Education Abroad and International Travel Policies

Penn State’s International Travel Requirements compile several travel-related policies into a unified reference for employees and students to review before completing international travel.  As a leader or coordinator of an approved education abroad program, many aspects of the international travel requirements may affect your travel.  A brief explanation of how the policies may impact you are outlined for your reference.

Use of the Travel Safety Network

By virtue of the fact that the details of your education abroad program are recorded with the Education Abroad database of Global Programs, the requirement to utilize the Travel Safety Network has been met.  You do not need to separately register your individual travel plans for this education abroad program nor the travel plans of your co-leaders or students at

Please note that if you are traveling to the program a few days early or staying a few days after the conclusion of the program to handle education abroad program-related business, then these extra days abroad are considered “program travel” and do not need to be registered at

Please note that if you are planning University-affiliated travel abroad that is not part of the education abroad program (i.e., remaining abroad after the conclusion of the education abroad program for professional research, conference attendance, etc.), then the details of your University-affiliated travel that is not related to your education abroad program leadership should be registered at

Emergency Preparedness Workshop for Program Leaders  

Emergency Preparedness Workshops are already a requirement that Global Programs has implemented for faculty leaders so it does not change existing practices for education abroad programs.  If you have not attended an emergency preparedness workshop within the last 2 years (calendar date) prior to the departure date of your program, you will be required to attend a session in person or through Adobe Connect. View a list of upcoming workshops on the Global Penn State website. 

Export Control Review Requirement 

Export control reviews became a requirement for all employee international travel in July of 2015, but the process has now been built into an electronic form to be completed within your education abroad program proposal or faculty leader requirements process within the education abroad database.  Therefore, you will satisfy the export control review requirement through your education abroad program proposal or program leader requirements profile in the education abroad database.

Minimum Number of Program Leaders

In keeping with best practices in the field of education abroad as well as risk management guidance, two responsible Penn State employees must be present throughout the duration of the program if it is a faculty-led or embedded program of five (5) or more participating undergraduate students. The requirement for dual-employee accompaniment is not applicable for travel involving exclusively graduate students, medical students or law school students.

Approved Education Abroad Program Participants and Guests  

Faculty and staff leaders, along with the Penn State student participants, are approved to travel on education abroad programs. For further information on participant eligibility, please visit Penn State Policy TR01 International Travel Requirements.

Use of Tour Providers

Contracts and agreements with tour providers or other outside agencies must be reviewed by either Procurement Services or the Risk Management Office before signatures are completed. Similarly, contracts with partner universities for services such as housing and transportation must be articulated through a Risk Management-approved contract.

Additional Questions?

If you have questions about the international travel policy and how it affects you, please contact Education Abroad