The University has designated the Study Abroad Office (SAO) as the coordinator for all University study abroad programs and activities. See REG 02.55.01. The University also mandates that all students intending to travel to a Restricted Travel Area must complete a petition process and 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:
- the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory, or
- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3, or
- NC State has restricted travel.
Prior to Departure
Students wishing to pursue travel in a Restricted Travel Area must petition SAO to request special approval. Students must discuss with the SAO director or designee their intended plans and safety assessment, initiate the petition process, and sign a Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement indicating their understanding and acceptance of the risks.
For Group Travel, the above steps can be completed by the faculty/staff member leading the program/university-affiliated on behalf of the students.
Once abroad, if students are in a country that becomes a Restricted Travel Area, the SAO director or designee will communicate with students and/or program director that the program/university-affiliated travel is suspended and they are expected to return to the U.S.
If students on individual university-affiliated travel wish to remain abroad, they must pursue a petition and receive approval.
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 SAO, in consultation with the Study Abroad Emergency Response Team and Study Abroad Advisory Board as needed, based on the materials submitted and an 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 particular location (likelihood that goals could be achieved elsewhere);
- duration of proposed experience;
- thoroughness of research included in 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:
- Visit the DOS Travel Advisories webpage, search for your host-country name and review all associated Travel Advisories
- Visit the DOS COVID-19 Traveler Information webpage, search for your host-country name, and review the information
Full instructions: Safety Assessment Instructions for Travel Warning Petition – COVID inclusions