Graduate Student Travel Policies


The University of Kentucky places the highest importance on the health, safety and security of its faculty, staff and students who travel abroad under University auspices. Therefore, before departing the United States for educational purposes endorsed by the University, graduate students are required to register their travel with the UK International Center, through either the Education Abroad (EA) or International Health, Safety and Security (IHSS) office, for risk management purposes, and to purchase coverage under the University’s international travel medical insurance and security evacuation policy. Registration and the purchase of insurance is required for all students who are traveling for educational purposes outside the United States or to U.S. territories.

Under this policy, University endorsed travel includes instances where the travel is funded, in full or in part, by the University, and regardless of purpose. It also includes instances where travel is actively arranged by University faculty or staff, or where students are accompanied by University faculty or staff in the capacity of their employment. Please refer to University Administrative Regulation 4:9  for more information.


Credit-Bearing International Travel

Graduate students traveling abroad individually and earning academic credit (even if only enrolled in a 767 course) must register their travel with the International Center. However, they may need to register through the EA office instead of the IHSS office, as doing so could lower the amount of tuition they are required to pay for those credit hours. For questions regarding these options, please contact the Director of IHSS.

Non-Credit International Travel

Graduate students traveling abroad individually and not earning academic credit (e.g., conference attendances, research trips, etc.) must register their travel with the IHSS office at this link. Graduate students should always register with the International Center using the student registration, regardless of any concurrent employment status with the University (e.g., teaching or research assistantships, etc.).  After completing the registration process, students will receive an automated e-mail containing details of how to access UK’s international insurance and security evacuation benefit.

Academic Travel in Higher-Risk Destinations

Per Administrative Regulation (AR) 4:9, students may only engage in educational travel in countries or regions where the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Advisory after completion of a mandatory review process with the International Health, Safety & Security (IHSS) Committee and with the approval of the Associate Provost for Internationalization in consultation with the college dean or designee. This same process applies for proposed travel to destinations where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning Level 3.

Faculty members and other advisors should never advise any student to undertake work abroad in a country or region currently under a Level or 4 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory or CDC Warning Level 3 without the involvement of the UK International Center. To do so assigns unacceptable risk to the department and the college, as well as to the student.

The process for submitting an appeal to the IHSS Committee is as follows:

  1. As soon as a student begins making plans to pursue academic travel in a restricted country or region, he or she should immediately contact UK’s Director of IHSS to discuss plans, to ask any questions he or she may have about the University’s travel appeal policy, and to set up a meeting with the IHSS Committee.
  2. The student should begin the travel registration process through either the Education Abroad (EA) office , or the IHSS registration system , depending on whether or not academic credit is being earned.
  3. The student should begin compiling the required documentation which must be presented to the IHSS. A template to assist students in compiling the appropriate information can be found at this link
  4. At least 7 days before meeting with the IHSS Committee, the student must submit all required documentation to the Director of IHSS.
  5. Based on the appeal documentation and the presentation by the student, the IHSS Committee will make a recommendation to the Associate Provost for Internationalization regarding a potential exception to the travel policy outlined in AR 4:9. The Associate Provost will then consult with the appropriate dean or  designee and make the final decision.
  6. The Director of IHSS will provide the student with an official letter from the Associate Provost either granting or denying an exemption to the AR and outlining any conditions for such an exemption.
  7. The student must submit an additional signed waiver to the Director of IHSS before final approval can be granted. Please contact the IHSS office to procure a copy of this waiver. The student most also print out a copy of the most recent version of the travel advisory or CDC warning for the country to which he or she is traveling, write “I have read and understood the contents of this travel advisory” or “I have read and understood the contents of this CDC warning” on it, sign it and submit it to the Director of IHSS.

Students should consider printing and keeping hard copies of the submitted documents with them for the duration of their time abroad.

Questions regarding any part of the appeal process should be directed to the Director of IHSS.