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Mandatory Travel Preparation


  • Required to enter or leave USA and host country
  • Should usually be valid 6 months beyond program end date (18 months for Russia)
  • Takes 2 – 8 weeks to obtain (up to 4 weeks longer in the busy season)
  • Expedited service is available for an additional fee
  • Check what you need (passport photos, ID, fee etc.)
  • Filling out forms can be done online, but you need to apply in person
  • Most locations (post office, Newton library, state or country courthouse) need appointments (they can fill up quick, so call a few weeks in advance!) 
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your home country's consulate or embassy about procedures 

A passport is one of the most valuable identification documents in the world. So limit the number of people who handle your passport (if a hotel/rental agency needs your passport as collateral, offer another form of ID or a copy of your passport)


  • Visa: entry permit to a foreign country and is issued in the U.S.
  • Resident permit: allows you to stay in a county (might be required if staying abroad longer than 3 months and you apply for it once you’re in your host country).
  • You need a passport to obtain a visa
  • Determine whether you need a visa and how to apply at your host country's embassy/consulate in Washington D.C.
  • It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad
  • Contact host country embassy/consulate for current and specific requirements
  • Processing time can take up to 3-4 months
  • Costs vary anywhere between $20 and $500
  • You may be required to apply to a specific consulate in your jurisdiction
  • An in-person interview/application submission may also be required
  • Understand your visa type! The visa may require you to leave the country at a certain time (usually a few weeks after the program ends), deny permission to work for money, etc. If you violate it, you risk deportation

About CISI 

  • CISI Medical and Security Assistance Insurance is mandatory for all students and employees traveling on VT-related business (study abroad, service learning, conferences, internships /externships, competitions, research, field work, business meetings, etc.) 
  • This plan is your primary insurance coverage specific to overseas travel (covering emergency medical assistance and evacuation, security evacuation, and repatriation services)
  • Students and employees must self-enroll (VT faculty-led study abroad students are enrolled as a group)
  • Coverage that can be purchased in small increments (one week/two weeks/three weeks/monthly)
  • Some countries require you to take a national insurance as well (depending on length of stay)
  • CISI is only for the duration of your program and not for personal travel before or afterwards; you are highly encouraged to obtain similar coverage for personal travel


How to enroll

   Faculty / staff on University Business

  1. This coverage is provided on a per person fee basis 
  2. The cost for CISI coverage is an allowable international travel expense
  3. BEFORE ENROLLING!! make note of these CISI Sponsor Codes (“VTH-SE” or “VTH-Other”) which you need to fill out based on the reason for travel, as outlined below:
    • If the trip or program abroad involves students or is for the purpose of exploring, preparing, executing, or evaluating learning or research opportunities for students: use “VTH-SE”
    • All other Virginia Tech employee travel abroad: use “VTH-Other”
  4. Click here to enroll (this link will bring you directly to the CISI website)
  • If traveling to more than one country during a single coverage period:
    • Enroll using your first destination
    • Once you have enrolled, create an account with CISI 
    • After creating your account, update “My Itinerary” with your other destinations and the dates you will be in these locations (this information will be helpful to CISI and Virginia Tech in the event of an emergency)


Faculty leading a study abroad program

  1. Faculty must enroll students participating on faculty-led programs in the BOV-mandated CISI insurance policy
  2. Download Virginia Tech CISI Group Enrollment Template 2020-21 (email VT Global Safety to receive the password)
  3. Fill out all columns highlighted in white on the spreadsheet
  4. Submit the spreadsheet to the Google Drive folder (DO NOT email the spreadsheet to adhere to FERPA guidelines)
  5. Submit payment after receiving an email notification that an invoice has been placed on Scholar to be paid from your study abroad local fund via HokieMart



  • Dependents are required to be covered by CISI if they are accompanying a sponsor (spouse, parent, etc.) abroad
  • CISI coverage for VT employees, students, guests, and/or volunteers (individuals with a specific business purpose) is reimbursable
  • CISI coverage for dependents is not reimbursable and the sponsor is responsible for the costs
Save and then send as an e-mail attachment to CISI or fax to 203-399-5226 

For students going on non-credit programs (i.e. internship, conference, research) 

Prior to departure you must email the following information if applicable:

  • INDIVIDUALS TRAVELING WITH YOU:  Any VT employees, students, dependents, guests, etc. traveling with you as we need to be able to track their travel as well
  • EMERGENCY CONTACT: A contact in the country you are traveling to (in case there's an emergency and we can’t get in touch with you)
  • INTERNATIONAL CELL PHONE NUMBER: If you will have a working number while abroad so that we can contact you in case of an emergency)

About the Clery Act

  • The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires U.S. colleges and universities who participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses, or in non-campus facilities (e.g. hotel, rented spaces). Providing accurate and timely safety information to the public, parents, and students (about crimes, and on campus student alcohol and drug violations), enables all parties who inquire at an institution to make an informed decision about their safety.
  • Failure to comply with the policy requirements can result in substantial fines for an institution (in the tens of thousands of dollars) or in an extreme case, in the loss of all participation in Title IV federal financial aid programs.

Mandatory Clery Reporting

  • Before Departure
    • You are required to report to GEO the full address(es) of all of the lodging locations students will occupy while abroad as well as all classroom spaces rented or occupied by students, and a verified local police address at least 30 days prior to your program’s departure
    • Virginia Tech’s Clery Compliance Coordinator, Gail Moles, will use the information to follow-up with local authorities regarding crime reporting statistics on your behalf
  • While Abroad
    • Report to the VTPD crimes that are directly reported to you in your capacity as a CSA as soon as possible
    • Provide as much detail as possible to assist law enforcement in addressing and categorizing the crime including the exact physical address of the offense (e.g. inside hotel, outside hotel, 3rd floor hallway, etc.). Your report should include personal identifying information if available to avoid double counting crimes. If the victim does not want the report to go any further than the CSA, the CSA should explain that he or she is required to submit the report but it can be submitted without identifying the victim.
    • Let the victim know about resources available to them regardless of whether they want the incident investigated or not. However, in an emergency situation the CSA should contact the VTPD or 911 as appropriate.
    • CSA’s are not responsible for investigating or reporting incidents that they overhear or learn about in an indirect manner.

Submit the Clery Report

  • Submit the Clery Act Reporting Spreadsheet via Google Drive at least 30 days in advance of program departure
  • Program leaders should have a designated folder in Global Education’s Google Drive
  • To login to your Google Drive visit the VT Google Apps Portal. Click Drive and login using your email address. Your folder is labeled "Global Education - your last name, first name" and has two subfolders: one for CISI Enrollments and one for Clery. Upload the designated spreadsheet under the Clery subfolder.
  • If you have questions, please email VT Global Safety



Highly recommended Safety Measures

  1. U.S. Department of State: Review the website frequently to get timely information about developments in your host country. The site provides Alerts and Travel Advisory Levels up to four standard levels for each country. Travel Advisories appear at the top of each country page, with a color corresponding to each level. 
  2. STEP (The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program): If you register your trip, the State Department will send you important security or emergency messages about your host country, contact you in an emergency and they can help family get in touch with you in an emergency (you can download the Smart Traveler app)
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Review the website frequently to check travel notices (health issues like disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters etc.) 
  4. TravelSafe app: You will have access to crucial emergency information regardless of the presence of an internet connection (i.e. country emergency numbers, country information, tip calculator, currency exchange rate calculator, panic button widget to send text messages to 3 contacts)
  5. Environmental hazards: research how to deal with severe weather (heat, cold, wind, altitude, heat stroke, hypothermia, frostbite) and natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, typhoons, volcanos, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis)  
  6. Self-defense course: something you could consider taking



General info

  • Going abroad is normally stressful and can compromise your well-being if you are not careful
  • Health issues can, including ones that are under control at home
  • New or unexpected symptoms may arise
  • Going to another country will not solve personal problems and may make them worse
  • Consult with your doctor to ensure that you’re stable enough for travel without your usual support system

Check Up

  • Make an appointment with your physician (4–6 weeks before departure)
  • Have your physician write a summary of your medical history and current issues 
  • CISI can provide certified translations


  • Check if the countries you’re traveling to require or recommend vaccinations
  • Make an appointment with your doctor at least four to six weeks before you travel 
  • Keep in mind, many vaccinations require at least 14 days to become effective and some require multiple trips to the doctor
  • There are several resources on and around campus that assist with travel vaccinations. Some may not have particular vaccinations available
  • Learn more about Immunizations offered by the Schiffert Health Center


  • If you have any medical conditions that require prescription drugs, ask your physician to write a letter with your diagnosis, prescribed medications, and required dosage
  • Make sure your prescription medication is not restricted or illegal abroad (i.e. Adderall is illegal in Japan). Check with the country’s embassy on procedures.
  • Make sure you have enough medication while abroad. Do not rely on mailing it from home! Customs may stop the shipment
  • Keep your medication it in its original, labeled containers
  • If you have significant allergies to medication ensure that you carry a medication/emergency card with your drug allergies


  • What common diseases and illnesses exist in the host country?
  • How are they transmitted?
  • What medical facilities are in the area?
  • Are English speaking doctors readily available?
  • What will I need to do if I have a medical issue?
  • Can my dietary restrictions or food allergies be accommodated?
  • Are any medical conditions ignored or virtually taboo in my host country?
  • What is my weight in kg and my height in cm?


  • VT Emergency Contact Cards
  • Local emergency service numbers (911 equivalent, hospital, taxi)
  • Local address and phone number
  • Host university and/or third party emergency numbers
  • U.S. contacts (family and friends)
  • U.S. Embassy/Consulate closest to you
  • Credit card replacement contact numbers
  • ID
  • Charged phone
  • Emergency money (cash and credit card)
  • CISI Insurance card
  • Medical information (name of doctor and dentist, prescriptions, blood type, allergies, eye-glass/contact lenses prescription)


  • The physical export of university commodities, software or technology outside of the U.S. outside of the U.S. is subject to control under U.S. export control laws and regulations. 
  • In most cases, university employees may take common items, software and technology subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) outside of the U.S. under a “No License Required” declaration, so long as this property is not exported to the five Export Administration Regulations Country Group E locations (Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Sudan, and North Korea).
  • OESRC does not require notification for the temporary export to a non-sanctioned country of commercially available laptops, tablets and cell phones with standard commercially available software because no license is required.
  • For export of any other types of university commodities, software or technology, please email OESRC or call at 231 6642 prior to your travel to ensure no export license is required.
  • Published information, fundamental research, open source software, and other information in the public domain is not subject to these regulations and may be discussed and shared freely.
  • We recommend that you do not export confidential / proprietary technical data as it may be subject to export control and may require an export license or other government approval.  
  • Visit OESRC’s international travel page for services (loaner laptops, restricted party screening, travel tips).
  • There have been incidents of malicious software installation in employee computers when left unattended in foreign countries. If you believe your computer has been compromised, please contact OESRC immediately upon your return and prior to connecting the computer to any university networks. 
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Passport, Visa, and CISI Insurance