Faculty-led Trips

International Trip Approvals

Any trip sponsored by Whitman that involves students travelling outside the United States must be approved by the College.  Depending on which department is sponsoring the trip, the approval will come from the Provost (Academic) or the Dean of Students (Student Services) through an application submitted to the Off-Campus Studies Office, Mem 204.

A trip is considered "Whitman sponsored" if any one of the following is true:

  • Whitman credit is earned for the trip
  • A Whitman faculty or staff member is leading the trip with Whitman students
  • The trip is organized by a Whitman department, office or student organization
  • The trip is receiving funding from Whitman College

The College normally does not approve trips to destinations with a US Department of State Travel Warning recommending that US citizens defer non-essential travel and higher-level warnings.  Similarly, trips to destinations with high health risks based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) advisories will also normally not be approved.

College funds will not be released until the trip has received final approval by the appropriate Budget Officer under this process.  For that reason, we highly recommend that you do not make financial commitments (ie purchase airline tickets) until you have received your notification of approval.

Faculty/Staff-led International Trips include:

  • Faculty-led trips for credit (For example, credit-bearing spring break and summer trips)
  • Faculty-led trips not for credit (For example, academic conferences and Perry research trips)
  • Athletic trips

STEP 1: SUBMIT REQUIRED TRIP APPROVAL FORM - 3 months prior to departure

Faculty trip leaders should download and submit the Faculty/Staff-led Trip Approval Form to the Off-Campus Studies Office, Mem 204 no later than 3 months prior to departure.

Notification about trip approval will be issued by the Provost's Office.  Approval for such trips may be withdrawn if conditions in the destination countries deteriorate prior to departure.

Faculty/Staff-led Trip Approval Form (please download)

STEP 2: SUBMIT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS - 1 month prior to departure

After submitting the Faculty-led Trip Approval Form, the faculty trip leader is responsible for distributing and collecting the following completed pre-departure forms from each of the students.  The completed student forms should then be submitted as a group all together by the trip leader to the Off-Campus Studies Office at least 1 month prior to departure.

  • Dean of Students Clearance Form - This form will be used by the Off-Campus Studies Office to send the list of names of the participants to the Dean of Students Office to make sure that participants have no history of discipline or other nonacademic problems that the trip leader would want to know about. Trip leaders should wait until receiving word from the Dean of Students Office before formally accepting students as a participant on a trip and before purchasing airline tickets.
  • Health & Liability Waiver with the CDC immunization recommendations and U.S. State Department Travel Advisories for countries to be visited attached for students to review.
  • Proof of Insurance (demonstrates student is covered while abroad)
  • ISIC Application (benefits include medical evacuation insurance)
  • Final itinerary includes flight numbers and accommodation addresses and telephone numbers with relevant dates
  • Emergency Contact Sheet (provides cell phone number(s) for trip leader(s) and other emergency contact information)

STEP 3: REGISTER GROUP WITH EMBASSY - 1 week prior to departure

Prior to departure group leaders are responsible for registering all group participants on-line at the U.S. Embassy in the countries that you will be in so that U.S. officials can contact and assist the group in the event of an emergency.

STEP 4: PROVIDE LOCAL EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO. - immediately upon arrival

Immediately upon arrival overseas group leaders should provide participants with local emergency contact information, such as how to reach the faculty director after hours and where to go for medical attention.


To help the students have realistic expectations for their foreign experience, Whitman faculty/staff taking students abroad should provide students with appropriate pre-departure information. Guidelines for pre-departure information are described below. While it is the faculty/staff leader's responsibility to organize the pre-departure information, the Off-Campus Studies Office can provide suggestions for sources of information.

In addition, the faculty trip leader should encourage participants to notify their parents of participation in the trip and share the predeparture information with them.

  • Information on how to obtain a passports and visa if required
  • Description of course/activity including details about credit, prerequisites and academic expectations
  • Description of physical abilities necessary for activity (e.g. strenuous hiking)
  • Calendar and itinerary
  • Program cost, availability of financial aid and billing procedures
  • Description of housing and living conditions
  • Banking and money matters (ATM, Travelers Checks, etc.)
  • Description of local conditions including access to medical facilities, road safety, health risks, crime, attitudes toward Americans
  • Cultural norms and taboos
  • Appropriate clothing, luggage and other items to bring
  • Emergency contact information for the student group while abroad such as e-mail address, fax and telephone numbers for participants to give to their parents