Planning for Columbia International Travel

March 05, 2018

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

As we approach spring break, many of you will be serving Columbia’s global mission by traveling abroad for research, teaching, learning, and other activities. 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 over the spring break.

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 provide support to those whose interests or scholarly inquiry takes them abroad, 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.*

Additionally, we urge members of our community who plan to travel abroad to stay up-to-date on Executive Orders and other guidance, including that issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Because of current travel restrictions, the University recommends that foreign nationals here from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, and government officials from Venezuela, avoid all international travel to the extent possible. For more guidance on immigration and related issues, please contact Columbia’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) at [email protected] or 212-854-3587.

I also encourage you to browse through other related topics, including travel tips for non-immigrant visa holders, 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.

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


John H. Coatsworth

* The University’s International Travel Planning Policy includes pre-travel requirements for (a) students, officers of administration, and support staff and for (b) any Columbia employees who are planning international travel that includes students and is organized, funded, arranged, or recognized by the University.