George Mason University is committed to developing a wide variety of international study, research and work opportunities for faculty, staff and students; however, the university recognizes that there are situations in which safety and security issues may outweigh the advantages of exposure to international experiences. The safety and security of Mason students and personnel abroad is of the upmost importance. George Mason University closely monitors the security issues and the U.S. Department of State and Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) travel advisories and warnings. In order to ensure faculty, staff and students, working or travelling abroad on official university business or coursework make informed and wise decisions the following resources are being provided below.
University Policy 1134, University Travel to International and Hazardous Locations governs all international travel sponsored by the university and establishes a process for registering such travel. All faculty, staff and students, as well as participants in university-sponsored programs are governed by the policy.
As stated in the policy, any area that falls under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do Not Travel), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Warning Level 3 (Avoid non-essential travel) or higher; or is subject to comprehensive economic sanctions or export controls is considered a hazardous area and will require pre-approval by the University Travel Advisory Committee (UTAC). Individuals or groups traveling to a hazardous area must complete an Application for Travel to Hazardous Areas and Countries Under Comprehensive Economic Sanctions.
Travel Abroad Resources
U.S. Department of State:
The U.S. Department of State has a variety of resources designed to inform travelers of potential risks, provide country specific information including travel advisories, and offer pre-travel information and guidance. Students traveling abroad will also benefit from visiting the Department of State’s Students Abroad webpage. Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, and Travel Advisories are vital parts of planning travel abroad and can all be obtained by visiting the U.S. Department of State website.
Centers for Disease Control:
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) continuously tracks infectious disease situations around the world and issues public alerts against travel to particular locations subject to outbreaks of particular infectious diseases or in recommendation of specific health precautions to residents and travelers in an impacted region.
Additional resources have been collected and are available on Mason’s International Travel Website. Information regarding insurance coverage for international travel is available on Risk Management’s International Emergency Insurance webpage.
- Liability: The Commonwealth’s Risk Management Plan has worldwide application and covers faculty and staff for acts of job-related negligence (including professional malpractice). Student employees and students enrolled in internships that require their presence overseas are also covered. In the event there is a probability of a liability claim, Operational Risk Management (MSN 6D6) (703-993-2599) should be notified as soon as feasible.
- Property: All Mason property is insured at replacement value for accidental loss or damage, less a $1,000 deductible that is paid by the department. A claim must include documentation that: (1) Proves its original possession by Mason, (2) Proves accidental loss or damage, and (3) Shows the purchase of the replacement item or the restoration of the item to its previous state. If the item is upgraded, the difference in cost is born by the department. Third party property that is on loan to Mason is also covered by our insurance.
- Travel Insurance, including emergency services: All persons participating in international educational have access to the University’s international travel insurance coverage for the duration of the travel experience. Students will purchase and be enrolled in the coverage plan upon registering their trip in the Global Education Office’s System. Faculty must complete the International Emergency Insurance Registration Form in order to receive an insurance card and policy information.
- Medical Coverage: Medical Insurance carried by most full-time faculty and staff is usually applicable overseas; however each traveler should confirm this with their individual carrier. Students should also check with their health insurance provider to confirm their coverage extends overseas.
- Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ Compensation (703-993-2600) is insurance that covers University employees who suffer a work-related illness or injury. It provides for the full payment of medical expenses, emergency evacuation, rehabilitation treatment, and any loss of salary. At overseas locations, it is customary for the employee to pay the bill and be reimbursed by the Commonwealth upon return to the U.S.
- Vehicle Insurance: Although Mason vehicle collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance is applicable overseas, it is recommended that travelers purchase this insurance at the overseas destination through the car rental agency. The purchase of rental automobile insurance overseas is a state-approved, reimbursable expense.
- Personal Property of Mason Personnel: The University’s insurance does not cover faculty, staff, or student property unless its use is a Mason condition of employment. If this is the case, documentation to support the requirement must be on file in Operational Risk Management.
Please visit our International Travel FAQs page for commonly asked questions regarding International Travel Insurance.