Trips abroad that are sponsored by Iowa State are now required to register beforehand. The Office of Risk Management provides resources to help reduce risk and increase safety.

A new policy was put into effect requiring all Iowa State-sponsored trips to foreign countries or U.S. territories to be pre registered to evaluate risk, according to a press release.

This policy, effective Jan. 1, includes trips for study abroad classes as well as faculty trips being funded by Iowa State.

Trips that require pre registration include anything partially or entirely funded by Iowa State, anything providing students academic credit, any trip involving a student organization or club, faculty member is engaging in education or research abroad.

Shaun Jamieson, international risk analyst for the Office of Risk Management, said in the press release the registration does not work to forbid travel abroad but provide travelers with resources to reduce travel risk.

The policy is meant to ensure travelers are insured and connected with resources before departing for the trip. The press release also stated the pre-registration system works to automatically enroll travelers in insurance covering the cost of emergency medical care if needed due to natural disasters or political instability.

Registration also signs up the travelers for the system AlertTraveler on their email or smartphone, which provides safety and security alerts to travelers.

Information used from AlertTraveler considers health and security concerns, and then destinations are assessed by risk level, according to the press release.

Areas are then classified based on their risk level. Travelers to moderate-risk areas are encouraged to review their itinerary with the Office of Risk Management, and review of the itinerary is required for trips to high-risk areas.

For trips to severe-risk destinations, a required itinerary review is shared with unit-level leadership and the respective senior vice president.

The press release stated nearly all student trips abroad were registered for the fiscal year 2018; however the requirement works to increase registration for employee trips, which currently has about 75 percent of 1,284 abroad trips registered.

The press release also reported that the majority of previously registered travel was to low-risk level areas for conferences; however, five percent of trips were to areas classified as high-to-severe risk destinations.

Jamieson said in the press release that the registration program can also provide those traveling with resources such as laptops for use abroad, satellite phones and translation apps.

The online registration required for such trips can be found on the Iowa State Office of Risk Management website. An online tutorial is provided for those unfamiliar with or new to the system.

The policy came about because of a new international travel risk focus, a prominent concern in higher education.

Jamieson is available to speak to classes or groups around campus on traveling safely in other countries, researching areas to visit and related topics. Jamieson can be emailed at shaun@iastate.edu or reached at 515-294-6916.

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