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Reporting Student Travel

Reporting Student Travel

UGA Procedure for Global Student Mobility Activities

Education Abroad incorporates a number of student activities conducted overseas, including short-term visits, study abroad, student bilateral exchanges, and experiential learning projects, such as internships, practicums, etc. To ensure continued safe and academically meaningful international experiences for UGA students, faculty and staff should be aware of the approval processes necessary to establish and renew education abroad activities.

When Do Approval Processes Apply?

All education abroad activities recommended to students by UGA faculty or staff must be submitted by the faculty or staff member to the UGA Office of International Education for review prior to student travel. Depending on the type of education abroad activity, additional approval and partnership documentation steps may be required. Education abroad activities requiring review include, but are not limited to, faculty-led study abroad, exchange and residential center programs as well as any instance where a UGA employee facilitates international student travel or recommends a particular international activity to a UGA student.

Academic or engagement programs that invite international students to UGA, and require some form of visa sponsorship, will also need to comply with institutional criteria and standards (please click here for more information). When in doubt, please contact the Office of International Education (studyaway@uga.edu) or refer to the full policy governing education abroad approval requirements here.

What Approval Processes Apply?

Actions necessary to establish a new education abroad activity depend on the nature of the proposed activity. Prior to recommending any education abroad activity, faculty should complete the online form. Faculty/staff will then be contacted by the Office of International Education to discuss procedures applicable to the specific activity and situation.

In general, all education abroad activities require student registration, and many require approval and documentation through the Office of International Education. Faculty/staff should not recommend or facilitate education abroad activities without reporting them to OIE. Faculty/staff should identify the education abroad activity from the list below that describes the activity and click on the step-by-step instructions to see which procedures apply.
Short-term Visits (including performances)
Definition: Short-term visits are not-for-credit international experiences lasting less than one month that are NOT formal or recurring Study Abroad Programs. Expenses for short-term visits are handled by students themselves outside of student accounts. Examples may include international performances, academic conferences, meetings, competitions and service trips among others. Short-term visits may either be offered by a university or operated by international education organizations. Some short-term trips may occur during breaks in the academic year or academic terms.

For short-term visits abroad, faculty/staff should advise students to:
Step 1 Register with OIE. Travel Warning/Alert locations may require additional steps.
Step 2 Obtain adequate insurance.
Step 3 Register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Step 4 Participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.
Additional steps may be required depending on the nature of the visit and the supervision that will be present. Short-term visits planning to utilize student accounts to arrange charges will be subject to approval. Please consult with the Office of International Education (studyaway@uga.edu) for more information.
Study Abroad Programs (inclusive of programs hosted at UGA Residential Centers)
Definition: A Study Abroad Program is an approved, credit-bearing education abroad experience that results in progress toward an academic degree at UGA. Such experiences are typically overseen or administered by the UGA Office of International Education. UGA Faculty-Led Programs/UGA Residential Centers are OIE-approved programs where students can study with UGA faculty and other UGA students. Students can earn UGA resident credit, register through Athena, and pay UGA tuition/fees at an in-state rate. While faculty-led programs mostly take place during Maymester/summer with a planned schedule and planned activities, students may also participate in semester-long options at UGA residential centers. UGA Faculty-Led Programs have a variety of housing and classroom spaces. The three UGA Residential Centers, based in Oxford, England, Costa Rica, and Cortona, Italy, offer their own housing and facilities.

Proposing a New Program
When wishing to propose a new study abroad program, faculty/staff should follow these steps:
Step 1 Schedule a meeting with the Director of Education Abroad by contacting studyaway@uga.edu or 706-542-2900
Step 2 Explore the online Study Abroad Program Proposal Portal
Step 3 Obtain official approval from the Academic Unit (department/college) administration
Step 4 Submit required documentation into the Study Abroad Program Proposal Portal
Step 5 Upon receiving OIE approval - start program marketing and organization of logistics
Specific processes governs the establishment of new study abroad programs. For full guidance, please see here.

