Columbia College | Columbia Engineering | School of General Studies

Undergraduate International Travel Policy

Travel Programs

Thank you for supporting the Undergraduate International Travel Policy. Faculty and staff program organizers are a vital component in providing enriching and safe global experiences. 

Because of the unique circumstances through which undergraduate students travel abroad, we have announced an Undergraduate International Travel Policy as a complement to the University's International Travel Planning Policy.

The policy requires that Program Approval must be obtained from the Undergraduate Travel Review Committee for all new Columbia-Led, Columbia-Facilitated and/or Recognized Travel programs that are open to undergraduates in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering and the School of General Studies. This includes all international academic, service, internship or research opportunities that are organized or funded in any way by a faculty member, recognized student group, department, institute, program or school in the University.

Obtaining Program Approval

  1. If you are running a global program or course that is open to undergraduate students, we suggest that you submit your program for Program Approval at least six weeks prior to the program's start date by logging in to the Undergraduate Travel Web App.
  2. Once your program has received Program Approval, encourage undergraduate students to log in to the Undergraduate Travel Web App to apply for School Sponsorship at least four weeks prior to departure.

Please note: Existing programs with a change in program destination and/or with changes to the program's itinerary, location or logistics must reapply for Program Approval.

  1. The Undergraduate Travel Review Committee must approve all new Columbia-Led, Columbia-Facilitated and/or Recognized Travel programs open to undergraduates that include international travel.

  2. Columbia-Led Travel is mission-related travel that is organized and overseen by Columbia University.

    Examples include:

    • Columbia course activities and programs that are supervised by, and fully or partially supported by, Columbia (for example, the Summer Arabic Program in Amman)
    • Columbia-managed study-abroad programs
    • Travel that fulfills Columbia grants or contracts
    • Travel for Columbia athletics
    • Non-student travel sponsored by Columbia for alumni
    • Faculty, researchers, and officers traveling internationally on University business
  3. Columbia-Faciitated and/or Recognized Travel is travel that is not overseen by Columbia University, but that may be partially funded or arranged by Columbia, may earn academic credit at Columbia or may be coordinated by a Columbia recognized student group or may be an extension of a faculty or researcher’s professional work.

    Examples include:

    • International study through another university or outside organization (such as the CASB program in Barcelona)
    • Approved exchange programs between Columbia and another university
    • Co-ops, practica, or internships organized by Columbia and CUMC departments (for example, the IFAP Global Health Program)
    • International travel by graduate or professional students to do independent research for their dissertations
    • Civic engagement or service trips such as those coordinated with recognized Columbia chapters of larger groups, e.g., CU Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, Engineers without Borders, Global Brigades at Columbia or Habitat for Humanity
    • Pre-professional and competition groups representing or competing on behalf of Columbia
    • Columbia-funded travel such as travel supported by scholarships, travel grants, or by a Columbia-recognized student organization