International Risk Management
International Risk Management supports the health, safety and security of all Ohio State travelers conducting study, research or university business abroad. International Risk Management seeks to enable international travel, projects and operations by mitigating risks to individuals and the university. International Risk Management provides risk ratings and assessments, coordinates incident response and emergency action plans, and manages crisis response in support of students, faculty and staff traveling abroad annually.
Supports the health and safety of all students traveling internationally:
- Undergraduate student traveling with an independent program not affiliated with Ohio State
- Graduate students
- Undergraduate students traveling with faculty
- Undergraduate students traveling on an OIA-approved program
- Undergraduate Student traveling on a non-OIA program (i.e. Buckeye Serve)
Students Traveling Internationally
Non-University Student Organization Travel
Registration is not required for students traveling with a registered student organization; however, students traveling with registered student organizations are still encouraged to participate in the international travel registration protocol.
Student Organization Travel
Students traveling on University-approved programs administered by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) or University-managed programs must complete the required registration as part of their application and admission processes.
- International Travel Policy Committee guidelines
- Student groups or organizations that are traveling abroad on programming not organized by the OIA should submit a Group International Travel Form in advance of their travel. The form collects basic information about the travel for the University’s international risk and emergency protocol. The form should be initiated at least 60-days in advance of the proposed travel.
- More information on planning student group or organization travel can be found at https://oia.osu.edu/getting-started/ways-to-go-abroad/student-organization-travel.html.
Review traveler safety and security information prior to traveling abroad
Prepare Emergency Contact numbers
In order to act swiftly in the event of an emergency, travelers should carry the following numbers both in written documents, as well as entered into any mobile phone they will be utilizing during travel Enter
- The Ohio State 24/7 International Emergency Phone Line: +1-614-292-6677. (Can accept collect calls from abroad.)
- GeoBlue Global Health and Safety Services: +1-610-254-8771. (Can accept collect calls from abroad.)
- The local equivalent of 911 for the country in which you are traveling. Keep in mind that in many countries there may be a different number for police, fire and ambulance. In addition, bear in mind that responders may not be proficient in English, and access and response times may vary depending on your location.
- The standard number and emergency after hours number for the local U.S. (or your country of citizenship) Embassy or Consulate for the country or region in which you are traveling.
- The number for your in-country contact (if you are traveling on an Ohio State managed program, this should be the number for your faculty or staff resident director).
- A personal emergency contact for a family or friend back in the United States.
For Faculty and Staff Traveling Internationally with Students
University Faculty & Staff Traveling with Students defined
University student travel abroad is defined as any travel by a student related to their academic or co-curricular career at the University.
For the purpose of this section, University travel with students is defined as any travel of students that is coordinated or led by University faculty and staff. This is not solely limited to study abroad programs or credit-bearing opportunities. It includes any travel wherein students are recruited to travel by University faculty and staff in their roles at the University using University facilities and resources (e.g. classroom recruiting, department listservs) to promote the travel. It also includes any travel funded with university administered resources (grants, scholarships) or where credit is awarded or degree requirements (capstone, thesis, dissertation, etc.) fulfilled.
University Credit-Bearing Travel
University faculty and staff interested in developing credit-bearing opportunities for education abroad should consult the following resources
Obtain approval to Travel to Risk Designated Countries
The provost appointed ITPC establishes guidelines and operating procedures for University travel. University faculty travel with students to any risk designated country must be approved by petition to the ITPC and approval of the provost.
- A list of Department of State Travel Warnings can be accessed at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.
- Petitions for programming in the DOS Travel Warning countries should be submitted no later than 60-days prior to travel. If travel is approved, individual students will also need to complete and submit a petition to participate in the experience. The ITPC Travel Warning petition is available at https://oia.osu.edu/pdf/TravelWarningPetition.pdf.
The provost appointed ITPC establishes guidelines and operating procedures for University travel. Student travel to any country or region with the following designations must be approved by petition to the ITPC and approval of the provost
- An active Travel Warning issued by the DOS;
- Currently assigned a “Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel” by the CDC; and
- Comprehensive U.S. government Export Control sanctions including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
- Petitions for organized travel to risk designated countries should be submitted no later than 30-days prior to the application deadline or 60-days prior to intended travel (whichever comes first). Information on the risk designated travel protocol and petition process can be found here.
