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 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

  • 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: Download and complete Faculty/Staff-led Trip Approval Form.  Submit electronically to Laura Cummings at 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  Approval for such trips may be withdrawn if conditions in the destination countries deteriorate prior to departure.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: Download and complete the following pre-departure forms. The faculty trip leader is responsible for distributing and collecting the forms from each student participant.  The completed forms should then be submitted as a group altogether 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.
  • iNext Travel Insurance Enrollment Form It is required of all student participants and it is expected that staff and faculty leaders will purchase iNext Travel Insurance for themselves to augment coverage they have through Whitman.  Trip leaders should either figure the cost of the cards into the budget for the trip or inform the students that they will need to pay for the iNext Travel Insurance ($15 - $52 per person) on top of the trip fees.
  • Trip leaders should obtain a photocopy of each student's passport to verify validity.  Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the date the student plans to return to the U.S.
  • International students should meet with Greg Lecki, Associate Director of the Intercultural Center for International Student Support Services, to make sure that their paperwork is in order so that they may legally reenter the U.S. 
  • The final itinerary includes flight numbers and accommodation addresses and telephone numbers with relevant dates
  • Emergency Contact Sheet (provides a cell phone number(s) for trip leader(s) and other emergency contact information)

Step 3: 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 4: 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