International Travel Guidelines: Students and Trainees

UCSF schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, and the Graduate Division recognize the benefit to students and trainees of international travel for educational and research purposes.  The schools and the Graduate Division’s objective is to facilitate travel for these reasons. Travel not specifically authorized under a training affiliation agreement or memorandum of understanding for UCSF-sponsored research, clinical care, or educational programs is not considered UCSF travel, and students and trainees are not considered to be in the course and scope of their program when traveling.   

Training Affiliation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding

Please refer to UCSF Administrative Policy 100-10: Affiliation Agreements for guidelines and responsibilities for entering into training affiliation agreements between UCSF and foreign or international entities.

For the purpose of this policy, memoranda of understanding include formal MOUs, IRB-approved projects and letters of invitation.  Such agreements must articulate applicable responsibilities and expectations for supervision, safety, and intellectual property in educational, clinical and research settings.


Students/trainees traveling on UCSF business are covered by UC professional liability/malpractice coverage and general liability coverage, which should be delineated in the affiliation agreement between UCSF and the foreign or international entity.  Provision of clinical care must be supervised in accordance with the student/trainee’s credentials and privileges as granted by UCSF to assure that care is provided within the student/trainee’s current competence, experience, and training, and in compliance with UCSF policies and procedures.

Students/trainees are eligible for UC Student Off-Campus Travel coverage including medical emergency/security evacuation services at no cost.  To assure coverage, students must register all off-campus travel.

Students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) have travel coverage for both personal and academic travel.  

Students/Trainees Traveling Outside of the Course and Scope of Their Program

Students/trainees who travel on non-UCSF business are not eligible for UC professional liability/malpractice coverage, general liability coverage, or student travel insurance.  However, students/trainees who travel for non-UCSF reasons but remain enrolled in the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) are covered for approved medical expenses incurred while abroad through Anthem Blue Cross.

UCSF trainees have access to additional country-specific information about important issues like ground transportation safety, immunizations, and travel medications through the iJET UC Trip Planner or through insurance-linked travel medicine appointments. Trainees should use these resources.

Responsibilities of the Schools and Graduate Division

UCSF has a responsibility to minimize risk to students/trainees participating in academic programs. For this reason, in most circumstances, students/trainees will not be approved to undertake international UCSF approved activities in a location for which a U.S. Department of State travel warning is currently in place and/or an iJET overall security warning level 5 (very high) has been assigned. If a student/trainee wishes to participate in international UCSF approved activities in a location for which a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is currently in place and/or an iJET overall security warning level 5 (very high) warning has been assigned, approval of the dean of the school or Graduate Division (or his or her designee) is required.

It is the responsibility of the schools and Graduate Division to provide comprehensive information about risk and measures that can be taken to mitigate risk to students/trainees, including but not limited to:

  • State Department travel warnings
  • iJET ratings and trip safety planning
  • UC travel insurance/emergency medical/evacuation
  • Personal travel insurance