Planning for Columbia International Travel

May 08, 2019

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

As we approach summer recess, 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 summer break.

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, 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 when there is an emergency. Over the past several years, this has proven to be an important resource for Columbia students, faculty, and staff. Note that registration and other pre-travel preparations are a requirement for certain affiliates engaged in Columbia-related travel abroad.*

I 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, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Because of current travel restrictions, the University recommends that foreign nationals here from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen 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, and follow ISSO on Twitter at @ColumbiaISSO.

I also encourage you to browse through other related topics, including travel tips for non-immigrant visa holders, at our Global Travel website. You will find information about travel alerts, logistics, and other resources for international travelers, including the many services available when traveling for University-related business as well as for vacation. Additionally, given recent national and international outbreaks in measles, travelers are encouraged to review their immunization status and speak with their clinicians prior to travel. Full-time students are eligible for pre-travel health appointments at both the CUIMC and Morningside campuses.

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-departure 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.