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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University June 21, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 38
For the Record: University Issues Policy on Undergraduate Travel and Study Abroad

In light of increasing concern about the safety and security of Johns Hopkins students traveling abroad, and with the guidance of the university's General Counsel's Office, Provost Steven Knapp has developed a policy that prohibits undergraduate travel to countries where State Department travel warnings exist, except in certain circumstances to be considered on a case-by-case basis. The five deans whose schools offer undergraduate programs have reviewed and endorsed the new policy, which is as follows:

It has been The Johns Hopkins University's general policy and practice to encourage undergraduates to study abroad and to travel to countries with different cultures in order to learn and discover more about these cultures and the world generally. In the last few years--even before Sept. 11, 2001--there has been increasing concern about the safety and security of travel abroad in many instances and, in particular, concern within the university about having undergraduates study in countries in which there appear to be particular concerns by the government for safety and security. At the present time, the State Department issues travel warnings for those countries where avoidance of travel is recommended.

In view of the fact that the State Department issues travel warnings only for those countries where it recommends people avoid traveling, it is the general policy of The Johns Hopkins University that our undergraduate programs and our support for undergraduates doing research or other activities in foreign countries should not take place in a country for which a travel warning has been issued and is in effect.

The university also recognizes that in a very limited number of circumstances it may be reasonable to permit travel to a particular country, or to a portion of a country, for which a travel warning has been issued.

Therefore, a director of any program or a faculty member proposing to lead undergraduate students to a country for which a travel warning is in effect, or an undergraduate who wishes to study with or under university support in such a country, may appeal, with the support of the relevant dean, to the provost for an exception from this policy in order to permit the desired travel. The appeal should set forth the academic justifications for the trip, the duration of the program in that country and all reasons why the appealing program director, faculty member or undergraduate student believes that it is reasonably safe to travel to that country, during the time period intended, despite the travel warning. If the appeal is granted, the program director or faculty member shall be responsible for securing signed liability waivers from all the undergraduate students, for communicating the risks of travel to the parents of such students and, if required by the provost as a condition of travel, for obtaining the consent of the parents for such travel.

Any questions or concerns regarding this policy should be addressed to your division dean or the Provost's Office.


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