Global Education / Study Abroad Travel Advisories

The safety and security of CU Denver faculty, staff, and students is a priority to the university. While most people travel internationally without any incidents, there are destinations that pose particular challenges. As a benchmark, the university carefully considers U.S. State Department travel advisories, as well as other credible sources. The State Department provides advice that assumes travelers are responsible adults, making decisions about their own determination of essential needs and personal safety. The State Department does not prevent U.S. citizens from traveling (excepting travel to nations with U.S. trade sanctions).

We urge all travelers to carefully research the health, safety, and security situation in their intended travel destinations. In addition to the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Global Affairs Canada, and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also offer excellent advice to travelers. Ultimately, all travelers are responsible for their own choices related to their personal safety and security.

University Travel Appeal Process for High-Risk Destinations

The U.S. State Department issues a Travel Advisory for each country of the world. These Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, describe the risks, and provide clear actions U.S. citizens should take to help ensure their safety. The University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz restricts student and resident travel to countries with Travel Advisories of Levels 3 (Reconsider Travel) and 4 (Do Not Travel). Specifically, students and residents are not permitted to travel to countries or areas within countries with a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) advisory. Countries or areas within countries with a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) advisory require that the traveler submit a travel appeal. Please check the Travel Advisory of your proposed destination on the State Department's website.

If your proposed destination has a Travel Advisory of a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel), read the advisory and State Department recommendations closely, and make an informed decision about whether or not you wish to proceed with the travel appeal process. The Office of Global Education can discuss with you alternative programs in other countries. If you decide you want to pursue the Travel Appeal process, plan ahead; we ask students to submit the appeal form at least three months in the advance of the proposed travel. In addition to submission of the Travel Appeal, the process requires pre-departure preparations to put precautionary measures in place to safeguard the health/well-being of students and ensure compliance with U.S. laws and regulations. Check all of the following resources:

Faculty leading or accompanying students may also appeal the travel suspension on behalf of or in support of their students. Faculty members preparing such an appeal must include all student travelers in the appeal process. Participating students will be expected to clearly indicate that they have read and will adhere to the processes and directions included in the appeal. The written appeal must clearly address the following items:

  • Academic nature and educational value of the international experience and its importance to the student's degree program
  • In case of a warning against ‘non-essential travel, please demonstrate that student travel is ‘essential’
  • Domestic institutional support
  • Host country resources and support
  • A Risk and Emergency Management Plan that addresses general types and levels of risk, but additionally, this plan must address the specific risk factors that are the basis of the current travel advisory, travel health warning, or Sanctioned Nation designation.

The Travel Suspension Appeal form provides step-by-step instructions designed to prepare students for international travel while mitigating general and country-specific risk factors that increase in unfamiliar environments. The appeal form also provides a list of credible sources of information, which is by no means comprehensive and may be expanded with current news sources and other reliable information you can find.

During any part of your preparations, the International Risk Management Committee (IRMC) is here to assist. We encourage you to contact Joanne Wambeke, Chair of the IRMC, to set up an appointment prior to completing the travel appeal for assistance with the preparations or before officially submitting the appeal.

After the travel suspension appeal has been submitted, the International Risk Management Committee will conduct a review and make recommendations to the Provost. The IRMC may request additional information and may consult with other experts within and outside the University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz. The IRMC will send recommendations to University Legal Counsel before the travel suspension appeal is submitted to the Provost for a final decision. The appeal is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The level of risk to students’ health and safety and the Risk and Emergency Management and Communication Plan’s ability to mitigate those risks
  • The educational value of the activity, institutional support, and the importance of the activity to the student’s degree program
  • Experience: Undergraduate, graduate, the experience of the student; international travel experience of all participants, faculty/staff international experience
  • In-country resources including third-party providers, localhost, etc., and their ability to provide support, the level of risk they assume, the role they play, etc.
  • The political and physical conditions in the country or region
  • Manageability of the legal risk to the University

Please submit your completed Travel Suspension Appeal package to the International Risk Management Committee three months prior to the desired departure date. The IRMC will make recommendations to the Provost for final approval within six weeks of receipt of all requested materials.

For further information, please read our International Travel Policy for Students and/or International Travel Policy for Faculty and Staff.