Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
RIT Global

Faculty-Led COVID Risk Mitigation Guidelines

The RIT Education Abroad office is constantly monitoring how COVID-19 is affecting international travel, with student safety as our top priority. In addition to the standard faculty-led program development process, all programs must temporarily be approved by the Provost. Outlined below are the new guidelines for leading a faculty-led or international research program moving forward. Since the COVID pandemic remains a fluid situation and local conditions may vary widely, faculty and students should be advised that protocols and procedures may change at any time, including while at the international location.

As a reminder, all faculty-led programs already have several safety checks and balances built into them. For example, all students and faculty receive international health insurance and security assistance through On Call. In addition, all students sign waivers to participate, attend pre-departure, faculty are provided with participant emergency contact information, and faculty attend mandatory training.

RIT Education Abroad has implemented several additional COVID risk mitigation strategies, including:

  • All faculty, staff, students, and others participating in RIT study abroad/international travel must be fully vaccinated against COVID or have a valid RIT exemption.  If one has a valid RIT exemption to the vaccination requirement, please be advised that their ability to participate in RIT study abroad/international travel will be subject to any requirements imposed by a host country. RIT may be able to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with a valid RIT exemption, provided that they do not alter the nature of the educational experience for others participating in RIT study abroad/international travel, but it cannot change host country COVID requirements.

  • Students are required to read and sign an updated liability and health statement to ensure they understand and accept the added risks of studying abroad during a pandemic.

  • Communicating directly with students that if they have pre-existing conditions they may be more at risk and other possible risks that may impact their experience while abroad (travel interruptions, CDC/local guidelines such as testing requirements, wearing masks, curfews).

  • Encouraging students to purchase additional travel insurance, such as Cancel for Any Reason, to reduce financial burden if travel is interrupted.

  • Students are required to attend pre-departure training, which includes updated COVID safety guidelines and precautions.

  • All program leaders are required to attend the updated pre-departure training.

For the foreseeable future, all faculty-led programs must:  

  • Complete a comprehensive COVID plan to be reviewed/approved by Risk Management that outlines how each program will address the following:

    • COVID requirements and risks such as testing, quarantine/isolation, masking, social distancing, etc.

    • A plan for maintaining continuity of instruction in the event the travel portion of the program is interrupted before or during travel. This plan will be outlined in a form provided to program leaders.

  • Participants must comply with COVID regulations and guidelines when necessary (ex. host country laws, transportation providers, in-country partners, U.S. entry requirements, etc.)

  • Program leaders assume responsibility for staying current with COVID-related travel advisories and regulations and informing students of any specific requirements when necessary.

RIT recommends the following COVID risk mitigation measures to consider implementing in the COVID Safety plan:

  • Provide single room housing for all students and ensure housing has working Wi-Fi.

  • Restrict independent travel outside of the host country before and during the program.

  • Arrange international non-stop group flights to limit flight delays or other travel interruptions.  

  • Limit multi-day excursions and/or multi-country destinations during the program.

  • Identify a 2nd program leader or host country partner who can assist in the event that a student or faculty director is required to quarantine/isolate while abroad.

  • Advise students to bring PPE such as disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and thermometers.

  • Advise students to have a cell phone with an international phone plan/SIM card.

  • Advise students to bring laptops abroad in case they have to complete the course remotely.

  • Encourage all participants to limit contact with non-household individuals and exposure to public places for 14 days before departure.

  • Advise student’s family members to have valid/up-to-date passports so they can be with their student in-country and support them if an emergency occurs while abroad.