Planning for Columbia International Travel

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

As we approach winter break, many of you will be serving Columbia’s global mission by traveling abroad for research, teaching, learning, and other activities, and many will be planning a return from or a departure to a semester abroad. This email contains important information about the University’s international travel resources and policies; please read it carefully if you plan to travel outside the United States during the break or next semester.

For all members of our community, while traveling internationally can be an enriching experience, it also entails risks. Because of this, careful planning must precede international travel, even for seasoned travelers. To aid this planning and to provide support to those whose interests or scholarly inquiry takes them abroad, the University has established the International Travel Planning Policy.

The Policy establishes requirements for planning international travel that is organized, funded, arranged, or recognized by the University. Specifically, you should register your international Columbia Travel through the Register a Trip tool on the University’s Global Travel website. Registering trips ahead of time enables the University to mobilize more quickly and effectively should there be an emergency. Over the past several years, this registration process and related services have proven to be an important resource for Columbia students, faculty, and staff.

I also encourage you to browse through other related topics at our Global Travel website. There you will find information about travel alerts, logistics, and other resources for international travelers, including the many services available when traveling for university business as well as for vacation.

As you plan, I want to share recent guidance from the American Council on Education (ACE) about students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). ACE recommends that anyone with DACA status studying abroad for the fall semester or temporarily out of the country during winter break should make plans to return to the United States before January 20, 2017. ACE also recommends that DACA students who intend to study abroad next semester should understand the risks of leaving the country and that they should be encouraged to make alternative in-country plans. If you have DACA relief and have questions about this guidance and its implications for your travel, you can contact the Office of University Life, which is arranging additional small-group information sessions

I wish you all the best in your academic endeavors wherever your travels take you. 


John H. Coatsworth