Travel Warning Policy

Current Padnos International Center policy is that students may normally not participate in study abroad programs (for GVSU credit) in countries under a Travel Warning issued by the U.S. State Department.

Current Travel Warnings are posted by the U.S. State Department.

Travel Warnings are different from Consular Information sheets which are available for every destination country. Students should always consult the State Department consular information sheets for countries in which they plan to travel or study before finalizing plans. These consular information sheets contain detailed safety and security information, as well as other important information that students should be familiar (health, political stability, etc.) Consular information sheets are also posted by the U.S. State Department.

Exceptions to Travel Warning Policy
In compelling circumstances, individual students may petition for an exemption from this policy. To submit a petition to study or participate in educational activities for GVSU credit in countries under current travel warnings, a student must submit a written proposal to the Chief International Officer of Grand Valley State University. This document should include:

  • Detailed information about the nature of the proposed activities and location of activities
  • Awareness of the current safety/security situation
  • Compelling rationale on why academic or professional goals cannot be met in other locations that are not under U.S. State Department Travel Warnings
  • A plan for relocation should the security situation worsen
  • Willingness to sign additional liability waivers, if exemption is approved
  • Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Release for Study Abroad in exceptional destinations (you will receive this form if your appeal is approved)

The Chief International Officer will convene a committee of individuals with appropriate expertise. This committee will review the specific situation in the destination country, as well as the student petition, and approve or reject the petition as it sees fit. To submit, send your appeal to Chief International Officer Mark Schaub at

Government of Canada Travel Advisories: 

Government of the United Kingdom Travel Advice: 

Page last modified January 18, 2017