The University of Georgia recognizes that international travel, communication, and partnerships are essential to UGA's academic, research, and outreach mission and supports these endeavors. The University is equally committed to the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, and staff who travel to support the University's mission, and realizes that some areas and regions of the world present heightened health, safety, and security risks. Specifically, countries and areas that carry U.S. State Department Travel Warnings require special consideration and review to manage and mitigate risk, and in many circumstances, require the avoidance of travel altogether, thus the ability to travel under UGA sponsorship or financing to countries under a State Department Travel Warning is limited. The US State Department issues Travel Warnings "when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country."
In an additional effort to manage and mitigate risk, UGA may limit travel to regions for which the State Department has issued a Travel Alert or has indicated imminent dangerous conditions, but stops short of a Travel Warning. The ability to travel to such an area depends on a number of circumstances. Below are summarized UGA policies regarding study abroad and other university-related travel to countries falling under Travel Warning:
UGA Faculty-Led (group) Study Abroad Programs (resident credit)
UGA does not operate faculty-led study abroad programs in countries under Travel Warning. On very rare occasions, exceptions may be granted if there are extraordinary mitigating circumstances. Faculty may petition the Study Abroad Risk Management Board for an exception (the faculty member should submit a petition via the online form).
UGA Non-Traditional Programs (resident credit independent research or internships) & Exchanges (transfer credit)
UGA does not operate independent research or internship programs, nor reciprocal exchanges, in countries under Travel Warning. Faculty may petition the risk management board for an exception as above, but no exception has been granted to date for an independent study or exchange, as the risk board recognizes that the fact that students are traveling independently and unaccompanied represents a further increase in risk. As above, the faculty member should submit a petition via the online form.
Participation by UGA Student in Non-UGA Programs (transfer credit)
UGA students who choose to participate in non-UGA programs (programs operated by study abroad provider organizations, by other US institutions, or via direct enrollment in a foreign institution) in countries under Travel Warning may transfer in the credit towards their degree. Such participation in subject to the same approval as participation in non-UGA programs in other countries and the same pre-departure credit approval process; see the Study Abroad Transfer Credit policy. Students choosing to participate in such non-UGA programs are strongly advised to acquaint themselves with the State Department Travel Warning and with the safety protocols of the program in which they plan to participate, to apprise themselves fully of the risks, to make an informed decision, and to anticipate the steps they will take to maximize their own safety.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Students participating in non-UGA programs as outlined in the section above may receive HOPE and federal aid such as loans and Pell for those credit hours if the program is approved and the credit approval process is completed. However, UGA institutional aid such as UGA-specific scholarships, OIE-administered scholarships, funds from Honors, and other scholarships from institutional and foundation funds cannot be used in countries under State Department Travel Warning.
Graduate Research & Internships (i.e., research or internships required for a graduate degree program)
In rare cases, graduate students have been able to pursue research or internships in countries under State Department Travel Warnings. Considerations include the integral necessity of the travel for the student's degree and/or intended research project, and the precautions taken to maximize safety. Graduate students or their major professors should submit a petition via the online form. Independent study or research in Travel Warning countries is not permitted for undergraduates.