Health & Safety: Haverford College Policy Regarding U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings
Haverford College has numerous officially approved study abroad programs spanning the globe. The College has selected these programs, in part, based on the knowledgeable program personnel that our partners have stationed in-country, the program infrastructures they have in place and the due care and attention they devote to enhancing the safety and security of our students. In spite of our confidence in the measures our partners abroad take to enhance student safety and security, from time to time the College finds it appropriate to advise students to decline participation in an officially recognized study abroad program or destination due to serious concerns, such as war, political unrest, social instability, contagious disease control, military operations, election-related demonstrations or violence, natural disasters, terrorism concerns, etc. within the host country.
The International Academic Programs Office consults regularly with colleagues around the country who are involved in the administration of study abroad programs, with program directors, with responsible officials of host universities, and with contacts in the U.S. State Department and other government agencies. In addition, the office consults with other experts, including our own faculty, who keep well informed on issues and events in the locations of our approved programs. Our ability to communicate almost instantaneously worldwide via electronic mail enables us to obtain and share information quickly and efficiently with colleagues in the event of an emergency at an international study site that may have repercussions for international academic programs. In short, Haverford uses an effective system of consultation and a consensus of informed opinion in making decisions concerning the safety of our students abroad.
Haverford College, at its discretion, may advise students to decline participation in an officially approved study abroad program or destination abroad for any of the following reasons:
- The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning that specifically directs Americans to leave the country in which the program is located or to forego travel to that country.
- The U.S. Department of State has issued either: (1) a Travel Warning that urges Americans travelling to or within the country in which the program is located to consider carefully the risks of such travel and remain vigilant with respect to their personal safety and security if they choose to travel to or within that country, or within a specific region of that country that the Department of State has determined poses particularized risks for American travelers; or (2) a Travel Warning outlining significant risks to the safety and security of Americans travelling to or within the country in which the program is located.
- Haverford College Office of International Academic Programs has received recommendations that participants refrain from travel to a specific country or region from any of the following sources: (1) Faculty who are knowledgeable about the sociopolitical dynamics of the country or region in which the program is located; (2) Haverford's ACE Travel Assistance and Medical Insurance Program; (3) Peer institutions who are advising students to decline participation in programs located within a country or region.
Before a final decision is made, U.S. Peace Corps Travel Advisories and UK Travel Advisories are also consulted.
If permission is granted to study abroad in a country with a Travel Warning, students will be required to sign a special waiver and obtain written consent from their parents or guardians.
College Affiliated/Sponsored/Funded Group or Individual Travel to a Country Under a Travel Warning:
Haverford College will not support or fund individual or group travel to a country which has been issued a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning (http://www.travel.state.gov/) unless a special exception has been granted by the Dean of Global Affairs. Students who have a compelling educational reason to travel to such countries may submit a request to the Haverford funding organization/department for an individual exemption. The request should include the following:
- A description of the purpose of the travel and its unique educational benefits.
- A letter of support from the student's advisor.
- A detailed itinerary, including proposed modes of travel, housing arrangements and an evacuation plan.
- Proof of coverage for medical insurance, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance.
In the event the Haverford department/organization supports the request, the petition will be forwarded to the Dean of Global Affairs for review. The same criteria noted above for study abroad will be used on case-by-case basis for all other college affiliated/funded/sponsored travel. If the appeal is granted, students shall be required to complete a special waiver and to obtain consent from their parents or guardians.
The College also reserves the right to take the following actions, at its sole discretion, in the event that a Travel Warning or Travel Alert is issued or changed before, during or after a student is in a country which is the subject of such a warning or alert. The College reserves the right to take the following actions:
- Suspend all Haverford College affiliated/funded programs or travel to a country with a Travel Warning
- Decline to provide funding or process financial aid for study/travel to the country
- Require students to depart the country
All decisions described above shall be made by the Dean of Global Affairs in consultation with the Dean of the College and, in some cases, senior staff.
Please contact the Office of International Academic Programs if you have questions or concerns about this policy update.