Managing Risks of International Travel
Foreign travel can provide many rewards but also presents many risks. The procedures herein are driven primarily by Executive Orders and are designed to promote a safe travel experience and reduce the likelihood or severity of an injury or loss. These are not comprehensive travel procedures, they are supplementary procedures intended to help reduce risks to students, faculty and the University.
Executive Order 590, Student Air Travel; Executive Order 715, CSU Risk Management Policy; Executive Order 998, Study Abroad
I. Risk Evaluation
Travel should be evaluated to determine if it is safe based on health and political/cultural criteria. Blatantly unsafe travel should not be allowed, or if there is some lesser degree of risk this should be evaluated carefully against the benefit of travel when deciding if the trip will take place. Useful web sites for making this evaluation are the U.S. State Department (http://travel.state.gov/) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (http://www.cdc.gov/travel/) These websites provide status reports on foreign destinations regarding political/cultural and health issues respectively. Travel to countires on the US State Department Travel Warning List or countries deemed high hazard will require approval by the Chancellor's Office.
It is recommended that all employees traveling internationally sign up for the US State Department Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This is a program utilized by the State Department to connect with the traveler, providing information if conditions change or for assistance in an emergency. The traveler need enroll only once and then can update for subsequent trips. The online enrollment site is https://travelregistration.state.gov
EO 715 guidelines suggest conducting an orientation meeting covering a number of relevant topics (see EO 715, p-A3, attached). At the orientation health and safety information, cultural and political issues should be discussed. In addition an emergency plan should be developed. The guidelines also suggest planning procedures and various types of information that should be assembled and distributed to the traveling group.
III. Liability Related Requirements
Foreign travel places a special responsibility on the faculty member to plan for all aspects of student health in the foreign location. Illness and injury are virtually inevitable events in the course of conducting programs abroad.
A. Medical Disclosure
Medical disclosure provides an opportunity for the faculty member to be informed about student medical conditions that may need special treatment and also provides a medical record that may be used in emergency situations. The form required is at the following link: Medical Disclosure and Assumption of Risk form (PDF, 38KB)
B. Air Travel Release Agreement
All students participating in CSU-affiliated programs which require air travel shall be informed in writing that participation in such programs is voluntary and that air travel involves risk to personal safety which could result in damage to property, injury, or death. Students shall be informed in writing that the California State University assumes no liability for damage, injury, or death occurring on such voluntary air travel and that students undertake such travel at their own risk.
All students participating in CSU-affiliated programs which require air travel shall be required to acknowledge that they have been informed of the risks of air travel required by such programs and to sign a statement certifying that they have been informed of and undertake such air travel voluntarily with full knowledge of such risks, and release and hold harmless the California State University and related entities from any and all claims and causes of action that the student, or any person(s) claiming through the student, may have against any of the above State entities, by reason of any accident, illness, or injuries, death , or other consequences resulting directly or indirectly from or in any manner arising out of, or in connection with, the student being a passenger on a flight. The required form is at the following link: Release and Hold-Harmless Agreement - Air Travel Notice, Release and Hold Harmless form (PDF, 26KB)
C. General Release Agreement
All participants should sign a general release prior to the trip. Voluntary participants (any non-student, non-employee, or person not required to go by University) must sign a general release as a condition of participation. The form for this General Release is at the following link: Release of Liability (PDF, 953KB)
IV. Insurance Requirement - CSU Foreign Travel Liability Insurance Policy (FTLIP) is required for foreign travel
The systemwide California State University Risk Management Authority maintains a foreign travel insurance policy. All CSUCI employees traveling abroad on University sponsored activities are required to enroll in this program. This insurance is not intended for students in the study abroad program, however it is strongly recommended for students on short term international travel. Enrollment is accomplished by providing the following information to the campus Environment, Safety and Risk Management office (X8847):
Purpose of travel
Name of each employee/student traveler
Dates of departure and return
Name of faculty member traveling with student
Number of non-student, non-employees traveling with the student/employee
Any special needs
This insurance does not apply within the US or in a war-risk or other high-risk country. The policy provides injury and excess auto liability coverage, coverage for emergency medical care, evacuation and repatriation, access to multilingual medical providers, as well as personal, travel, legal and security assistance services. Trips should be reported as soon as practical but never less than 10 business days prior to departure.
A premium is assessed based on length of travel time, and should be included in the total cost of the trip. Current premium rates are approximately $50 per trip per traveler.
Once enrolled, a "Travel Assist" card iwill be provided that identifies the holder as insured, and contains contact numbers for each of the services provided by this insurance program. It is important that travellers possess this card prior to departure.
V. Additional Insurance Options
It is recommended that participants who are not a student, faculty or staff member maintain individual health insurance and obtain emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage for the duration of thier foreign travel.
VI. Study Abroad (i.e. year-long enrollment at a foreign university) Insurance
The CSU Study Abroad program is administered through International Programs at the CSU Chancellor's Office; link is http://www.calstate.edu/ip/ . The FTLP insurance program does not apply to study abroad students. Study abroad students must have air travel insurance covering property loss, and bodily injury including death, and they must also have health insurance coverage in the foreign destination. Study abroad students are automatically enrolled in requisite insurance through "CSU Health Link " during the program application process. This insurance for credit-bearing programs provides basic medical and accident coverage for the student. The following web site provides a detailed description of the insurance: www.csuhealthlink.com.
Executive Order 715 Attach. A-3
RISK MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES – INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
1. Every trip should require attendance at one orientation meeting (minimum) where the following information should be covered:
2. Arrangements for any out-of-country visas, immunizations, etc.
3. Discuss travel and packing tips, medical and health concerns, modes of transportation, hours of departure and return.
4. Review background information pertaining to upcoming cultural differences that a student may experience while visiting foreign countries.
5. Obtain waivers and health forms. Participants should file a waiver for medical treatment and a health questionnaire explaining any special medical problems or needs to the trip leader.
6. Remind participants to carry sufficient personal medication supplies and physician documentation for medication to last the length of travel or to replace medication lost during the trip.
7. Review emergency preparedness processes and the crisis response plan.
8. Provide current health and safety information to participants (i.e. prophylactic precautions, viral infections carried by insects and how to protect themselves against known infectious disease breakouts – check with the World Health Organization). Provide information about emergency medical assistance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation procedures. Review options for medical insurance coverage for foreign travel.
9. Identify health and safety products or services that may not be available at overseas locations.
10. Conduct orientation briefings once the destination is reached which include information on health and safety, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in the host country.
11. Communicate codes of conduct for staff and students, addressing such issues as fraternizing, consuming alcohol, controlling activities and conduct during "free time." Advise participants of the consequences of non-compliance and take appropriate action when aware that participants are in violation.
12. Review CI Center for International Affairs policies and procedures.