the process will be available shortly. If students travel abroad without an approved petition, it will be considered personal travel and unaffiliated to the University of Cincinnati. Therefore, UC would be unable to provide students with credit transfer, support for emergencies, financial assistance (including scholarships or financial aid), insurance, or visa letters.
Beginning September 15, UC’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) began the review of faculty-led study abroad programs with travel abroad during spring 2022 (associated with a spring 2022 course). May Break 2022 travel is highly encouraged, rather than Spring Break. A small group of programs, traveling to a single country abroad, will be considered under a pilot program. Locations with a US Department of State Level 4 warning of “Do Not Travel” will not be considered for faculty-led travel.
For those currently taking steps to study abroad, please consider:
- Faculty, staff and students are required to be vaccinated. Please visit the Vaccine Requirement page for additional information.
- ITOC approvals are usually months before travel. Therefore, it is very likely that the situation abroad may change between approval and travel. Based on any changes, the travel or program may be cancelled or adjusted by ITOC. Any ITOC program determination made prior to departure may need adjustment (including cancellation) based on global or country-specific context or changes abroad.
- Individual countries and programs abroad may have their own entry or quarantine requirements that UC cannot override.
- Do not purchase airfare, make travel arrangements, or pay non-refundable deposits until you have received ITOC approval for your petition. Students are assuming full financial responsibilities for all costs and expenses incurred for travel.
- Many travelers are exploring trip cancellation insurance (e.g. Cancel For Any Reason coverage). Policy coverage and costs eligibility vary greatly. Students are encouraged to be informed consumers when assessing policies and applicability to their travel situation. Trip cancellation insurance is supplemental to medical and evacuation insurance that UC International requires for all travels through CISI.
- Travel departure may ultimately change since the global context is subject to rapid shifts.