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International Travel Registration FAQ

Am I required to register my international official university travel?

Yes, all international official university travel must be registered by each traveler on the Center for Global Engagement website.

How is official university travel defined, and who must register?

  • All faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad on university funds
  • All faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad on university business without university funds (example: a faculty member is invited to give a keynote address at a conference and his/her costs are fully paid by the conference)
  • All students traveling abroad and receiving academic credit
  • All students traveling abroad on noncredit programs sponsored by academic programs or departments

When should I begin my international travel registration?

You should begin your international travel registration as soon as you know you will be traveling. Early completion of the international travel registration will allow the Center for Global Engagement to expedite the approval when the IRIS travel authorization is received.

What will happen if I do not complete the international travel registration before my trip?

If the registration process is not completed before the commencement of the international trip:

  • The traveler will not receive travel authorization and may not be reimbursed for expenses. All university travel policies apply.
  • The traveler will not receive assistance from International SOS.

Why do I need to complete the international travel registration?

International travel registration is critical to the university’s risk management program and will allow the university to communicate with faculty, staff, and students in the event of an emergency. Registration is also required for faculty, staff, and students to receive emergency assistance from International SOS.

How do I know if my online registration is complete?

Checkmarks will appear after each item is complete. The Center for Global Engagement subsequently will confirm that:

  1. Dates and locations in IRIS and your registration match
  2. The two signature documents are complete
  3. You have listed a lodging address and phone number for at least your first location abroad
  4. You have provided an emergency contact

Are in-country emergency contacts required?

For faculty or staff traveling to a country with a travel warning, an in-country emergency contact is required. Otherwise, it is not required.

For students, an in-country contact is required for each trip.

How do I edit my dates or locations?

Travelers are not able to edit dates or locations themselves. Please contact the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) at itr@utk.edu with the new dates or locations, and CGE will make the change.

How do I edit my lodging address and information on the international travel registration?

Faculty or staff can log in to a saved registration here.  Click  “International Travel Registration Destination Information” to edit the information; scroll to the bottom and click “Save and done” when finished.

Students will need to email the Center for Global Engagement at itr@utk.edu to have the questionnaire released so they can edit the information.

If my location is not listed, what should I do?

Email itr@utk.edu and Center for Global Engagement will add your location to the existing list.

Do I need to complete the international travel registration for Puerto Rico and other US territories?

Yes. The university requires completion of the International Travel Registration for all territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands.

What do I do if I want to travel to a country or specific area within a country under a US Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisory or a CDC travel health notice?

In the registration process, in the first signature document, you will click “yes” to the question “Are you going to a country where a US State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 or CDC Travel Health Notice (Warning 3) is in effect?” You need to agree to your understanding of the warnings and advice and complete and submit the international travel petition.

How do I know if the country or specific area within a country I am traveling to is under a US Department of State travel advisory or a CDC travel health warning?

Check the US Department of State website for a listing of all travel advisories. Travelers to a country or specific area within a country that reaches a Level 3 or 4 advisory must complete the petition to be approved for travel. Check the CDC website for all travel health notices.

Where can I find instructions on completing the international travel registration?

Faculty/Staff Registration

Student Registration

Instructions are embedded within the registry.

Why is the international travel registration asking for a program term when I am traveling for research/conference and not study abroad?

This is part of the software language. We continue to work with our software provider to improve and streamline the process. You will be able to list the type of travel you are completing within your portal.

If I am studying abroad, do I need to complete an international travel registration?

No, students who have already completed a study abroad application on programsabroad.utk.edu for the dates they will be abroad do not have to complete an international travel registration.

Do I need to register if I am a student traveling independently (research, service–learning, conference, internship, independent study, etc.)?

Yes, you must register if you are:

  • traveling abroad on university funds
  • traveling abroad on university business without University funds
  • traveling abroad and receiving academic credit
  • traveling abroad on noncredit programs sponsored by academic programs or departments

What is International SOS?

International SOS is a UT-contracted company that provides information and emergency services to university faculty, staff, and students on international official university travel. International SOS is NOT insurance.

Download the International SOS UT membership flyer.

(Note: You may personally purchase travel/medical insurance from International SOS, but the university contract does not include insurance.)

What is CISI?

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) is a medical insurance provider. UT has an agreement with CISI to provide international travel insurance at a special rate, but UT faculty and staff as well as students who are not on one of UT’s Programs Abroad Office programs must purchase the insurance themselves.

(Note: Students on study abroad programs may have CISI or another insurance plan. The specific insurance will be included in the program costs.)

What is the difference between International SOS and CISI?

International SOS is NOT insurance. It is an information and emergency response company. CISI is medical insurance.

When should I call International SOS and when should I call CISI?

Medical Emergency—Travel Assistance

If you have purchased CISI insurance and you have a medical emergency, call CISI 312-935-1703.

If you have not purchased CISI and you have a medical or travel emergency, you may call International SOS 1-215-942-8478 (membership # 11BCAS080063). However, you will be responsible for any expense related to the medical service you receive that is not covered by your insurance.

(Note: If you are a study abroad student, you should contact your program’s insurance company.)

Nonmedical Emergency (political upheaval, terrorist threat, natural disaster, etc.)

If you have purchased CISI insurance and you have a nonmedical emergency or question, you should call CISI.

If you have not purchased CISI and you have a nonmedical emergency, you may call International SOS.

(Note: If you are a study abroad student, you should contact your program leader or appropriate university/provider personnel.)

Am I required to purchase CISI insurance?

No, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged but not required to purchase international medical insurance. It is critical that all faculty and staff members contact their insurance company to find out if they are covered when traveling overseas.

Note: There is one exception for faculty. Faculty traveling with a group of students (study abroad programs and other group programs as defined by the Center for Global Engagement) are required to purchase insurance and provide proof that all students traveling with the group have also purchased the insurance before travel can be approved. Examples of these groups are, but not limited to, athletics, band, chorus, and noncredit programs sponsored by academic colleges or departments. Students traveling to countries with travel warnings are required to purchase insurance.

Am I required to call International SOS or CISI if I have a problem while on international official university travel?

No, it is up to the traveler.

If I call International SOS, will the university have access to my medical or security information?

If a faculty, staff, or student calls International SOS, some specific information (medical or security) may be shared with university-authorized persons to allow for decisions to be made regarding payments.

Will the university pay for my medical expenses while I am abroad on official university travel?

No, the university does not pay for the medical expenses of UT faculty, staff, or students. The university strongly encourages UT travelers to either purchase travel/medical insurance or verify that their personal medical insurance covers them while abroad.

Will the university pay for my CISI insurance?

UT policy allows for faculty and staff to be reimbursed for this international travel/medical insurance, but it is up to each department/office/unit.

If I engage in personal travel right before or right after my UT official international travel, am I covered by International SOS?

The agreement signed between UT and International SOS states that coverage is only for official international university travel.

Does workers’ compensation apply if I am traveling on official international university travel?

It may apply. Please see http://policy.tennessee.edu/hr_policy/hr0397/ and https://riskmanagement.tennessee.edu/.

If I have a medical emergency and need to change my flight, what do I do?

You should contact your travel agent or airline first. (Note: Be aware that changes may lead to additional fees.) Find out in advance if you have insurance that will cover these fees.