MSU International Travel and Compliance Overview 

     Montana State University (MSU) recognizes and supports the international expertise of its faculty, the essential importance of conducting research abroad, and the importance of providing its graduates with global and multicultural understanding. The University must balance the educational value of participation in international activities with the potential risks of those activities to its students, faculty, and staff. The International Travel Policy is intended to address the risks of international travel in a comprehensive and consistent manner. It seeks to provide resources to assist students, faculty, and staff in preparing for safe and successful international travel and is intended to promote the health, safety, and security of all members of the University community while traveling abroad.  This policy is designed to support the international engagement of its students, faculty, and staff in a responsible manner (100.00). 

     MSU's International Travel Policy can be viewed here MSU International Travel Policy, and it applies to all MSU campuses. All students, staff, faculty, or other participants (chaperones, high school students, students from other universities, alumni, or other non-students) undertaking international travel under the auspices of the university, including support such as sponsored research grants, contracts, F&A funds, are required to obtain necessary approvals and register their international travel MSU International Travel Registry. Travelers must be aware that MSU reserves the right to suspend or prohibit international travel to any destination for the health, safety, security (or other) risks and/or any violations of regulations or the University policies.

    

 

Steps to Pursue Travel Authorization
            Unaffiliated Travelers
            Faculty, Staff, Graduate Students
            Undergraduate Students
            Faculty-lead and Group International Travel
Health and Safety
             STEP Program 
             COVID-19 Pandemic
             MSU Emergency Response Manual For International Programs

 

Steps to Pursue Travel Authorization

Alert: Travelers should utilize US Department of State Travel Advisories website to determine assess global security and safety risks (Travel Advisory Level):  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

Screen shot of a travel advisory search for Keyna in 2022. Chart results show Kenya is ranked at a level 2 travel advisory, Exercise Increased Caution. The line below explains caution is reccommended due to terrorism, COVID-19, and kidnapping risk. There are several message links below that from the Embassy, etc.

Faculty and Staff

*(GRA/GTA’s on funded research under faculty PI fall into this category)

Travel Advisory Level 1-2 Countries

Travel Advisory Level 1-2 Destinations on the CDC and/or US Department of State Travel Advisory Level, travel is allowed.

Steps for International Travel Registration
  1. Obtain financial/department approval for your travel:
  2. Obtain GeoBlue International Travelers’ Insurance required by the university,
  3. Develop a detailed Personal Emergency Plan,
  4. Register travel in the MSU International Travel Registry - when prompted, upload your emergency plan, GeoBlue Insurance Card, and a notice of travel approval,
  5. Sign up for and complete a mandatory UHP Travel Health & Safety Class by emailing [email protected]
  6. Attend a mandatory OIP Pre-departure Orientation, email [email protected] to schedule,
  7. Enjoy your travels! Remember to follow guidance from the University’s Alert Traveler system upon departure and during travel.

 

Travel Advisory Level 3-4 Countries

Travel Advisory Level 3-4 Destinations on the CDC and/or US Department of State Travel Advisory Level, travel is allowed upon approval by CITSRC.

Any University international travel proposed by a University Traveler to or through any country for which a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory (Level 3 or 4) or a Center for Disease Control and Prevention Warning Level 3 is in effect, must be reviewed and approved in advance of travel by the Campus International Travel Safety Review Committee (302.00).

Steps for International Travel Approval/Registration to Level 3-4 Country
  1. Obtain supervisor and financial approval for your travel:
  2. File a Petition for International Travel and upload a detailed Personal Emergency Plan,
  3. Once the above are approved, obtain GeoBlue International Travelers’ Insurance required by the university,
  4. Register travel in the MSU International Travel Registry - when prompted, upload your emergency plan, GeoBlue Insurance Card, and a notice of travel approval,
  5. Sign up for and complete a mandatory UHP Travel Health & Safety Class by emailing [email protected]
  6. Attend a mandatory OIP Pre-departure Orientation, email [email protected] to schedule,
  7. Enjoy your travels! Remember to follow guidance from the University’s Alert Traveler system upon departure and during travel.

Unaffiliated Travelers

Unaffiliated Travelers not employed by MSU or enrolled as a full or part-time student participating in an MSU international travel program must complete and submit the following forms: 

Undergraduate Students

Travel Advisory Level 1-2 Countries

Travel Advisory Level 1-2 Destinations on the CDC and/or US Department of State Travel Advisory Level, destination is allowed.

