Yesterday, members of the Georgetown community received an email from Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Chris Augositni announcing Georgetown’s adoption of a new international travel policy. Now all students, faculty, and staff that are travelling abroad through the University are required to register their travel plans. This information will become available to the University in the event of a crisis or emergency so that officials are are able to assist students and faculty. According to the email, services will include “emergency medical support, translation services, embassy information, repatriation and security, natural disaster and medical evacuation.”
In addition to registering travel with the university, travelers must also use the International SOS travel registration tool and enroll in adequate health insurance. Depending on the place of travel, it may also be necessary to “submit a proposal for review by a Travel Committee, sign an acknowledgment and assumption of risk form, and/or complete a safety and security orientation.”
In an e-mail to Vox, Katherine Bellows, Executive Director of the Office for International Programs, stated that the new policy has two goals: “ First, it provides travel resources to members of the Georgetown community. Second, it addresses in a comprehensive and consistent manner the best ways to prepare for potential risks of international travel.”
Recent international events such as the Arab Spring revolts as well as the anti-austerity marches in Spain and the riots in Greece may put students at risk while studying abroad. Last fall, Georgetown student Derrik Sweeney (COL ’13), who was studying abroad in Egypt, was arrested by Egyptian officials during a protest in Tahrir Square.
Students are encouraged to go to Georgetown’s International Traveler’s website if they have any questions about the new policies or to contact Bellows.
Full email after the jump!
October 1, 2012
Dear Members of the Georgetown Community:
I am pleased to announce that Georgetown has adopted a new International Travel Policy, a service to benefit members of our university community on international travel. The goal of this policy is to promote safe, international travel and to address the risks of University-related international travel in a comprehensive and consistent manner. In adopting this Policy, we are enhancing our ability to locate and communicate with students, faculty and staff traveling abroad so that we may provide support in the event of a crisis such as a natural disaster, political unrest or a medical emergency.
Before departing, all students, faculty and staff are required to register their travel plans with the University. Information entered into the travel registration system will be available to University officials in the event of a crisis or emergency. Medical and security assistance is available to all members of the university community while traveling on university business or as part of a university-sponsored program or activity. Available services may include emergency medical support, translation services, embassy information, repatriation and security, natural disaster and medical evacuation.
Our policy establishes an institutional travel review process that is tailored to the category of traveler and the proposed travel destination. In order to provide services, certain actions must be taken by all Georgetown community members participating in university-sponsored international travel, including using the International SOS travel registration tool and enrolling in adequate health insurance which provides coverage overseas. Depending on the type of travel, other steps may be required, such as submitting a proposal for review by a Travel Committee, signing an acknowledgment and assumption of risk form, and completing a safety and security orientation.
The requirements outlined in the Policy are consistent with best practices in higher education for the protection and safety of our community members. The Policy sets forth the requirements that students, faculty and staff must meet before and during University-related international travel. Compliance with the policy is required for all students, faculty, and staff engaged in Georgetown-related international travel. You are not required to adhere to this policy while on personal travel.
For complete information regarding the International Travel Policy, please refer to the full text of the policy found on Georgetown’s International Traveler’s Resource website .