International Travel Policy

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are two policies in effect that must be considered by all students desiring to travel outbound internationally on university-sponsored business, including research travel, regardless of the funding source. A student must first apply for an exception to the Chancellor’s suspension on outbound travel (effective through 31 May 2021). Read about the Chancellor’s policy and its most recent updates with links to specific actions here: Updates to university travel for employees, students and student organizations ( 

Additionally, students are subject to the UW-Madison International Resources, Guidelines, and Policies (known on campus as the “International Travel Policy”). The International Travel Policy is found below on this web page. If a student believes their desired international travel will successfully mitigate the risks identified by the U.S. Department of State travel advisory (levels 3 or 4) and CDC travel notice (level 3 warning) for their intended trip and destination(s), then they may request a waiver to the International Travel Policy. During the pandemic, the waiver process is abbreviated to ensure UW-Madison’s timely response given dynamic global conditions. The abbreviated waiver process is described here – it should be completed in detail prior to submission to the ISSD: Requests for Waiver to the UW-Madison International Travel Policy under COVID-19

A short summary of UW-Madison’s current position on travel and the associated policies can be read here: Information on Essential Travel and the International Travel Policy

The policy acknowledges that there is a balance between risk and the wonderful learning opportunities present in international education, research and outreach.

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, then-UW-Madison Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, in 2015

The University International Travel Resources, Guidelines and Policies (“International Travel Policy”) expresses UW-Madison’s dedication to the vibrant opportunities that grow from international education, research, and outreach.  This policy attempts to mitigate risk present in many parts of the world with reasonable consideration for planned travel to destinations where there is heightened risk. It is not a constraint on your plans, but instead is a process that describes the university’s interest in ensuring your safety and security in the international environment.

The International Travel Policy precludes university-affiliated student travel to locations that are under a current U.S. Department of State (DOS) Level 3 or Level 4 advisory designation, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 notice, and locations specifically designated as a “Travel Warning” location by the Provost.

If you are considering travel to a location that is under a Travel Warning, please read the International Travel Policy in its entirety. A waiver request may be submitted to the International Safety and Security Director when a student has a compelling educational reason to travel to or remain in a location under a Travel Warning. For more information, see the Travel Warning Waiver Request Process.

Travel Warnings

International Travel Policy Creation

To manage and mitigate risk while traveling abroad, the UITC created UW-Madison's International Travel Policy in consultation with other campus committees and administrative units.

Additional Information