Reapproving an Existing Program
In order to continue to offer an existing study abroad program, the program director should follow these steps in advance of every term the program intends to run:
Step 1 Secure official program reapproval from the Academic Unit (department/college) administration.
Step 2 Submit required documentation into the Study Abroad Program Reapproval Portal
Step 3 Upon receiving OIE approval - continue program marketing and organization of logistics
Specific processes governs the annual review of previously approved study abroad programs. For full guidance, please see here.
Independent Experiences (Internships & Fieldwork)
Definition: Internships are programs abroad that provide students with temporary on-the-job training in a certain industry. Students typically complete these programs for academic credit and, in some cases, may be paid for their work. Fieldwork involves quantitative and/or qualitative research and instructional hours that, while supervised and initiated by an instructor, feature independent work and self-direction outside of a laboratory, library, or classroom setting.

Prior to recommending any internships or fieldwork abroad, faculty should complete the online form.

Internships
Students traveling for internships arranged or facilitated by faculty/staff must be advised by the same faculty/staff to take the following steps:
Step 1 Register with OIE. Travel Warning/Alert locations may require additional steps.
Step 2 Obtain adequate insurance.
Step 3 Register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Step 4 Participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.

Additional notes:
Fieldwork
Students traveling for fieldwork arranged or facilitated by faculty/staff must be advised by the same faculty/staff to take the following steps:
Step 1 Register with OIE. Travel Warning/Alert locations may require additional steps.
Step 2 Obtain adequate insurance.
Step 3 Register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Step 4 Participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.

Additional notes:
Student Exchanges

Definition: UGA Exchanges are programs in which UGA students attend a partner institution overseas for either a semester or an academic year. UGA students can take courses at partner institutions for credits that can be applied towards their UGA degree. Participants pay UGA at in-state tuition rates, as well as living costs abroad.

When wishing to propose a new student exchange, faculty/staff should follow these steps:
Step 1 Review information developed by the Office of International Education available here.
Step 2 Discuss plans for academic exchange with Education Abroad staff and Academic Unit (department/college) administration.
Step 3 Submit required documentation to propose an exchange to be reviewed by the UGA Exchange Committee.
Step 4 Upon receiving OIE approval, work with OIE to set up an online program page and promote the program to students.
Step 5 Students apply for the program via the online Portal, their candidacies are reviewed. Accepted students are guided by OIE to apply to the host schools.
Step 6 Students participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.
Step 7 Students obtain adequate insurance.
Because of their duration and potential financial impact, specific provisions govern the establishment of student exchange programs. For full guidance, see here.
Non-UGA Programs
Definition: Non-UGA Programs are programs that are either provided by another institution or by an education abroad provider. The length of external programs and costs may vary, but there may be many options to choose from in terms of location and courses. These programs are typically the best way to arrange internships, service-learning, and teaching abroad opportunities.

For Non-UGA Programs:
Step 1 All third party programs specifically recommended to students, or for which faculty/staff provide logistical assistance, must be documented through a properly reviewed and executed contract with the university. Contact the International Partnerships Unit for additional guidance.
Step 2 Students must be advised by faculty/staff to register with OIE prior to their travel. Travel Warning/Alert locations may require additional steps.
Step 3 Students must register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Step 4 Students must participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.
Step 5 Students obtain adequate insurance.
Student Organization Activities
Definition: Student organization activities are trips abroad organized by and for student organizations that fall within the official scope of activity of the student organization. Examples of relevant student organization activities abroad include: international organization conferences or other organization meetings; international civic and community engagement projects; group internships or research; or organizationally-sponsored site visits or events.

For student organization activities, faculty/staff should advise students to:
Step 1 Register with OIE. Travel Warning/Alert locations may require additional steps.
Step 2 Obtain adequate insurance.
Step 3 Register their trip with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Step 4 Participate in an OIE pre-departure orientation.

For full details, please see the Pre-Departure Procedures for Non-credit Student Mobility Activities.
Policy on the Requirement for Faculty/Staff to Submit Education Abroad Activity for Review

Policy on the Requirement for Faculty and Staff to Submit Education Abroad Activity that is Recommended to Students for Review by the Office of International Education

The University of Georgia is subject to specific responsibilities for the safety and wellbeing of students who participate in UGA education abroad programs, including certain responsibilities under Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972. While students can and do travel independently, it is important to keep in mind that efforts to assist students in planning international travel can give rise to institutional responsibilities even if such travel takes place outside of a UGA faculty-led study abroad, exchange or residential center program.

