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Program Cancellation Policy

Policy on Cancelation or Suspension of CU Boulder International Programs Involving Students

To better support international activities and to address and minimize health, safety, and other risk issues for the university, the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) has established the CU Boulder Policy on Student International Travel and Programs (PSITP) ( The following policy on the cancellation or suspension of CU Boulder international programs involving students derives from the PSITP, and is managed by Education Abroad and the CU Boulder International Risk Committee for Student Travel.

Monitoring Student Health, Safety, and Security Abroad

The safety and well-being of students traveling internationally for university purposes is a top priority for CU Boulder. To address emergencies or other events that could jeopardize the security of students while overseas, Education Abroad routinely monitors health, safety, and security abroad through the following channels:

  1. Daily briefings from the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), a division of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.  OSAC briefings are for non-military US member organizations.
  2. US Department of State Travel Advisories and Country Crime and Safety reports.
  3. Briefings from the International SOS Travel Security team and from I-SOS Risk Ratings Analyses
  4. Daily Security Alerts from the Education Abroad international insurance provider

Additionally, for students participating on CU Boulder Education Abroad programs and for those registered in the International Travel Registry (as a Global Experience), the Education Abroad office does the following:

  1. Provides access to country specific information including the United States Department of State’s International Travel page, Consular Information Sheets and International SOS reports which provide basic health and safety information about that we want and expect students to know.
  2. Gives students information on registering their trip with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP registration allows the appropriate embassy to send information about safety conditions in the destination country, and helps the U.S. embassy to contact students in an emergency.
  3. Registers students in the Education Abroad international insurance policy.

Please Note: All participants in CU Boulder Education Abroad programs are responsible for their own safety and for reviewing all safety and travel guidance; nothing in this policy supplants this responsibility or supersedes applicable releases and waivers.

Policy on Cancellation of CU Boulder International Programs

As stated above, Education Abroad monitors U.S. State Department Travel Advisories, which document the potential for unrest or signal imminent or actual problems.

The U.S. Department of State issues an overall Travel Advisory level for every country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country, and the U.S. Department of State utilizes a classification system as follows:

  • Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
  • Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
  • Level 3: Reconsider Travel
  • Level 4: Do Not Travel

 Level 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) Travel Advisories are issued due to serious risks to safety and security.  Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) Travel Advisories are issued due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.

Examples of reasons for issuing a Level 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) or Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) Travel Advisory might include crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, natural disaster, a time-limited event, etc. Travel Advisory levels remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.

Level 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) and Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) Travel Advisories, either for the entire country or within a country, are the catalysts used to cancel or suspend a program. Appeals can be submitted to the International Risk Committee for Student Travel asking that travel be allowed for Level 3 warnings.

There are certain situations where travel to a country will be automatically suspended by the CU Boulder International Risk Committee for Student Travel, and appeals for travel shall not be allowed. Examples include:

  1. If the country has an overall rating of 4 (Do Not Travel).
  2. If the U.S. Department of State evacuates family members of government personnel or authorizes the voluntary departure of personnel.
  3. If the Peace Corps withdraws its volunteers from a country.

The CU Boulder International Risk Committee for Student Travel (IRC) and Education Abroad will review the Travel Advisories and will determine whether or not to suspend programs. Other health or safety concerns could arise from renewed US Department of State advisories, travel warnings from the Center for Disease Control or from the World Health Organization, or Travel Advisories from other countries.  The IRC may withdraw approval for international programs at any time based on changes in the security, health or safety situation of a location. Additionally, the IRC may request a review of travel plans for approval at any time, regardless of the current US Department of State Travel Advisory level.


This policy does not apply to travel by faculty or staff not involving students, nor does it apply to personal, non-university affiliated travel by students.  If the travel is affiliated with CU Boulder or with a student’s academic program or a university-registered student group, the policy does apply.