Notre Dame International encourages all Notre Dame travelers to check the U.S. Department of State's Travel Advisories page and CDC country page, and University's 24/7 Emergency Assistance Provider's member portal when planning international trips. When doing so, however, you may discover that your travel is high risk and that your trip must be reviewed by the Travel Review Committee.
What is high risk travel?
High Risk Travel is defined as international travel to a high risk location and/or consisting of the participation in high risk activities.
- High Risk Location: International travel destinations classified as a Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State at travel.state.gov or travel health notice warning Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov/travel/notices.
High Risk Activities: Known and/or planned for activities during Notre Dame-Sponsored International Travel time, which obligate risk mitigation considerations and practices. Activities include but are not limited to:
- activities excluded from Notre Dame International insurance coverage
- use of power tools, engaging in construction type activities, using farm implements, operating heavy machinery
- handling of bio-hazardous materials (e.g. blood products, bodily fluids, etc.)
- working in a lab without a lab safety course available
- performing medical procedures of any kind
- operation of a motorized vehicle
- visiting an area known for high risks: refugee camps, areas of known disease (e.g. garbage dumps, high risk mosquito related disease areas, highly contagious disease areas, etc.)
Who at Notre Dame must have High Risk Travel reviewed?
This applies to:
- Undergraduate students on Notre Dame International Travel
This does NOT apply to:
- Graduate and professional student, faculty, and staff international travel is not within the scope of the Travel Review Committee.
- The Travel Review Committee does not review international travel for personal purposes (leisure travel) or for international students traveling to their home country unless the travel is funded or sponsored by the University.
What do I do if my travel is considered high risk?
Any undergraduate student traveling to a high risk location and/or participation in high risk activities abroad must obtain approval for an exception to the Undergraduate Student International Travel Policy from the Travel Review Committee.
Applications for exceptions for travel to high risk locations and/or participation in high risk activities abroad should be submitted as close to 8 weeks prior to departure as possible. The Committee will respond to requests for expedited approval on a case-by-case basis but cannot guarantee review timelines. Undergraduate students or departments should not purchase airline tickets prior to approval from the Travel Review Committee.
- Submit your Travel Registration. Your initial questionnaire will be reviewed by NDI and the Committee Chair will promptly contact you.
- Fill out and return the Travel Risk Management Plan form to NDI.
- Committee chair will submit the request to the Committee, which meets bimonthly from September to May.
- Committee reviews the request and votes to approve or deny the request.
- Committee Chair informs traveler of Committee’s decision and next steps.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Travel Review Committee administers the University’s Undergraduate Student International Travel Policy and acts as the advisory arm of and reports to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization.
The Committee is charged with evaluating the health, safety and security of newly proposed and already existing Notre Dame-Sponsored International Travel, to include both credit-bearing and non-credit bearing for both individual students or groups, in order to assess whether the risk of travel to a particular destination can be sufficiently mitigated for travelers and the University.
The Committee hosts a University-wide body which includes members of Notre Dame International, Student Affairs, Campus Safety and Emergency Management, Risk Management and Insurance, the Keough School of Global Affairs, and General Counsel.
In evaluating applications, the Committee will consider various factors, including, but not limited to, the academic necessity and appropriateness of the proposed travel to the particular destination and at that time period, and the Undergraduate Student’s personal preparedness, proposed measures for mitigating risks. The Committee will also weigh information from governmental sources (including but not limited to the US Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the University’s 24/7 Emergency Assistance Provider, the University’s international insurance carriers, and subject matter experts. In all cases, the student is best served by demonstrating a robust travel risk management plan.
About C.D.C. Travel Notices
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues travel health notices to disseminate information about health conditions, within a particular country. These designations range from Level 1 (Green – Practice Usual Precautions) to Level 3 (Red – Avoid All Non-Essential Travel). Notices can be found here.
About the University’s 24/7 Emergency Assistance Provider Risk Ratings
International SOS assigns a travel security risk rating for each country and most major cities ranging from insignificant (lowest) to extreme (highest). The travel security risk rating evaluates the threat posed to travelers and expatriates by political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) as well as violent and petty crime. Other factors, such as the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country's susceptibility to natural disasters are also considered where they are of sufficient magnitude to impact the overall risk environment for travelers. Please note that country risk rating levels and city risk rating levels can differ, so it is important to check both and understand the difference is risk levels for your destination.
In addition, International SOS also assigns a separate medical risk rating for each country in the world ranging from insignificant (lowest) to extreme (highest). Both risk rating systems, along with travel health and safety information and advice, can be found on the International SOS member portal.
About U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
The U.S. Department of State assigns each country (and often times areas within countries) in the world a travel advisory level ranging from one to four (1 – Exercise Normal Precautions; 2 – Exercise Increased Caution; 3 – Reconsider Travel; 4 – Do Not Travel). Often times, countries will have a higher level advisory assigned to specific areas within (example: Mexico is a Level 2 at the country level but there are several states within Mexico that are designated Level 3 or Level 4).
Displayed below are the ten most current Level 3 and 4 advisories. The full list of State Department Travel Advisories, as well as the latest Worldwide Caution, can be found here.