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Policy for Unrest, Terrorism, & Threat of War

The Office of International Education's Policy in Case of Political or Social Unrest, Terrorism, and the Threat of War


We are often asked about our policy for dealing with emergencies or other events that could jeopardize the security of students on our education abroad programs. We routinely do several things:

First:

We tell you how to access official information about the country to which you are going. In particular, you have been given the website for the United States Department of State’s International Travel page (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go.html). We urge you to read the Consular Information Sheet (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html) for your country of study since they provide basic health and safety information that we want and expect you to know.

Second:

We give you the information you need to register with the U.S. State Department so they know where and when you will be going abroad. Using the web site we provide (https://step.state.gov/step/) registers you with the embassy in the country where you are studying in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency.

Third:

We monitor U.S. State Department Travel Alerts and Warnings (available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html), which document the potential for unrest or signal imminent or actual problems. When a Warning is issued, the Education Abroad staff  will evaluate the advice and communicate it to program contacts on-site.  The contacts make sure students are notified and advised so that appropriate action can be taken.  

Travel Warnings are also the "trigger" used to cancel a program. If the State Department prohibits travel to a certain country and/or orders American government dependents to leave, the Office of International Education will cancel either our program or CU's participation in the program.

If we cancel a program before it begins, we do the following:

  • All funds paid to the University of Colorado Boulder Office of International Education will be refunded. Fees paid directly by you to our education abroad partners, deposits made to hold housing, or payments for plane tickets may or may not be returned, depending on each organization's policies.
  • If classes have not begun in Boulder, you will be given information on how to register. Those who wish to take the semester off will be assisted in applying for a Leave of Absence which will allow them to continue to access certain university benefits while not enrolled on campus (or abroad).
  • If you receive financial aid, steps will be taken to ensure that future aid is not jeopardized.
  • If you wish to secure housing in CU Boulder dorms, the Office of International Education will work with the Housing Reservations office to help find space whenever possible.

If we cancel after a program has begun, we do the following:

  • Advise you to immediately leave the country or area. If you choose to remain in unsettled areas, you do so at your own risk.
  • Depending on how much coursework has been completed and where you are in the academic term, facilitate the completion of credit and the registration for the next term at your home campus. If partial or full credit can be awarded, tuition will not be fully refunded (see #3).
  • Refund all fees paid to the University of Colorado Boulder Office of International Education, unless partial or full credit can be awarded. Fees paid directly by you to our education abroad partners, deposits made to hold housing may or may not be refunded, depending on each organization's policies. Payments for plane tickets, visa fees, immunizations, etc. are generally not refundable.

If you or members of your family have additional questions, please contact us. Our overall goal is to ensure that you have a safe, productive experience abroad!