Responsibility to Seek Approval for Education Abroad Activities

Before recommending any education abroad activity to students, UGA faculty or staff must submit a description of the activity to the UGA Office of International Education for review. Depending on the type of education abroad activity, additional approval and partnership documentation steps may be required by OIE as part of the review process. For a complete explanation of the submission process, including definitions of the types of education abroad activity and step-by-step instructions for faculty and staff, please visit the Education Abroad website or contact studyaway@uga.edu.

Education abroad activities requiring review include, but are not limited to, faculty-led study abroad, exchange and residential center programs as well as any instance where a UGA employee facilitates international student travel or recommends a particular international activity to a UGA student.

A non-exhaustive list of faculty and staff interactions that may give rise to institutional responsibility for student safety and which require review of the particular education abroad activity include instances when a faculty or staff member does any of the following:

  • Makes logistical or academic arrangements on behalf of the student with respect to a particular education abroad activity;
  • Facilitates financial support for a particular education abroad activity;
  • Reviews or approves the education abroad activity in advance as satisfying UGA credit hour or credential requirements;
  • Approves the education abroad activity as part of an organized student experience associated with the University;
  • Maintains a list of “approved” or “recommended” education abroad activities; or
  • Recommends a particular education abroad activity to a student, or otherwise makes statements that would lead a reasonable student or parent to believe that a particular education abroad activity is sponsored, supported or recommended by the University of Georgia.
The following faculty and staff efforts would not normally require OIE review because the University of Georgia is not recommending, providing advice for, or funding a specific identifiable education abroad activity, thereby leaving it up to the students’ discretion whether to participate in education abroad activities, and which activity to choose:
  • Advising a student to participate in education abroad activities generally, provided the choice of destination is left to the discretion of the student and students are advised of their responsibilities, as described below;
  • Establishing academic or enrichment programs that permit or require international travel, including international internship or fieldwork programs, provided the choice of destination is left to the discretion of the student and the student is properly advised, as described below;
  • Identifying general funding sources to facilitate international student travel, as long as funds are not directed to a specific identifiable education abroad activity;
  • Discussing general transfer credit policy or procedures for international study;
  • Hosting events where students discuss prior international experiences generally; or
  • Discussion of safety and security matters related to international travel and education abroad.

This policy recognizes that the University’s involvement in various types of education abroad activities exists on a spectrum, and this document does not address every possible manner of University involvement in education abroad. In the event faculty or staff have questions about whether a student education abroad activity requires documentation or approval, please contact OIE (studyaway@uga.edu or 706-542-2900) for guidance.

Responsibility to Advise Students

In addition to submitting education abroad activities for review by the Office of International Education, and regardless of whether approval by OIE is required in a particular instance, faculty and staff must advise students traveling internationally for education abroad, inclusive of internship or research fieldwork activities, to register their travel with the UGA Office of International Education, obtain suitable insurance and attend a safety orientation prior to departure. Additional details regarding these obligations can be found at the Education Abroad website.

Criteria for a non-credit/non-education abroad international activity to be UGA-sponsored

Non-credit/non-education abroad international activity is considered UGA-sponsored if it meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Funded, in full or in part, by/through UGA and regardless of purpose (conference, research, field studies, performance, competition, service learning, etc.) and funding source (foundation, grant, etc.);
  • Reviewed and approved the activity as satisfying UGA non-credit credential requirements
  • Undertaken by a registered student organization representing University of Georgia or otherwise using the name or branded as associated with “University of Georgia”;
  • Actively arranged or advised by UGA faculty or staff (examples include: signing off on university documents or agreements associated with the travel, accessing funds from a student organization account; facilitating overseas placement in lab/other setting; arranging overseas logistics (e.g., housing); facilitating Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, etc.);
  • Accompanied by a UGA faculty or staff member in the capacity of his/her employment;