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International Travel Policy

RWU Travel Policy
Roger Williams University offers, supports and facilitates a wide variety of opportunities for student engagement abroad, including foreign study programs, international exchanges, research and service learning opportunities, and international internships. Student health, safety, and security are top priorities for the University. This policy is administered by the Spiegel Center and establishes certain health and safety-related requirements and measures intended to minimize undue risks to University students, staff and faculty engaged in international activities.

RWU reserves the right to cancel or alter any international program or activity when, based on a review of the relevant information and resources, it is determined that there is undue risk to the health and safety of students in a particular locale.

This policy applies to all faculty, undergraduate and graduate students participating in official University-sponsored international travel and activities, which may include:

  • Credit-bearing programs, including faculty-led study abroad programs, approved third party provider programs, service learning programs and internships.

  • Non-credit bearing programs including any program:

    • Organized or sponsored by a registered student organization;

    • Organized or sponsored by a University department;

    • Required team or group travel;

    • Fully or partially funded by Roger Williams University;

    • Uses the Roger Williams University name

Travel and activities abroad that are not funded, sponsored, administered, arranged, or approved by the University are not considered official University international educational activities. Examples include: travel arranged independently by a student for which the student receives no University funding support and no pre-arranged University academic credit; volunteer projects or activities not formally affiliated with the University. Students participating in such non-University international travel and activities abroad are considered independent travelers, are solely responsible for their health and safety while abroad, and may not receive University assistance and support in the case of emergency.

Effective January 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of State has revised its travel advisory system to include a travel advisory scale (in place of the Travel Alert/Warning system previously used). The new scale has four levels, and also embeds varying levels for specific regions of a country and/or for specific types of risk indicators.

Roger Williams University utilizes the U.S. DoS Advisory System along with the CDC’s Travel Recommendations to determine a program’s status relative to health and safety.

In most cases, Roger Williams University will not allow university programs or allow student travel to locations with a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” advisory in place.  Under certain circumstances, students may petition the Spiegel Center to seek permission to participate in an affiliate program located in a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” country.   

All student travel associated with Roger Williams University is prohibited in destinations with a “Level 4: Do not Travel” advisory from the U.S. Department of State or a “Warning Level 3 & 4: High Risk and Avoid all non-essential travel” health notice from the Center of Disease Control.

If a program has not yet departed and a Level 4 travel advisory comes into effect the program will be suspended and refundable program expenses returned. Programs which are already abroad will be required to depart if the Department of State issues a Level 4 warning.

Programs which are already abroad when a Level 3 warning is issued will be evaluated at the time to determine if the program will continue or be suspended. The University will work with providers, faculty and students to decide the best course of action at that time.
 Please refer to CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Health Notices by Destination and The U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories.