MU Student International Travel Policy

The Student Travel Abroad Review Committee will not consider appeals for study abroad or university-related international travel while the Department of State global level 4 health advisory is in place.


To minimize health, safety and security risks, students planning to study in and university divisions sponsoring educational activities in countries or regions with one of the following must request approval from the university’s Student Travel Abroad Review Committee.

In addition, travelers may be required to request approval to travel to locations or participate in programs that pose a specific health, safety or security concern as indicated by other authorities, such as the World Health Organization, non-U.S. government authorities (e.g., Australian or Canadian authorities), University of Missouri insurance providers and university authorities.

Read the full text of MU’s international travel policies:

Non-compliance

If a student chooses to travel to a country or region with a Department of State travel advisory level three or four or a CDC travel warning (level three) against the advice of the university, or does not request STAR Committee approval prior to going abroad:

  • In cases of emergency, student may not have access to university support or resources during that time including:
    • UM-negotiated international¬†sickness and accident insurance;
    • Security intelligence;
    • Security, political, natural disaster and medical evacuation services;
    • Campus and university medical, legal and financial support services available to students on the MU campus.
  • Students seeking academic credit:
    • May lose scholarships or financial aid requiring continuous enrollment at MU;
    • May not receive academic credit for the study abroad experience.

Exception request process

All MU undergraduate, graduate/professional and certificate programs students participating on any university-related international travel to a country or region under a U.S. Department of State travel advisory at level three or four or a Centers for Disease Control travel warning (level three) must request an exception from the STAR Committee. In addition, students may be required to submit a request for permission to travel to locations or participate in programs that pose a specific health, safety or security concern as indicated by authorities other than the Department of State. This includes:

In cases where a university division is sponsoring an activity, the division faculty/staff member in charge is responsible for ensuring all participants have obtained approval. The easiest way to do this is to apply for an exception for the program on behalf of all participants.

Note: This requirement does not include personal/vacation international travel that is not related to the University of Missouri.

Exception requests require substantial documentation. The appeal must be strongly linked to academic goals, and the concerns raised in the appeal must be adequately addressed and documented. In the absence of a compelling case and justification, it is unlikely that the committee will approve the request.

Step 1: Submit request for travel policy exception
Those requesting an exception to the international travel policy must submit an official request to the STAR Committee at least eight weeks before proposed travel.

Step 2: STAR Committee review
The vice provost for International Programs will call a meeting of the STAR Committee. In deciding whether to approve travel, the committee will consider the following factors, as well as information from governmental sources, the university’s insurance carriers and other expert sources:

  • The academic level, purpose and educational/research/professional development importance of the opportunity in relation to the students’ academic program
  • Alternative program options and why none were chosen
  • The political, physical and travel conditions in the location and the ability to evacuate students, if necessary
  • The geographic location of the activity and its relation to the threat addressed by the travel advisory
  • Steps taken to minimize the threat
  • The level of risk to students’ health and safety
  • Traveler experience, both in general and related to the specific location
Step 3: Decision notification
The STAR committee will review requests and make recommendations to the vice provost for International Programs. A decision regarding each request will be communicated to the applicant’s MU email address as soon as possible. The decision is final and cannot be appealed.

  • Approval only applies to the traveler(s) and dates specifically listed in the official request.
  • If a proposal is approved, it is only approved under the conditions at the time of approval. If a new travel advisory or warning is issued, the proposal must be reconsidered. If the program is ongoing and the country or region remains under a Department of State travel advisory at level three or four or CDC travel warning (level three), the program must be re-approved each time an individual or group of students plans to participate.
  • The university will not authorize student travel to any country or region for which the Department of State has issued a mandatory evacuation order.
  • When the committee is considering a rejection of a travel application by a graduate student, the committee will engage the dean of the student’s college in the decision-making process.

The STAR Committee will not support travel that takes place without adhering to the requirements of this policy. Therefore, the STAR Committee will not retroactively approve any travel to a country or region under a Department of State travel advisory at level three or four or a CDC travel warning (level three).