9.1 International Travel Student Policy


The Colorado School of Mines strives to be an institution with global reach as well as one that brings global perspectives to its core activities in teaching, research, and service. As such, it is well understood that it is desirable to encourage and facilitate student travel abroad. While all travel entails some degree of risk, travel to some locations, and activities associated with this travel, may involve more risk than others.

This policy applies to student education abroad activities sponsored or organized by any department or organization at Mines, including group travel organized by departments, programs organized by student organizations, and individual student travel.


Student(s): includes any individual who has been officially admitted into Mines, and is a currently enrolled (e.g., not on a leave of absence, suspended, alumni, etc.) in an active degree program.

Faculty Sponsor(s): is any Mines employee (e.g., academic faculty, administrative faculty, research faculty, adjunct faculty) having primary responsibility in promoting, organizing, leading, or conducting a sponsored activity as defined below. Faculty sponsors, in the case of group sponsored activities, may accompany students abroad. But, as will often be the case for individual sponsored activities, faculty sponsors may remain resident at Mines while students undergo their travel abroad.

Non-Sponsored Activities (group or individual) include:

  • Travel that has no connection to Mines or its educational, research, and services activities. Examples include personal travel (vacation), mission/service trips that are unaffiliated with a Mines organization, and any other travel not described in the definition of Sponsored Activities.
  • Travel that is organized by an entity other than Mines, even when participants are recruited through Mines student organizations or other on-campus marketing efforts, as long as Mines has no role in overseeing, awarding credit, or funding the travel.

Sponsored Activities (group or individual) include:

  • All credit-bearing or degree-advancing international travel (e.g., study abroad, exchange programs, thesis research, approved individual study activities such as conference attendance, internships, or faculty-led programs);
  • Travel organized on behalf of a registered student organization or athletic team;
  • Activities funded in whole or in part by Mines (e.g., funds held or disbursed through student organization agency funds, fellowships, grants, including research grants and contracts, Foundation funds, and research assistantships).

Student organization agency funds affected by this policy include, but are not limited to, money donated to Mines that is raised by student organizations through fundraisers and contributions from other Mines entities, such as student organizations, colleges and academic departments, or administrative offices.


This policy applies to students and faculty sponsors who are taking part in a sponsored activity as defined above. Non-sponsored activities (as defined above) are not included in the scope of this policy, and Mines assumes no responsibility for such non-sponsored activities.

In some instances, travel abroad may contain both sponsored and non-sponsored components. In these cases, the portion of the travel deemed sponsored must comply with the policies set forth below.

Under no circumstances will activities conducted, or outcomes obtained as part of a non-sponsored activity be considered after-the-fact as a sponsored event. This includes, but is not limited to, any potential liability associated with the activity or to the awarding of any academic credit for outcomes achieved during the activity.

Oversight Authority for Ensuring Policy Compliance

The Director of Education Abroad within the Office of Global Education (OGE) has primary responsibility for approving sponsored activities and ensuring policy compliance for these activities. Processes, procedures and documentation required for obtaining approval for international travel involving students are available on OGE's website as linked above.

Risk to Health and Safety

Students or sponsors intending to travel to a destination for which the State Department has issued any level of warning should discuss this warning with the Education Abroad Director as soon as possible. Education Abroad will not approve any sponsored activities in a location for which the US State Department has issued a Level 3 or 4 Advisory, or where other extraordinary conditions are present that may pose serious risks to health or safety. In considering whether to approve any sponsored activities in locations for which the State Department has issued any level of warning or where other extraordinary conditions are present, the Education Abroad Director will take into consideration

  • The nature of the Travel Advisory, Travel Health Warning, or extraordinary conditions;
  • The feasibility of postponing the Program until the Advisory or Warning is lifted, or the extraordinary conditions resolve;
  • The feasibility of moving the Program to an alternate destination;
  • The experience and training of Program organizers and any local support staff;
  • How the Program can minimize risk to Participants;
  • Any other factors that may be relevant to the proposed sponsored activity.

Modified or Canceled programs

If an Elevated Travel Advisory covering program dates and destinations is issued:

  • After departure: the program Leader shall provide the Elevated Travel Advisory promptly to all Participants and give them an opportunity to withdraw, unless Mines otherwise mandates the withdrawal of all participants.
  • Before departure: if no exemption is granted, the program shall be modified or cancelled. If the program is modified and exempted, all participants shall be notified and given an opportunity to withdraw/leave.

