Professor teaching students outside

Any trip sponsored by Whitman that involves students travelling outside the United States or Canada* 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 Affairs) through a the application process.

* For Canada trips faculty/staff leaders are expected to follow the requirements of their department/program for US domestic trips, such as providing a Trip Roster.  Students traveling to Canada on a Whitman trip are encouraged to purchase iNext international medical insurance (details below). Trip leaders should register all Canada trip participants with the US Department of State STEP program (details below).

Trips are considered Whitman Sponsored if any of the following is true:

  • Whitman faculty or staff are leading the trip with Whitman students
  • Whitman department, office, or student group is organizing the trip
  • Funding from Whitman College is received for the trip, including Perry research trips and academic conferences
  • Whitman credit is earned for the trip

Travel Warnings and Health Risks

  • The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is a top priority at Whitman. When assessing international trips for approval, the College will therefore take into consideration information about the destination from the US Department of State, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), AlertTraveler (our health and security intelligence service), and other relevant sources. We reserve the right to deny approval for a trip or withdraw approval based on health, safety, or security concerns.

College Funds

  • 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 (i.e. purchase airline tickets) until you have received your notification of approval.

Step 1: Complete the online Faculty/Staff-led Trip Approval Form thru myOCS (forthcoming).  Submit the online form at least 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  Approval for such trips may be withdrawn if conditions in the destination countries deteriorate prior to departure.

Step 2: Instruct students to register for the international trip through myOCS (forthcoming) and complete required online pre-departure forms.

Step 3: Follow the CDC's guidance on international travel at the following link  including the recommendation for all trip participants to have a viral test 1-3 days prior to departure.  Approval for trip participation will be withdrawn for any participant whose pre-trip COVID test is positive.

Step 4: Register group with embassy one week prior to departure.  Prior to departure group leaders are responsible for registering all group participants online at the U.S. Embassy in the countries that you will be in through the US Department of State's STEP program so that U.S. officials can contact and assist the group in the event of an emergency.

Step 5: Provide local emergency contact information.  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 pre-departure information with them.

  • Information on how to obtain a passport, and an entry visa (if needed).
  • Description of course/activity including details about credit, prerequisites, and academic expectations
  • Description of physical abilities necessary for the 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.)
  • 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