Travel Safety for Faculty


1. The College of Forestry now requires all foreign travelers to:

    • Register with OSU Risk Management when traveling abroad on OSU Business regardless of funding type by completing the International Travel Registration Form.  Kristie Williams will assist you with registration as necessary. Registration provides international travel insurance.  The insurance is centrally funded and there will be no cost to you.
    • Leave contact information with your office manager, supervisor, or unit manager.  This should include dates of travel, travel destination(s), where you will stay, and contact information here and abroad. 
    • If planning to conduct research abroad, be sure to review considerations and apply for the OSU IRB if necessary

 2. Review the U.S. Department of State Alerts and Warnings for warnings or alerts regarding your destination.

The U.S. Department of State issues a Travel Warning when they want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. Travel Alerts are issued for short-term events that should be considered when planning travel to a country. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Alert might include an election season that is bound to have many strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1; or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks.

3. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Heath Notices page regularly for updates about current health issues and outbreaks within your country(ies) of destination.

There are different types of notices for international travelers, laid out below, which describe both levels of risk for the traveler and recommended preventive measures to take at each level of risk.

You can also search for your country page on the CDC Destinations site, which will provide you with information on country-specific recommended and required vaccines, and health and safety tips.

4. If planning to bring or return with complex equipment or natural specimens, be sure to review the U.S. Department of State Customs and Import Restrictions to understand what you cannot take to another country, and what you cannot bring back to the United States.

There are special rules for products made from endangered wildlife, exotic woods, and agricultural crops. Many wildlife and wildlife products are prohibited either by U.S. or foreign laws from import into the United States. You risk confiscation and a possible fine if you attempt to bring them into the United States when you return.

5. We strongly recommend you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Enrollment is quick and easy. This program allows you to:

    • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
    • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
    • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

 6. Obtain any required documents for the country of travel

The U.S. Department of State Travel site has information regarding necessary visas and documentation. When leaving the U.S., you will need an unexpired passport. The average processing time for a first-time passport application is approximately six weeks, so plan accordingly.

In order to enter many countries, or stay longer than 90 days, you will need a visa.  A visa is an official authorization from the host country appended to a passport, permitting entry into and travel within a particular country for a stated period of time. The government of the foreign country to be visited issues the visa. The actual visa is usually a stamp in your passport. The application process is country-specific and may take weeks or months, so begin ahead of time – you will also need your passport before you can apply for a visa.



Upon returning from your trip, be sure to file for travel reimbursement using the forms and information below.

More information and resources are available through the College of Forestry Business Travel page and the International Travel Risk Management page.

Contracted travel agencies include: