Anne Alexander, Associate Dean
1000 E. University Avenue, Dept. 3707
Laramie, WY 82071
The University of Wyoming views the security of our students, faculty, and staff as a fundamental priority during their time studying abroad. Thus, the following procedures and policies should be followed to ensure a full, rich, and safe experience for all UW participants abroad.
Before departure of all exchange and study abroad students and of all faculty-led study abroad programs, faculty and students are required to attend a pre-departure orientation. During this orientation, students are familiarized with and complete the UW Agreement and Release Form, which encompasses both the UW Waiver of Liability and the UW Student Code of Conduct. In addition, they must complete and provide the UW medical release form, emergency contacts, and itinerary at this orientation, per our UW Emergency Communications Protocol. Students are also advised to monitor Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, and Department of State websites for travel, safety, security, and health information for their destination.
Professors and faculty advisors for groups going abroad should sign up for alerts monitoring Travel Alert and Travel Warning statuses from both the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This will assure they are up to date at all times regarding potential and actual risks that might trigger procedures outlined below.
In addition to health insurance required for all UW students regardless of study location, students studying abroad are required to obtain an International Student Insurance Card (ISIC). This policy covers not only ancillary heath costs while abroad but also emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains.
The Study Abroad RSAC analyzes safety and security conditions of existing and newly proposed exchange, faculty led study abroad, and external provider programs in order to assess whether the risks on-site are acceptable for participants and for the University. In making the determination, the group will consider:
In addition to reviewing all programs proposed or occurring in countries with U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings, the Risk & Security Assessment Committee will review programs in locations where health, safety, or security may be of particular concern, or in regions/cities of individual countries with significant levels of health, safety, or security concerns as identified by the U.S. Department of State, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or any other reputable body or individuals that express a valid concern about the program or location.
When conditions warrant, the RSAC may recommend that a program at a particular site be suspended or shifted prior to the departure. When the program is already under way/on site, RSAC may also recommend under certain conditions that the program be suspended or shifted, and the participants brought back to the U.S.
An appeal for a waiver of RSAC's decision may be made to the Provost by any faculty member or administrator who is negatively affected.
The Chair shall be a senior university official, appointed by the President and Provost. Other members will include:
At any time, but particularly when conditions at a site are serious enough to call into question the advisability of sending or maintaining a student program at a given site, the group may also invite the following individuals to attend and provide additional information:
U.S. State Department Travel Warning - Automatic Program Suspension
When a Travel Warning from the U.S. Department of State is in place or is issued for a country in which UW students are studying either with an exchange partner or on a faculty-led program, all programs whose participants have yet to depart for travel to the country which is subject to the Travel Warning, are automatically suspended.
Programs that entail travel to multiple countries can still go forward after removing from the itinerary the country that is subject to the Travel Warning.
Petition for Waiver of Program Suspension
Faculty leaders or liaisons of suspended programs may petition the Study Abroad RSAC at any time for a program suspension waiver. Waivers apply to that program only unless specified by the RSAC. Travel Warning waivers are granted to programs, not countries. Each program operating in a country with a Travel Warning must request a waiver.
Waiver Process - Travel Warning Imposed Before Program Departure
When the State Department lifts a Travel Warning, RSAC will undertake a status review of programs that had been suspended and make recommendations regarding whether to lift the suspension to the Provost.
Programs Underway and Facing a Changed Status
In cases when a Travel Warning is announced for the first time, or an updated or revised Travel Warning is announced in a program for which a waiver has already been granted, the following procedures will be followed.
In the case of an immediate threat to student health, safety, or welfare, the Director of International Programs, after direct consultation with the Provost or designee, has discretion to suspend a program and begin evacuation proceedings immediately. Such action will be immediately communicated to the RSAC and ratified by the Provost as soon as practically possible.
Publicizing RSAC Decisions and other Public Notifications
In the event of a cancellation or a waiver, the notification of the public will be done on a case by case basis by the Department of Institutional Communications. In all cases, regardless of where UW is in its decision process, all external inquiries from sources other than students' parents and family members will be directed to the Department of Institutional Communications.
UW Students Applying to Non-UW Programs in Countries with Travel Warnings
When students elect to participate in other institutions' study abroad programs or external programs that take place in countries without Travel Warnings, the Study Abroad Office provides these students with considerable support. This support includes assistance with program selection and application as well as the transfer of credit and financial aid/scholarships. However, UW WILL NOT provide support to students who wish to participate in non-UW study abroad programs located in countries with Travel Warnings. Should a student wish to study on a non-UW program in a country with a Travel Warning, the student may be able to transfer credit (based on the standard transfer credit procedure applied to any student wishing to transfer credit from another institution), but UW will not process or transfer financial aid, scholarships or insurance coverage.
Refunds after Cancellation
There is no standardized refund policy for international program cancellation. Refunds will be determined by the Director of International Programs in consultation with the Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs.