University policy regarding study abroad and other international travel
(A) Policy statement. In accordance with the educational mission of Kent state university, students are encouraged to enhance their academic pursuits through university-operated and/or university-approved study abroad programs and opportunities. Study abroad opportunities are coordinated through the office of global education and administered according to this policy.
(B) Eligibility. This policy applies to all study abroad and international programs and opportunities operated by or approved by the university in accordance with this policy. This policy does not address study abroad programs offered by any third-party not engaged in a formal agreement with the university, as such programs are not within the purview of the university’s knowledge and/or control.
(1) Study abroad program. Any course or program enrolled in by a student in which the student travels to an international location for educational purposes as part of the course or program.
(2) University-operated. Any course or program, regardless of duration, established by a university office, department or faculty member, in which international travel is a core curriculum requirement.
(3) University-approved. Any course or program registered with, and officially approved and recognized by the university through the office of global education.
(4) Third-party program. Any program administered by an entity, university or company not operated or controlled by Kent state university.
(1) The office of global education is the coordinating office for all university-operated and university-approved study abroad programs.
(2) All programs operated by faculty and/or staff must be approved by the university and registered with the office of global education.
(3) All university-operated and university-approved study abroad programs must be reviewed for compliance with accepted university/industry standards related to health, safety, security, risk management, legal standards, ethical practices, and responsibility to students. The office of global education in cooperation with the organizing faculty and/or staff members will conduct these reviews.
(4) All programs must be registered with the office of global education no less than one academic semester before the program participants are scheduled to depart for the international location.
(5) The office of global education will provide reasonable services to assist in study abroad initiatives including, but not limited to, facilitating necessary insurance coverage for student, staff and faculty participants; and monitoring of government and international sources for the latest information affecting the safety and security of regions where study abroad activities are conducted. The office of global education will also facilitate all general communication and liaison duties between Kent state university in the United States and all foreign centers and affiliated foreign universities.
(1) Program registration. All university-operated and university-approved study abroad programs must submit a formal registration packet as provided by the office of global education. This registration ensures that the program meets the minimum operation and administrative requirements for Kent state university study abroad programs, while also ensuring that the proper security and health considerations have taken place on behalf of the students, staff and faculty members who may participate.
There is no timeline for completing the registration materials; however, such materials must be turned in no later than one semester prior to the departing date for participants in the study abroad program.
(2) Program approval. The department, school, or college initiating the study abroad course or program is responsible for oversight of its academic content. Once the registration packet is returned to the office of global education, the staff will review the materials and, based upon the information provided, make a recommendation to the associate provost for global education. The associate provost shall issue one of the following decisions:
(a) Program approved. The program is approved and ready for implementation.
(b) Program approval pending; further information requested. The program meets several minimum requirements, but the office of global education has requested further information necessary to determine remaining compliance issues. This program is not ready for implementation at this time.
(c) Program denied; resubmission recommended. The program substantially fails to meet the minimum requirements as established by the university and must be resubmitted at a later time. This program is not ready for implementation at this time.
(3) Program safety and security. The office of global education is responsible for monitoring local, national, and international alerts and warnings regarding the regions in which university-operated and/or university-approved study abroad programs are operating.
(a) Student, staff, and faculty participants will be notified prior to departure of any issues, alerts, or warnings which may affect their destination. If the program has already departed, the university will use reasonable measures to communicate any necessary and relevant travel alerts or warnings to program participants.
(b) Severe security and safety concerns may result in the suspension of the study abroad program and withdrawal of all participants from the region or amendment of the program curriculum, with assistance provided by the office of global education and other departments as necessary.
(c) Students, staff, or faculty who express the intent to remain in regions that the university has determined to be dangerous must sign an additional security release form, recognizing such voluntary intent to remain in the region against the university’s advice and releasing the university from any additional liability or return arrangements. This release will be kept on file in the office of global education.
(4) Affiliated and exchange programs in regions of social, political, or military unrest (also known as disputed territories; dangerous or unstable conditions that pose imminent risks to students, faculty and staff). From time to time, the university may engage in approved affiliation and/or exchange relationships with foreign universities in regions subject to travel warnings and alerts by the United States department of state. Such programs are subject to a higher level of scrutiny during registration and, upon approval, require further protections and notifications prior to departure.
(a) Additional notification. Each student who registers in the program must receive, within a reasonable amount of time, a letter notifying the student of any travel alerts or warnings on file with the United States department of state at the time of registration. Such letter will also provide the student with information regarding how to monitor the travel alerts or warnings.
(b) Additional release. Upon determination that the student has registered for a program in a region subject to section (E)(4) above, the student must also complete and submit an additional release form attesting:
(i) The student received the additional notification;
(ii) The student understands the inherent and present dangers in the region where the study abroad program will operate;
(iii) The student is aware of the opportunity available to de-register from the course according to the regular university course deadlines; and
(iv) The student releases the university from any liabilities, injuries and damages not associated with the program’s academic responsibilities (i.e. actions caused by a third party).
(5) Emergency management, evacuation, and other international crises.
(a) The office of global education is responsible for developing a general emergency management plan for university-operated and university-approved study abroad programs, in coordination with the appropriate university offices.
(b) The office of global education is further responsible for developing specific emergency management plans for Kent state university centers abroad. These plans must be made and updated in accordance with rule 5-14 of this Administrative Code.
(c) The university’s emergency management actions, evacuations, and reaction to other international crises will be coordinated by the risk management office with collaboration of the office of global education and other units as appropriate in accordance with rule 3342-5-14 of this Administrative Code. The office will ensure that each program is provided with a twenty-four-hour contact at the university who will be available in case of an emergency.
(6) Unapproved programs. Students participating in programs that are not operated and/or approved by the university, or programs that do not have a formal relationship with the university in accordance with this policy, participate in such programs without the approval of the university. The office of global education does not provide support services for or make any attestations as to the quality of unapproved study abroad programs.
(a) A student’s participation in an unauthorized program may result in financial aid issues and/or difficulty with current credit transfer policies.
(b) A student interested in participating in an unapproved study abroad program should contact his/her academic advisor, and consult with the office of global education.
(7) Faculty and staff traveling abroad on university business.
(a) A faculty or staff member who is scheduled to travel outside of the United States on university business must receive prior approval from his/her supervisor before committing to reservations for which the faculty or staff member will later seek university reimbursement.
(b) A faculty or staff member who is scheduled to travel outside of the United States on university business must receive prior approval from his/her supervisor if such travel is for the purpose of leading or participating in a study abroad program involving students.
(c) Prior to departure for international travel, all faculty and staff must notify the enterprise risk management department to obtain the university’s international insurance coverage. Failure to do so may result in the faculty or staff member being ineligible for coverage under the university insurance plan for the duration of international travel.
Effective: March 1, 2015
Prior Effective Dates: 01/13/2014