Steps to register travel
Programs coordinated by University faculty and staff
- All students traveling on programs coordinated by University faculty and staff should complete a travel registration process.
- For groups, this process is initiated upon receipt of the Group International Travel Form.
- For individual supported travel, this can be initiated by notifying International Risk Management at email@example.com of the name and University email of the traveler(s) along with the country(ies) and dates of travel.
- Faculty and staff should not lead or arrange experiences for students who do not complete the travel registration requirement.
If traveling with University managed programs: Non-OIA Group International Travel
- University faculty and staff coordinating or leading student travel abroad that is not administered on the OIA platform should consult with their individual college, school or unit about specific protocols and policies.
- Pending approval from the appropriate college, school or unit, University faculty and staff should consult the guidelines and best practices for international travel and submit a Group International Travel Form in advance of their travel. The form should be initiated at least 60-days from the planned date of departure. The form collects basic information needed to establish the travel registration process.
Purchase Supplemental International Travel Insurance
The operating procedures of the provost appointed International Travel Policy Committee (“ITPC”) requires all University students pursuing University student travel abroad to enroll in a supplemental insurance policy administered through the Office of International Affairs. This policy is in addition to SHI or other forms of primary insurance. Enrollment in the insurance is completed as part of the travel registration process. View the policy brochure for more information on the coverage.
University faculty and staff traveling with students abroad should also be enrolled in the supplement insurance plan in order to
- Utilize the medical and safety resources in program planning and student pre-departure planning;
- Allow University faculty and staff to access the resources to assist students in an emergency abroad; and
- Facilitate an emergency evacuation as a group.
- More information specific to the PEND coverage provided by Drum Cussac.
Review travel safety and security prior to travel abroad
Prepare emergency contact numbers
University faculty and staff leading students abroad should carry the following numbers both in written format as well as entered into any mobile phone they are utilizing while traveling
The Ohio State 24/7 International Emergency Phone Line - +1-614-292-6677. This line can accept collect calls from abroad. When calling about a health, safety or security emergency:
- Identify yourself as member of University faculty or staff traveling with students abroad;
- Provide your current location;
- Provide contact information, in multiple forms if possible such as phone number, SMS, e-mail or Skype;
- Inform the responder of the student(s) name(s); and
- Answer any additional questions requested.
The Department of Public Safety will contact the International Risk Manager or another first responder to return your call and provide further assistance and instructions.
GeoBlue Global Health and Safety Services - +1-610-254-8771. This line can accept collect calls from abroad. When calling about a health or safety emergency, you will need to provide
- Student(s’) name(s);
- Student(s’) policy certificate number(s);
- Name, address and contact information of the clinic, hospital or medical facility;
- Name and contact information of any treating medical professional(s);
- The local equivalent of 911 for the country they are traveling in. Keep in mind that in many countries there may be a different number for police, fire and ambulance. In addition, responders may not be proficient in English, and access and response times may vary depending on your location.
- The standard number and emergency after-hours number for the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the country they are traveling in.
- The number(s) for their in-country, host institution contact(s) (e.g. host university, third-party provider, travel agent)
- In addition, program leaders should carry a roster of:
- All students’ mobile phones (including notations of students that may not be traveling with activated phones). In addition, program leaders are encouraged to consider linking all students via a common messaging app such as GroupMe, WeChat or WhatsApp.
- The GeoBlue certificate numbers for all students.
Health and safety orientation modules
University faculty and staff leading students abroad are required to participate in an annual health and safety training. The training covers resources for traveler pre-departure preparation, University protocol for responding to incidents and emergencies abroad and University compliance with federal laws.
University faculty and staff students leading students abroad should review the CDC Travel Health Notices for countries and regions with specific health concerns. Notices are ranked on a 3-point scale:
- Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions;
- Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions; and
- Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel.
- In addition, the CDC maintains a complete list of country destinations with recommendations on vaccinations and other pertinent health information.
The CDC information should be discussed with students, but faculty and staff should not advise or direct students to receive or disregard specific vaccinations, inoculations or prescription medicines.
Students should be advised to speak with their personal doctor or arrange a Travel Medical Consultation at the Wilce Student Health Center.
Clery Act Compliance
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.
