Student Petition

STUDENT PETITION FOR TRAVEL APPROVAL GUIDELINES

It is a goal of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) strategic plan to ensure that students will have maximum exposure to international experiences. To minimize health and safety risks, UNH policy prohibits student activities in countries for which a U.S. State Department Travel Warning is in effect. There may be rare instances when an individual UNH student considers that there is a compelling educational interest to conducting an activity in a country on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list and that it is possible to mitigate the risks. In these cases an individual student may petition to the International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC) for prior approval.

In addition, ITRRC may require travelers to petition for permission to travel to locations or participate in programs that pose a specific health, safety, or security concern as indicated by sources other than the U.S. Department of State Travel Warning list. Examples of such sources may include but are not limited to: U.S. embassies/consulates, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), non-U.S. government authorities (e.g., Australian or Canadian authorities), University of New Hampshire authorities, and travel assistance providers.

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", approval is required prior to travel:

  • Is the activity for credit?
  • Will the activity fulfill a degree requirement?
  • Is the activity financialy supported, in any way, by UNH?
  • Is the activity supervised, led, arranged, OR somehow sponsored by an UNH department or faculty or staff member?
  • Is the activity supervised, led, arranged, OR somehow sponsored by a University office, organization (band, athletic team, etc.) or by a UNH Recognized Student Organization?

Students should begin by contacting the Center for International Education with any questions or to receive assistance in preparing their petition.

Petition Process

Applicants are encouraged to apply early. The ITRRC review process commonly takes 6 to 8 weeks.

The proposal must be strongly linked to the student’s educational program, and the concerns raised in the questions below must be adequately addressed and documented. It is the student’s responsibility to prepare the documentation and work with the college or school in getting the necessary information. In the absence of a compelling case and justification, it is unlikely that the committee will approve the request.

Note:  Petitions are approved under the conditions at the time of approval. If a new travel warning is issued, the proposal must be reconsidered. If the program is ongoing and the country remains under a travel warning, the program must be re-approved each time an individual or group of students plans to participate.

Petition Contents

The petition must demonstrate the educational value of the program or activity and how its documented structures and health and safety procedures mitigate the concerns of the travel advisory. Requests require substantial documentation. Students are responsible for working with their faculty sponsors/mentors and other appropriate individuals in their colleges/schools in preparing a written request.

  1. Proposal
    The proposal should be written in essay or letter form and should include:
    • your degree program, major, student status, and proposed dates of travel
    • program overview or syllabus
      • Students planning independent travel should include a detailed daily plan.
      • Students participating in an organized program should include an overview or syllabus provided by the program sponsor along with any personal specifics for arrival, departure etc. 
    • answers to the following questions:
      • What are the compelling educational reasons for the experience in the specific location?
      • What alternative sites were considered and why will they not meet educational needs?
      • Will the program count as credit toward the degree or toward meeting a general requirement for the degree?
      • How does the structure of the program and safety procedures in place mitigate the concerns of the travel advisories?
  2. Student Emergency Plan (click here)
    Students should work with host program officials to obtain a copy of an existing plan or to develop documentation and procedures regarding health, safety, security, and evacuation.
  3. Letter of endorsement from faculty sponsor/mentor, department chair, or academic adviser
  4. Letter of admission from the program (when applicable)
    Students attending a non-UNH program need to attach a letter of acceptance/admission/invitation from the program.
  5. Letter of endorsement from dean
    Students should submit a letter of endorsement from the dean of the college leading the program or in which the individual student is matriculated. This letter must certify the educational value of the program but need not make any statement regarding a risk assessment or health and safety.
  6. Additional materials
    Any additional supporting documentation that supports the petition and will provide the ITRRC a more complete understanding of the nature of the activity, plans to mitigate the risks, or prior relationships that have been established with a site or host institution.
  7. Confirmation of Study Away Student Eligibility (for undergraduate students)
    Undergraduate students may obtain the UNH Study Away Student Eligibility Form online or at the Center for International Education.
  8. UNH ITRRC Consent and Agreement Form
    Contact Beth Kilinc at beth.kilinc@unh.edu.
  9. Proof of international health & evacuation insurance coverage in the destination country
    Provide a letter from your health insurance carrier and provider of evacuation/repatriation insurance that they will cover you in your destination location. If your carrier will not provide coverage, you will need to submit documentation from a travelers’ health, evacuation/repatriation insurance plan that provides short-term coverage in your destination location. Proof of insurance coverage will be required within 14 days, or before departure whichever comes first, if and when the petition is approved. Failure to provide this documentation will be grounds for ITRRC approval to be revoked.

Petition Submissions

Complete Student ITRRC Travel Approval petitions should be submitted electronically or in hard copy to:

The International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC)
C/O Beth Kilinc
Center for International Education
University of New Hampshire
228 Hood House
Durham NH  03824
Tel:  603-862-0128
Fax: 603-862-0169
Email: beth.kilinc@unh.edu

Petition Checklist

_____Proposal
_____Student Emergency Plan (click here)
_____Letter of endorsement from faculty sponsor/mentor, department chair, or academic adviser
_____Letter of admission from the program
_____Letter of admission from dean
_____Additional materials
_____Confirmation of Study Away Student Eligibility
_____UNH ITRRC Consent and Agreement Form
_____Proof of international health & evacuation insurance coverage in the destination country