Ndi Travelsafety Graduates

High Risk Travel

Notre Dame International encourages all Notre Dame travelers to check the U.S. Department of State's Travel Advisories page, the CDC country page, and International SOS'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 appropriate 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 abroad.

High Risk Locations

Any international destination classified with one or more of the following risk indicators:

High Risk Activities (undergraduate students)

Known and/or planned for activities during University-related international travel, 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 ALL University students, faculty, and staff. Depending on the risks associated with international travel, the University reserves the right to review and approve or deny high risk international travel.

This does NOT apply to international travel for personal purposes (leisure travel) or for travel to home countries (unless the travel is University-related).

What do I do if my travel is considered high risk?

Undergraduate Student Process

Travel requests for high risk travel abroad should be submitted as close to 8 weeks prior to departure as possible. The Undergraduate Travel Review 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 Undergraduate Travel Review Committee.

Travel Review Process:

  1. Submit a Travel Registration.
  2. Fill out and return the Travel Risk Management Plan form and proof of dean or vice president travel approval to NDI.
  3. The request will be submitted to the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee, which meets bi-monthly from September to May.
  4. The Undergraduate Travel Review Committee reviews the request and votes to approve or deny.
  5. Director of International Travel Safety informs the traveler of the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee’s decision and next steps.

For more information, please email travelregistry@nd.edu.

Graduate and Professional Students, Faculty, and Staff Process

Travel requests for high risk travel abroad should be submitted as close to 8 weeks prior to departure as possible.

The Travel Review Committee will respond to requests for expedited approval on a case-by-case basis but cannot guarantee review timelines. Travelers should not purchase airline tickets prior to approval from the Travel Review Committee.

Travel Review Process:

  1. Submit a Travel Registration
  2. Director of International Travel Safety will contact the traveler, their supervisor and dean or vice president.
  3. Fill out and return the Travel Risk Management Plan form and proof of dean or vice president travel approval to NDI.
  4. The request will be submitted to the Travel Review Committee, which meets monthly.
  5. The Travel Review Committee reviews the request and makes a recommendation to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization for final determination.
  6. Director of International Travel Safety informs the traveler, their supervisor and the dean or vice president of Travel Review Committee's decision and next steps. Outcomes are:
    1. Permission to travel granted - Travel may proceed without additional health, safety or security mitigation strategies.
    2. Conditional approval granted – Travel may proceed only if new health, safety or security mitigation strategies are introduced. This may require a site security visit and assessment by NDI Travel and Safety or International SOS (at the expense of the department or unit) and/or the creation of a field security plan.
    3. Permission to travel denied.

For more information, please email travelregistry@nd.edu.

About the Travel Review Committees

There are two Travel Review Committees who administer the University’s International Travel Policy and act as the advisory arm of and reports to the Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization: one for undergraduate students (Undergraduate Student Travel Review Committee) and the other for graduate and professional students, faculty and staff (Travel Review Committee).

These Committees are charged with evaluating the health, safety and security of newly proposed and already existing University-related international travel in order to assess whether the risk of travel can be sufficiently mitigated for travelers and the University.

Both Committees host a University-wide body:

  • Members of the Undergraduate Student Travel Review Committee include representation from International Travel and Safety, Student Affairs, Campus Safety and Emergency Management, Treasury Services, Study Abroad, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Center for Social Concerns, and General Counsel.
  • Members of the Travel Review Committee include representation from International Travel and Safety, Human Resources, Campus Safety and Emergency Management, Treasury Services, General Counsel, and Research.

In evaluating travel requests, the Committees will consider various factors, including, but not limited to, the necessity and appropriateness of the proposed travel to the particular destination and at that time period, and the traveler’s personal preparedness and proposed measures for mitigating risks. The Committees will also weigh information from governmental sources (including but not limited to the U.S. Department of State and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), International SOS, the University’s international insurance carriers, and subject matter experts. In all cases, the travelers 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 Warning Level 1 (Green – Practice Usual Precautions) to Level 3 (Red – Avoid All Non-Essential Travel). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC also maintains COVID-19 Warning Levels ranging from Level 1 (Low Risk) to Level 4 (Very High Risk). Notices can be found here.

About International SOS Risk Ratings

International SOS (the University’s 24/7 emergency assistance provider) 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 (as areas within a country - especially large countries - can have elevated risk areas), 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). The full list of State Department Travel Advisories can be found here.