Note: Individual students traveling as part of a Registered Student Organization must also receive approval from the Office of Student Engagement or equivalent office on the relevant campus. Registered Student Organization Travel Form,

Steps for Undergraduate International Travel Approval
  1. Apply to study abroad/international exchange program,
  2. Get acceptance to program (based on program criteria),
  3. Complete post-acceptance application requirements; 
    • Sign up for and complete a mandatory UHP Travel Health & Safety Class by emailing [email protected]
    • Attend a mandatory OIP Pre-departure Orientation,
    • Read and sign Study Abroad Participation Agreement,
    • Review Study Abroad Policies,
  4. Register in international traveler health insurance;
  5. Enter travel (including any side trips/personal travel) in the student “itinerary record” which is part of your study abroad account,
  6. Students have access to the Alter Traveler benefits which link to the itinerary record travel log.
  7. Have an amazing time!

 

Health and Safety Notes:

  • Students are guided to access and review the “Resources” page on the OIP website and on the UHP Travel Clinic website.
  • Students must provide an emergency contact in their Banner My Info and are advised to keep this up to date while abroad. During orientation, students are informed that email will be the primary form of contact from MSU, so this continues to be their responsibility to check email communications on a regular basis.
  • Students are encouraged to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and explore Cancellation & Interruption for Any Reason (CFAR/IFAR) insurance.
  • Students with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the affiliated campus officer responsible for administering the campus program.

 

Travel Advisory Level 3-4 Countries

Travel Advisory Level 3-4 Destinations on the CDC and/or US Department of State Travel Advisory Level, travel is not allowed

Students may not participate in any education abroad experience in destinations subject to a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory (Level 3 or 4) to satisfy a degree requirement (304.50).

Faculty-lead and Group International Travel Programs

Faculty Led and Group International Travel program proposals require departmental approval as well as an MSU Emergency Communication Plan as part of the proposal submission. Please contact The Office of International Programs at [email protected] for more information.

 

Health & Safety Resources

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The University recommends that all international travelers who are U.S. citizens register information of their planned travel with the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.  STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

COVID-19 Pandemic Safety

To address ongoing the COVID-19 health risks, the Pre-Departure Orientation and Travel Health and Safety Orientation will include advisory content. The content does imply that COVID vaccinations are required by MSU. Rather, the content is to serve as advisory information and guide travelers to resources and recommendations to follow:

  • These sources include the CDC and US Department of State.
  • Travelers are be advised that each country has its own entry requirements that the traveler is responsible for understanding and adhering to as part of their travel preparations.
  • Travelers must also be advised that the situation is constantly changing, so it is the responsibility to understand the changing guidance of host countries.
  • Travelers are responsible for identifying and addressing physical and mental health concerns as possible prior to travel; appointments are available through UHP for students and with community providers for faculty and staff.

CORONAVIRUS (Covid-19): All University international travel to any country for which a Center for Disease Control and Prevention and/or U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory is a Level 4 must be reviewed and approved in advance of travel by the Campus International Travel Safety Review Committee (CITSRC).
CDC Coronavirus Information for Travelers can be found here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. The US Department of State (USDOS) information regarding international travel an be found here:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html.

MSU Emergency Response Manual for International Programs

The MSU Emergency Response Manual for International Programs is a detailed handbook to help familiarize a traveler with procedures and possible crisis that may occur while abroad. It covers defining an "emergency, decision making in a crisis, emergency evacuations, pre-crisis procedures, faculty and student preparation, and management of specific risk areas. It is to be considered a guide and a reminder that communication is crucial in the event of an emergency.

Additional Resources 

  • Cancellation & Interruption for Any Reason Insurance (CFAR/IFAR)
    MSU recommends that travelers consider purchasing Cancellation & Interruption for Any Reason (CFAR/IFAR) insurance for domestic and international trips. While this is not a requirement, CFAR/IFAR insurance can help protect your investment in your trip in the event the trip is canceled before departing or interrupted during a trip for any reason and, depending on the policy, it could also extend to reasons related to COVID-19. Click here for more information.

 

 

 Questions or Comments?

International Travel & Compliance
+1 (406) 994-4031
[email protected]

 

Group of MSU international travelers studying French and teaching English abroad.