Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast


Print This Issue
Front Page
All About Teaching
Subscribe to E-Alamanc!



The Provost's Task Force on Study Abroad, which I chair, was asked this fall to establish a policy on study abroad in sites under a travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State or the Centers for Disease Control. After much deliberation, including consultation with faculty, the Task Force has recommended the attached policy, which has been approved by President Rodin and Provost Barchi.

--Peter Conn, Deputy Provost

Policy on Study Abroad in Sites under a Travel Warning

December 11, 2003

The University of Pennsylvania aspires to provide our undergraduate students with the tools that will help them to become leaders of their chosen professions in the global society of the 21st century. To this end, Penn vigorously supports a program of study abroad opportunities around the world.

The University sets guidelines about how, when, and where undergraduate students may study abroad and considers issues of terrorism, war, disease and other risks to travelers. Accordingly, the University observes the following policy: if either the U.S. Department of State or the Centers for Disease Control issues a travel warning for a particular country or region within a country, normally Penn will suspend approval of study abroad by Penn undergraduate students of any nationality in that site while the warning is in effect. At the present time, Penn does not operate any programs or employ staff in sites under a travel warning.

On rare occasions, an individual student may wish to seek exemption from the policy on study abroad in a site under a travel warning on academic grounds. Effective for the fall 2004 semester, an undergraduate student may file a petition for individual exemption in the Office of International Programs (OIP) for consideration by the Study Abroad Faculty Advisory Committee that has regional jurisdiction over the site of the student's intended program. The petition must be based solely on academic grounds, and must include a signed statement of support from the student's major advisor using a designated form provided by OIP.  The petition must also include waiver forms signed by the student and the student's parents or guardians acknowledging that they have read the travel warning. The waiver forms will ask students and their families to verify that they understand that Penn is neither sponsoring the study abroad program nor advising students to participate in a program where travel warnings exist, and that students are solely responsible for their safety. The Provost will make the final ruling on the petition based upon the committee's recommendation and assessment of risk to the student.

If the petition is approved, the Penn Abroad staff will administer the study abroad program in the same way as all other study abroad programs for which Penn students may receive credit. Students will continue to pay Penn tuition and the Penn study abroad fee. The petitions deadline for fall 2004 is February 15.


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 16, December 16, 2003