The law includes education abroad programs in which the university owns or controls the property. This would include accommodations or other facilities abroad for which the University enters into a formal or informal contract for use by a program or students. This includes lodging (this includes hotels, hostels, dorms and other living arrangements) where the payment comes from the University or one of its employees or space that is specifically reserved for University students.
When leading students abroad, University faculty and staff are considered Campus Security Authorities (“CSAs”) under the Clery Act and are obligated to report any crimes they become aware of on property being used by University students.
Title IX Compliance
Ohio State is committed to equal opportunity and eliminating discrimination. The university will take prompt and appropriate action in support of survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault at home and abroad.
Instances of sexual harassment or assault abroad are to be treated as they are on campus, and should be reported to the:
- Via a 24/7 International Emergency Phone Line at +1-614-292-6677.
Under federal Title IX requirement and Ohio State’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, any University faculty or staff member that knows of a sexual assault is required to take certain steps of action and to report the assault to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.
Faculty and Staff Traveling Internationally
Additional resources found on the site are:
- Policy requirements for ALL business travel (domestic and international)
- Required agencies for booking airfare and rental car
- Spend Authorization requirements in Workday
- FAQs and much more
Safety and Security Information
There are no general university restrictions on international faculty and staff travel for official research or business purposes. The Office of Enterprise Risk Management encourages faculty and staff to research potential risks to their health, safety and security abroad. The following resources are suggestions for university faculty and staff to research in advance of traveling abroad:
The Office of Enterprise Risk Management purchases political emergency and natural disaster (PEND) coverage to provide security and evacuation assistance overseas. PEND coverage is provided on a global basis but pre-authorization is required for the following destinations:
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Ethiopia (Tigray region only)
- Nigeria (Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, and northern Adamawa states only)
- North Korea
- Palestinian Territories
- Republic of South Sudan
Please fill out and submit this form to firstname.lastname@example.org before making any financial commitments. Failure to receive pre-authorization will result in no PEND coverage to assist with international emergencies.
The following resources are suggestions for university faculty and staff to research potential risks when traveling abroad:
The DOS Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (“STEP”)
- University faculty and staff who are U.S. citizens or nationals traveling abroad should enroll in the DOS Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP allows U.S. citizens and nationals to register their travel plans with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to their area of travel. Enrolled participants will be notified if pertinent safety and security messages are issued by the local Embassy or Consulate prior to or during their travels. Registration also allows consular officials to proactively assist US citizens in a crisis. Registration is for US citizens and nationals, but non-US citizens may also enroll for updates.
Travel Alerts & Warnings
- Has been in place for more than 15 years. It is reviewed and renewed approximately every six months.
- The context of the Worldwide Caution is related to the outlook and concern for global terrorism. It does not address political instability due to reasons other than terrorism or safety issues related to health concerns.
- Issued to raise awareness of short-term events.
- In general a Travel Alert assumes that travel will continue and the information is provided for travelers to consider when traveling abroad. Alerts contain an expiration date associated with the perceived duration of the security concern.
- Issued to advise travelers on whether to travel to a country. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence or frequent terrorist attacks.
- Travel Warning language is very nuanced; advisories may pertain to only specific regions of a country and not all contain explicit language to defer travel or depart the country. Travel Warnings are often long-standing in duration and are scheduled to be updated every six months or more frequently if necessary.
The DOS also maintains a country-information page for individual countries. In particular travelers are advised to reference the Safety & Security tab and the Travel & Transportation tabs prior to departure. Although particular countries may not be under an active warning or alert, the country information pages contain specific information about regions to avoid or be cautious in, transportation methods and routes to choose or avoid and tips for avoiding common scams and prevalent crime.
General, Security & Emergency Messages
Country Information pages and Travel Alerts and Warnings are only routinely edited. The U.S. Embassies and Consulates for your country of travel will contain the most up-to-date safety and security information in the Safety and Security Messages section under U.S. Citizen Services. Travelers should check their local embassy or consulate prior to travel for relevant updates. Travelers enrolled in the STEP system will receive periodic updates from the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- A general “Message for U.S. Citizens” is an administrative notice or reminder about voter registration, changes to local immigration requirements or other matters that may require some travelers to complete or file additional paperwork.
- A “Security Message for U.S. Citizens” provides awareness about personal safety or security-related issues. These may include notices about public strikes, demonstrations and protests, significant weather disturbances, health issues or concerns for safety that might impact travel. A security message prompts travelers to be aware and make plans.
