Restricted Travel Policy

All students engaging in international travel in any way affiliated with NC State, whether Study Abroad or Non-Credit International Travel, must register their travel in advance through the Study Abroad Office for risk management and emergency support purposes.

The University also mandates that the Study Abroad Office implement a petition process for students intending to travel to a Restricted Travel Area to receive approval to travel. See REG 02.55.01, section 3.1.2.

Restricted Travel Area

“Restricted Travel Area” is defined as any location for which:

Restricted Travel due to COVID-19: as of August 2022, a petition is no longer required for NC State student travel to locations where the advisory or warning level is limited solely due to COVID-19 concerns. The CDC recommends that individuals do not travel internationally until fully vaccinated and boosted. Visiting locations where there are fewer cases of COVID-19 may be less risky for getting COVID-19 than visiting locations where there are more cases of COVID-19, though transmission rates can change at any point in time. Travelers should learn which travel activities are lower risk to protect themselves and others. Students should also cautiously assess the situation based on their personal comfort level and risk tolerance. See NC State COVID-19 Campus Health.

If new circumstances warrant, a petition could be required again in the future to restricted travel areas due to COVID-19.

Prior to Departure

Students wishing to pursue travel in a Restricted Travel Area for any reason other than a COVID-19-specific advisory must petition the Study Abroad Office to request special approval. In the petition, students must outline their intended plans, complete a safety assessment, and sign a Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the risks.

For Group Travel, the steps below can be completed by the staff member leading the program on behalf of the students.

After Departure

Once abroad, if students are in a country that becomes a Restricted Travel Area, the Study Abroad Office will complete a risk assessment based on the factors below and the director or designee will communicate with students and personnel if the program or university-affiliated travel is suspended and they are expected to return to the U.S.

If students wish to remain abroad, they must pursue a petition to receive approval and sign a special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the risks.

Petitions for Restricted Travel Areas

Taking into account the student’s health, safety, and security, and information the student has submitted, the University will consider petitions to participate in a study abroad program or university-affiliated travel to Restricted Travel Areas. Petitions for Restricted Travel Areas are accepted or denied by the Study Abroad Office, in consultation with the Study Abroad Emergency Response Team, based on the materials submitted and analysis of relevant factors, including but not limited to, the following:

  • specifics of and risks described in the travel advisory/warning;
  • availability of on-the-ground support and resources;
  • experience with independent international travel;
  • academic need to study in the particular location (the likelihood that goals could be achieved elsewhere);
  • duration of proposed experience;
  • thoroughness of research included in the petition;
  • viability of personal risk mitigation plan (safety assessment);
  • whether independent or group travel;
  • for student organization travel, whether there is faculty/staff support.

Submitting A Petition

Student must thoroughly review and acknowledge the risks outlined in the Department of State and CDC advisories and submit the following documents for consideration:

Review all DOS Travel Advisories for your intended host country/countries.
  • Visit the DOS Travel Advisories webpage, search for your host-country name and review all associated Travel Advisories
Review the DOS COVID-19 Traveler Information.

Review all CDC Travel Notices for your intended host country/countries.

Outline and fully explain the academic need to study in a particular location/program despite the elevated risks.
Complete and include a location-specific safety assessment and plan for applicable risk mitigation.
Full instructions: Safety Assessment Instructions for Travel Warning Petition – COVID inclusions