Travel & Study Abroad

                                                                                                    Reviewed July 20, 2022

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.

Important International Travel Update

July, 2022

UC is now returning to its standard approval process for faculty and staff seeking to travel abroad on UC business. With increasingly relaxed COVID entry requirements abroad and the removal of the requirement to show proof of a negative COVID test for re-entry into the United States, UC will no longer require an approval to travel internationally on business from the Vice Provost of UC International.

Moving forward approval to travel internationally should be obtained through your normal unit and/or college processes and through Concur. All student travel abroad still requires a registration process with UC International, as outlined in the UC Student Travel Policy.

May, 2022

For the Summer 2022 term, International students will need a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival on campus unless they have been in the U.S. for more than 10 days. Testing is available on UC's Uptown campus in the Steger Testing Center.

December 6, 2021, due to the Omicron variant you will need to have a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight. If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

On October 25, 2021, U.S. President Joseph Biden issued “A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic”. This presidential proclamation establishes new rules for international travel to the United States. The rules are effective November 8, 2021. To enter the U.S. as a noncitizen you must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by an FDA approved or authorized vaccine or WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccine. In addition, you must show a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of your scheduled flight. To be considered “fully vaccinated”, you must have received all necessary doses of the vaccine series, and two weeks time must have passed since you received the last dose. There are limited exemptions for these new requirements.

Additional details about the Presidential Proclamation can be found on the website.

Standard Travel Policies

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 by UC International and Vice Provost Raj Mehta.

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 has re-opened for - select locations and programs. Many students traveling will be required to petition for travel approval. All students are required to submit a travel registration with UC International prior to travel. If students travel abroad without approval, 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. International students studying or co-oping in their home countries are not required to petition.

UC’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) will review all faculty-led study abroad program proposals via a petition process. Interested faculty should contact UC International to discuss the process. 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.

For those currently taking steps to study abroad, please consider:

  • Faculty, staff and students are required to meet UC vaccination requirements. 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, vaccination  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.