Countries with Travel Advisories

International Travel Advisory Policy

Western Washington University encourages students to participate in an education experience abroad. To minimize health and safety risks, University policy requires students traveling on their own and faculty/staff leading students to countries under a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory to comply with the University policy on Traveling Outside the United States. Travel leaders and students must comply with the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories and Travel Alerts that have been issued, as well as the Centers for Disease Control Travel Health Notices.

Current travel advisories are posted by the U.S. Department of State, as well as Travel Alerts and Country Specific Information. Country Specific Information is a good place to start learning about where you are going and is available for every destination country. Students should always consult the Country Specific Information in which they plan to travel or study before finalizing plans. Country Specific Information contains detailed safety and security information, whether you need a visa, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, local hot spots, and more.

Exceptions to the Travel Advisory Policy

In compelling circumstances, individual students and faculty/staff leading students may request an exemption from the policy and should refer to the Requesting Exception of Official Travel Warnings procedure. The procedure requires that the Requesting Exception to Official Travel Warnings e-sign form be completed.

The exception request must include all of the following:

  • Requesting Exception to Official Travel Advisory e-sign form;
  • Detailed information about the nature of the proposed activities and location of activities;
  • Printed copy of applicable U.S. State Department Travel Advisory or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notice;
  • Brief proposed itinerary;
  • Justification of Program –What is the compelling rationale on why the academic or professional goals cannot be met in other locations that are not under U.S. State Department Travel Advisory, including
    • 1) what are anticipated benefits to the students participating in the program;
    • 2) what are the anticipated benefits to WWU
    • if a Global Learning Program; 3) why a program in this location is essential; and
    • 4) why no other location could provide a similar academic experience or facilitate the same learning objective(s).
  • Safety, health and security in-country –Describe the nature of safety, health and security situation in the country(s) and city(s) where the program will take place. What are the mitigation plans for each specific risk related to the travel warning, including a plan for relocation should the security situation worsen and on-site support services in the event of an emergency. For Global Learning Programs, the plan should also include pre-departure health, safety and security information for students.

Review and Approval

Students traveling on their own

If the Travel Leader is on campus and advising a group of students, or an individual student traveling on a study abroad program, international internship, independent study abroad or teaching abroad outside the U.S. on official university business, the request will be reviewed by the following:

  • Evaluation team consists of Executive Director, Institute for Global Engagement; Director, Education Abroad; Risk Manager and other University administrators, as appropriate. They will convene to evaluate request and approve or not endorse;
  • Provost (or appropriate Vice President) reviews and approves the request; returns or denies the request.

Students traveling with a Travel Leader

If the Travel Leader is abroad with a group of students, or an individual student, and guiding the student(s) while traveling outside the U.S. on official university business, the request is reviewed by:

  • Department Chair, Director and/or Dean, as appropriate, to evaluate the request and approve or not endorse;
  • Evaluation team consists of Executive Director, Institute for Global Engagement; Director, Education Abroad; Risk Manager and other University administrators, as appropriate. They will convene to evaluate request and approve or not endorse;
  • Provost (or appropriate Vice President) reviews and approves the request; returns or denies the request.

Failure to provide complete and accurate information in the request may cause a delay in approval or a denial.