- An “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens” informs travelers about imminent threats that can impact their personal security, and which may require the traveler to take immediate action in order to remain safe. These may include political disturbances, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or the cessation of consular services. An emergency message prompts travelers to take immediate action.
Faculty and staff who are non-U.S. citizens should enroll their travel with the nearest embassy or consulate of their home country. Non-U.S. citizens should be aware that in the event of a crisis or emergency, including replacing lost or stolen passports, they will need to rely on the services of their home country’s consular affairs unit.
Overseas Security Advisory Council (“OSAC”) Crime and Safety Reports
OSAC is the public/private partnership sector partnership to promote security cooperation between American private-sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. Ohio State is a member of the OSAC Academia Working Group common interest section. OSAC produces an annual Crime and Safety Report for each country or location with a U.S. Consulate. The information is compiled by the Regional Security Officer team in local U.S. Embassies and Consulates. While available through the link above, it is often easiest to do an internet search using the key words OSAC Crime and Safety Report and the name of the country you plan to travel to.
Other Government Agencies
Many other international diplomatic offices offer similar services for their citizens that serve as an open resource to all travelers. In particular, it is recommended to consult:
- Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories;
- United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth Office Foreign Travel Advice.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”)
The OFAC is responsible for enforcing all U.S. embargoes and sanction programs. Depending on each country’s embargo or sanction program, different activities may or may not be prohibited without specific government authorization or license. University faculty and staff planning university travel to actively sanctioned countries should contact the Office of Research Compliance. An updated list of active sanction programs can be found at the U.S Department of the Treasury Sanctions and Country Information page.
Travelers should be aware of potential Export Controls on personal or University items or equipment, research and data, and financial transactions. Questions and inquiries related to sanctions, embargoes and Export Controls should be addressed to the University’s Export Control office at email@example.com or (614) 688-1596.
University faculty and staff travelers are charged with taking preventative and precautionary measures with their health prior to and during their travel abroad. The CDC provides several different resources for travelers. CDC Travel Health Notices list countries and regions with specific health concerns. Notices are ranked on a 3-point scale:
- Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions;
- Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions; and
- Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
In addition, the CDC maintains a complete list of country destinations with recommendations on vaccinations and other pertinent health information.
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Department of Family Medicine offers a Travel and Immunization Center
- OSU Family Medicine at Thomas Rardin, Northwood-High Building, 2231 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201
- Phone: (614) 293-2700
Appointments can be made with a trained medical provider to discuss and receive immunizations, vaccinations and travel medicine prescriptions to support healthy travel abroad. The service is available at the Thomas E. Rardin Family Practice facility at 2231 North High Street. It is advised to schedule services at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to travel.
Medical Insurance Abroad
University faculty and staff have access to international travel medical insurance placed by Ohio State. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Traveler policy provides primary medical insurance outside of the traveler’s home country (primary residence). It provides coverage for accidental injury and illness but does not cover routine or preventive care or vision services. There is limited coverage available for dental services required due to injury or relief of pain.
Travelers are encouraged to register online and install the GeoBlue mobile app prior to departure. Registration will provide the traveler with their electronic ID card. The mobile app provides travelers with a medical provider directory, their electronic ID card, claim submission and status and more.
The app will assist travelers with identifying medical providers, scheduling appointments, as well as connecting with telehealth services.
Additional resources can be found by clicking the following links:
Emergency Contact Preparedness
In order to act swiftly in the event of an emergency, travelers should carry the following numbers both in written format as well as entered into any mobile phone they will be utilizing during travel:
- The Ohio State 24/7 International Emergency Phone Line: +1-614-292-6677. (Can accept collect calls from abroad.);
- GeoBlue Global Health and Safety line: +1-215-798-3714. (24/7 medical emergency line; can accept collect calls from abroad.)
- The local equivalent of 911 for the country in which you are traveling. Keep in mind that in many countries there may be a different number for police, fire and ambulance. In addition, responders may not be proficient in English, and access and response times may vary depending on your location.
- The standard number and emergency after hours number for the local U.S. (or your country of citizenship) Embassy or Consulate for the country or region in which you are traveling;
- The number for your in-country contact; and
- A personal emergency contact for a family or friend back in the United States.