Pre-trip planning and training/orientation

Pre-trip planning is an important step to ensure a safe and successful international OCE (such as SATA, TRIP, or other college-sponsored student programs).

Required Readings and Meetings

  • Review Connecticut College Off-Campus Engagement Policy
  • Attend an OCE training session for faculty and staff (contact with questions)
  • Hold a mandatory pre-departure orientation session for students and distribute detailed information about the trip 

Forms and Paperwork

For all International OCEs (such as SATA, TRIP, internship, research or a conference), the following need to be completed by the respective deadlines. Consult with the appropriate administrative office for deadlines and additional requirements. Forms can be found on the Forms and Waivers page.

  1. Complete and submit online Off-Campus Registration form which includes Off-Campus Travel Roster to Campus Safety.
  2. Retain completed waivers and medical disclosure form for all particpants. SATA students will complete this through the online application process. Consult with Student Health Services, Student Counseling Services and/or Student Accessibilities Services as needed.
    Note: In the event that a student refuses to sign these forms, the faculty/staff leader should read them to the student and fill out the required information except for the signature.
  3. Ensure Experience Provider returns a completed OCE Experience Provider Agreement.
  4. Distribute to all participants the following:

    Faculty/staff leader and participant contact information. It might be a good idea to set up a WhatsApp group with all participants before departure to communicate with the whole group.

    Emergency Contact information

         On Call International Card and Brochure

         Connecticut College Campus Safety (860-439-2222)

         Local U.S. embassy or consulate (for U.S. citizens)

         Local law enforcement (country equivalent to “911”)

         Hotel, homestay, or university address

    Detailed travel itinerary, including information about flights and in-country activities, accommodations; group communication procedures; and emergency response plan.
  5. For SATA and TRIPs the Office of Study Away will:
    1. Compile travel roster and send a copy to Campus Safety and Faculty/Staff Leader.
    2. Collect copies of valid passports (first page) and visas. Please note, many countries require that the passport be valid for six months after the end date of the scheduled travel and have at least two blank pages available. Require that all students scan and save an accessible electronic copy.
  6. For SATA and TRIPS, the Faculty/Staff Leader will:
    1. Provide the Study Away Office with a copy of detailed travel itinerary including flights and in-country activities, accommodations, group communication procedure and emergency response plan.
    2. Register the travel program with the U.S. State Department STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) service
    3. Require students to register with the U.S. State Department STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program)
    4. Review current State Department advisories

      *NOTE: Faculty, staff and students wishing to receive College funding and/or credit for participation in an internship (through the Hale Center for Career Development, or one of the Centers for Interdisciplinary Scholarship) or participate in a study abroad or other educational program in a region under a U.S. State Department Travel Warning level 3 must submit a Travel Request Form and Personal Risk Management Questionnaire that requires a complete description of and justification for their study and travel. For student requests, if approved by the Dean of the College, upon the recommendation of the Study Away Committee, the student and parent(s) will be required to sign aTravel Warning Acknowledgement of Risks and Release of Liability. For faculty and staff requests, if approved by the employee’s supervisor, upon the recommendation of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the faculty and staff will be required to sign a Travel Warning Acknowledgment of Risks and Release of Liability. Travel to a country or region on the level 3  is not permitted without pre-travel approval and a completed Travel Warning Acknowledgment of Risks and Release of Liability. The College will not approve nor will it fund travel to countries under a Level 4 Travel Warning under any circumstances and without appeal.


Health and Safety

It is the responsibility of the faculty/staff leader(s) of OCEs to review the most up-to-date medical and security information pertaining to the travel location, to assess the risks, and to communicate this information to all student participants. (See Global Assistance Program-On Call International for a Country Report and Pre-Trip Assessment form)

To assist in this process:

  • Determine required vaccinations for TRIP or SATA destination and find out where they can be administered. For the most up-to-date global health advisories see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Student Health Services may be able to provide some vaccines at a lower cost. Check with Student Health Services to determine if they offer the vaccines required. 
  • Advise participants to bring a doctor’s letter about their medications, as some countries have strict laws regulating prescription drugs. Advise students to bring sufficient supplies of prescription medications, bug repellant, and sunscreen, if these items are not likely to be readily available at your destination.
  • Inform participants that high-risk activities are strictly prohibited, including drug use; excessive consumption of alcohol; use of firearms; bungee jumping; scuba diving; sky-diving etc. If you are in doubt as to whether an on-site activity you have planned is considered high-risk, please consult with the appropriate administrative office.
  • Inform student participants that they are strictly prohibited from renting and operating motor vehicles of any kind for personal use or to transport others during international off-campus engagement programs.
  • Inform students that the responsible consumption of alcohol is governed by in-country laws. Excessive consumption of alcohol by any student is strictly prohibited by Connecticut College and violations of this policy may result in a student being sent home at their own expense and/or disciplinary action upon return to campus. (See Alcohol Policy)
  • Remind participants of the Title IX Policy (brochures are available online)

Emergency Response Plan

In addition to the above, it is the responsibility of the faculty/staff director to develop an emergency management plan as part of pre-departure preparation.   

  • Develop a written International Emergency Response Plan (including a group communication plan) and provide a copy to the Office of Study Away
  • Share emergency contact information with all TRIP or SATA participants
  • See Case Studies from Forum on Education Abroad Note: contact On Call International for site-specific information (e.g., best local hospitals, contact for local first responders, etc.)


Other Logistics

Working with the Office of Study Away (for TRIPs and SATA):

  • Arrange for roundtrip ground transportation to U.S. departure airport
  • Arrange for ground transportation from airport to hotel
  • Review options for cell phone use at your destination. Note: you may need to purchase a local SIM card or calling card once you reach your destination
  • In the case of countries with cash economies, arrange for a cash advance prior to departure
  • For faculty and staff who do not possess college-issued P-cards, be sure to contact your credit card company to let them know you will be traveling abroad (otherwise, your card may be blocked)
  • Be sure to review the Travel Reimbursement Policy

Don’t Forget to Pack Your:

  • On Call international card
  • College-issued P-card
  • Prescription medications
  • Copy of travel itinerary
  • Off-Campus Travel Roster
  • Copies of all passports and visas
  • Contact information for onsite accommodations
  • Electrical current converters


Upon Return

  • Process all travel expenses with Office of Study Away within 30 days of return. Be sure to keep all receipts during the trip and stay within budget. Be advised that you will not be reimbursed for the purchase of alcohol or personal items
  • Follow-up on any emergencies encountered on the trip with Campus Safety, Dean’s Office and sponsoring office 
  • Create opportunities for your students to debrief and process their experiences
  • Provide opportunities for students to reflect on their experiences and share with campus community
  • Coordinate with Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement to provide on-campus event to share outcomes with campus community
  • Work with Walter Commons to assess TRIP or SATA outcomes
  • Submit detailed post-TRIP/SATA report by agreed upon deadline. Include photos and direct feedback from students