Office of the Provost

Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 6 -- Business Affairs: General Regulations, Services, and Procedures

Educational Travel

Applicability of Policy

This policy applies to any travel requiring at least one overnight stay away from campus, the purpose of which is to study or otherwise engage in an educational activity, when that educational activity is incidental to, but not required by the traveling parties’ attendance or employment at FHSU. This policy is meant to apply to both students and employees participating in educational travel. This policy does not apply to one-day trips or excursions where no overnight stay is required. Further, “educational travel” does not include trips taken by organized and official athletic teams of FHSU when participants of the trip are engaged in the scope of their employment with FHSU (such as coaches), in furtherance of a course of study with FHSU (such as student trainers or band participants) or in furtherance of an officially recognized athletic activity (such as athletes). This policy also does not apply to travel by members of student organizations officially recognized by FHSU, when the travel does not utilize state vehicles or other university resources. Finally, this policy does not apply to trips that are a required element of a student’s course or an employee’s job. 

Any trip which does not constitute educational travel as defined herein is outside the scope of and not recognized by this policy. However, any faculty taking students away from campus on an event that does not constitute educational travel are advised to notify the department chair or the dean, if the department chair is not available. Any trips for business purposes incidental to employment with FHSU should be approved through preexisting and approved processes or as otherwise directed by the employee’s immediate supervisor. Student organizations and their sponsors should seek approval for travel not utilizing any state property or resources through pre-existing channels. Nothing contained in this policy is meant to alter the procedures used for requesting permission for travel, requesting the reimbursement of travel expenses, or requesting the use of a university vehicle. A trip which will result in personal financial benefit to employees of FHSU (e.g. free airfare, lodging, or other similar benefit) will not be recognized by this policy.

Situations involving educational travel to which this policy will apply include, but are not limited to the following: Voluntary study abroad or exchange experience whereby a student or students of FHSU travel to another city, state or country for the purposes of studying temporarily at another institution of higher education for which credit from FHSU will be received or sought; trips which, while not required by an FHSU course, are made optional through such course, with the purpose of the trip relating to the course in some way. Specific examples of these situations include travel by a Modern Language student to the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG) to study Spanish for a summer, with credit earned at UAG to be transferred to FHSU upon completion of the study. Another example of educational travel includes travel by FHSU students or non-FHSU students to France with volunteer faculty of FHSU over spring break. Finally, travel by students pursuant to an exchange program with SIAS University in China whereby FHSU students travel to SIAS to study for a year or other period of time is an example of educational travel. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive of all of the possible situations that may constitute educational travel. If there is any question as to whether a proposed trip by FHSU students, employees or both is considered educational travel, the chair of the academic department or the director of the administrative unit to which the trip relates should be first consulted and the final determination will be made by the dean of the appropriate college or the Vice President of the relevant administrative unit. Any trip that is either not recognized through this process or considered official travel is not in any way affiliated with FHSU.

Procedure for Recognition

In the event that a FHSU employee is participating in the educational travel at issue, such employee will initiate the recognition process by completing an educational travel questionnaire and returning the same to the chair of the department in which the trip originates or to which it relates. In the event an academic department is not involved, then the questionnaire shall be returned to the head of the administrative unit. Copies of the questionnaire may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office, from the chair of the applicable academic department, or the head of the administrative unit involved. Once the questionnaire is completed and returned to the chair, then it will be forwarded to the dean of the applicable college or the vice president of the applicable administrative division.

The questionnaire will then be forwarded to the appropriate administrative unit for action. If the trip involves study at another institution, for which academic credit from FHSU will be sought, the appropriate administrative units will include, but not necessarily be limited to, Financial Aid Office, Student Fiscal Services, and FHSU General Counsel. This process will be completed by way of Lotus Notes workflow.

Each student participating in educational travel is required to adhere to all of the terms of this policy and to complete all documentation required by the policy or as otherwise directed by FHSU. Should an FHSU employee not be involved in the educational travel experience, then it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the approval process and to complete and submit any and all documentation required by this policy. The student may contact the office of FHSU General Counsel to initiate the process set forth by this policy.

The following section is meant to apply to FHSU employees participating in an educational travel experience:

  1. Unless participating in travel which is a required component of a course taught by the employee or unless compensated for participating in the trip by FHSU, the employee will not be considered in the course or scope of his or her employment with FHSU.
  2. Notwithstanding #1, above the employee is expected to not subject any student or other employee participating in any educational travel experience to any unusual risk of bodily harm and is expected to utilize that judgment exercised by a reasonable prudent person.
  3. While participating in any educational travel experience involving students of FHSU, the employee is expected to adhere to any and all university policies regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, and personal relationships between students and employees.

 In all cases where the employee is not acting directly in the course or scope of his/her employment, FHSU will not be responsible for any harm caused to the employee or other participants of the trip as a result of employee’s actions or the actions of others beyond the control of FHSU. Each employee and student participating in an educational travel experience to which this policy applies will be required to sign a liability waiver and indemnification agreement. Applicable documents may be found in the Travel Questionnaire workflow process.

THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO ANY AND ALL STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN AN EDUCATIONAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCE:

Prior to Departure

You must provide your academic department with the following information as soon as possible and in no event less than three days prior to departure:

  1. Beginning and ending dates of your educational travel.
  2. Dates of travel and flight information.
  3. Complete program itinerary including weekend and holiday activities and other excursions.
  4. Your contact information including, email address and telephone number for the entire length of the program.
  5. A copy of all documentation requested by FHSU which may include, but is not limited to, passport, visa, proof of medical and repatriation insurance, etc.
  6. Emergency contact information for two contact persons, which will include: Name, address, home telephone number, business telephone number, other telephone numbers where the person may be reached including cell phone and email address.

 In addition, you will be responsible for obtaining and providing medical and evacuation and repatriation insurance. Information regarding such insurance may be obtained from many sources including, but not limited to, www.medexassist.com. You will also be responsible for signing a waiver and acknowledgement form or other similar documentation which will be provided to you by your academic department or University Counsel. 

During the Trip

FHSU cannot and does not guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the educational travel environment. In addition, neither FHSU nor any of its employees can or will monitor or control your daily personal decisions, choices, and activities or prevent you from engaging in illegal, dangerous or otherwise risky activities. Therefore, you are required at all times to conduct yourself in a manner that reflects positively on yourself, FHSU and the United States of America. You are required to exercise good judgment for the safety and protection of yourself and others. You are expected to abide by all laws, rules, and regulations of the host city, state, country, locality and/or institution. EVEN THOUGH AN EMPLOYEE OF FHSU MAY BE TRAVELING WITH YOU, THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE COURSE OR SCOPE OF HIS OR HER EMPLOYMENT WITH FHSU DURING THE TRIP, AND FHSU WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR THE ACTIONS, STATEMENTS, OR DECISIONS OF THE EMPLOYEE.

In addition to the above, the student is responsible for the following:

  1. Keeping apprised of events or occurrences, whether natural or manmade, occurring within the host city, state, country, locality, and/or institution, and to promptly report any such events or conditions to FHSU when the same appear likely to result in a disaster, catastrophe or other emergency situation which may cause a risk to your health and safety and/or cause a threat to your safe and prompt return to the United States of America.
  2. Keeping in contact with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy should such an emergency arise to obtain advice and guidance as to how to protect your health and safety during such emergency.
  3. If the student is enrolled at another educational institution for which credit from FHSU will be sought during or after the educational travel experience, the student is responsible for abiding by the FHSU Student Code of Conduct.
  4. Promptly reporting to your academic department any changes in your itinerary, schedule, or course of study, or any events or conditions which have a possibility to impact your course of study while abroad.
  5. Remaining personally responsible for any vehicle use or rental and to research any laws, rules or regulations relating to vehicle traffic and operation that apply in the host country and locality. FHSU recommends that individual students not rent and/or operate vehicles while in a foreign country. However, if you choose to rent and/or operate a vehicle, you will be responsible for your own actions and the consequences thereof, and FHSU will not be responsible for any personal injury or property damage resulting to you or others from your operation and/or rental of a motor vehicle. It is further recommended that you research the legal system and consequences of any events associated with operation of a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, an automobile accident.
  6. Investigating the health care system for the area or areas which you will be staying in or traveling through during your educational travel experience. You are solely responsible for determining whether any and all health insurance covering you will be effective should you need medical treatment while abroad. FHSU will not be responsible for any charges incurred for any medical treatment you receive during or after your trip for conditions occurring during or arising out of your trip.
  7. Being solely responsible for your own physical and mental condition, and insuring that you are both physically and mentally capable of travel. Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and law enforcement services in the host city, state or country. Follow the program policies and keep program staff and/or FHSU officials informed of your whereabouts and well-being during your educational travel experience.

 While your safety and welfare during your educational travel experience are your own responsibility, the following is a set of guidelines to follow while traveling to other areas, especially other countries:

  • Follow a “buddy system” so that you do not travel alone, especially at night
  • Avoid crowds, protests and volatile situations
  • Do not divulge personal information to strangers
  • Keep a low profile and do not draw attention unnecessarily to your nationality
  • Do not engage in abuse of alcohol or illegal use of drugs
  • Respect the culture of the host country

 After the Trip

You must submit any transcript or any other applicable academic information to the FHSU Registrar’s Office or your academic department as soon as possible after you return. These documents will be used to determine your future eligibility to attend FHSU or receive federal financial assistance. 

In addition, depending upon the location of your travel and world-wide health conditions existing at the time of your trip, you may be required to visit the Student Health Center within 48 hours of your return. You will be informed of this requirement prior to departure.

Policy and attachments approved by President’s Cabinet (12-12-06).
See Lotus Notes, Travel Questionnaire workflow for attachments. 

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