The Provost has the institutional authority to determine whether to grant an exemption. Mines reserves the right to end its sponsorship of student travel based on US State Department advice, or advice of Mines General Counsel at any time, and reserves the right to require the student(s) to end the trip and leave the country. Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis. During and before their travel abroad, students and faculty sponsors should monitor the State Department web site for up-to-date information about changing conditions

Participant Requirements

Participants must:

  • Attend all mandatory Program orientation sessions required by the Program Leader;
  • Register their participation in the Program with the OGE and pay any applicable program fees;
  • Complete the “Acknowledgment of Risk" and "Conditions of Participation" forms as part of Education Abroad registration, and other travel waivers as applicable.
  • All Participants are encouraged (and may be required by their Program Leaders) to make an appointment with their health care provider before departure for a travel health evaluation and consideration of required and recommended immunizations;
  • Obtain OGE prescribed health and accident insurance (including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains) or equivalent that covers all Program dates, including travel days from and back to the U.S. Personal travel insurance, and/or national insurance required by their host country, will not substitute for this requirement.
  • Comply with any additional requirements set by the Program Leader. Non-compliance may result in failure of the course, expulsion from Mines, or immediate return home at the Participant’s expense and at the discretion of the Program Leader.

Independent Student Traveler

Mines recognizes and values the academic freedom of its students engaging in individual research, service learning, and other activities abroad that fulfill educational requirements or are organized by a Mines chartered student organization.  For purposes of this policy and individual student travel, the faculty advisor or OGE will be considered the individual student's Program Leader.  In order to protect their health and safety while abroad, individual students must

  • register their travel on the Global Education website and pay any applicable fees;
  • obtain OGE prescribed health and accident insurance (including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains) or equivalent that covers all travel dates. Personal travel insurance, and/or national insurance required by their host country, will not substitute for this requirement.
  • to the extent possible, stay current on any pertinent Elevated Travel Advisory before and during travel.
  • register with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before departure.  STEP is a free service for U.S. citizens that enables the DOS to provide travel updates and information and to assist in an emergency.

The Director of Education Abroad has primary responsibility for approving independent student travel and ensuring policy compliance for these activities.

Extended Travel Before or After Program Dates

Mines strongly recommends that Program Leaders and Participants who travel independently before or after Program dates (1) purchase supplemental health and accident insurance coverage, including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains, to cover the full duration of their independent travel given the unpredictable, random, and potentially catastrophic cost of illness and accidents weighed against the relatively minor costs and major benefits of such insurance, and (2) register their independent travel in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Required Clery Act Reporting

Certain crimes that occur within Mines’ geography must be disclosed in the Colorado School of Mines Annual Security Report and to the Department of Education. These crimes include criminal homicide (murder and non-negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence), robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, hate crimes (including any of the aforementioned crimes, as well as larceny-theft, simple assault, and intimidation), domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault (rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape), and arrests and referrals for disciplinary action for weapons law, drug abuse and liquor law violations.

Sponsored trips by Mines for students extending more than one night need to be recorded via this online form. Locations students use during the trip, such as overnight accommodations and rented or leased classroom space, are controlled by Mines under the Clery Act and need to be treated as non-campus property for Clery Act reporting purposes.  Thus, crimes occurring in these locations need to be reported. For example, if Mines has entered into a written agreement with a third-party contractor to arrange housing and/or classroom space for a school-sponsored trip or study away program (either domestic or foreign), it is assumed that the contractor is operating on behalf of Mines as the school's agent, putting Mines in control of this space. When Mines sends students to study at a location or facility (either domestically or foreign) that Mines does not own or control, Mines does not have to report statistics for crimes that occur in those facilities.

Leaders of Programs that occur within Mines’ Clery geography are considered Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) under the Clery Act. As CSAs, these Program Leaders must report crimes that occur in their programs abroad to the Mines Clery Compliance Officer so they can be disclosed in the Colorado School of Mines Annual Security Report and to the Department of Education. The form to report crimes can be found at this link.


Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Provost in advance and in writing. Violations of this policy may lead to cancellation of a Program.

Last Revision:

July 25, 2022