It is the policy of McGovern Medical School (“McGovern”) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“UTHealth” or “university”) to promote safe travel for students participating in activities and/or events covered under this policy. Under this policy, the school reserves the right to cancel any travel activity and/or require McGovern students to depart their location due to health, safety, and/or other concerns, to include academic and disciplinary misconduct. For purposes of this policy, travel is defined as participation in any McGovern or UTHealth sponsored or related activity that is twenty-five (25) miles or more away from the campus. Current travel policy and procedure details can be found on the Global Health website.
Students planning to travel outside the United States on university-related business or activities must meet additional requirements, including registration with International SOS.
This policy applies to the travel of enrolled McGovern students of all years participating in McGovern or UTHealth sponsored or related activities and/or events (whether required or optional) that occur more than twenty-five (25) miles away from the McGovern Medical School campus (including in U.S. protectorates and insular areas). This policy applies to McGovern or UTHealth affiliated student travel with or without university funding.
The types of activities and events covered include:
- trips organized and/or sponsored by UTHealth or McGovern that are part of or contribute to an academic course or degree program including internships, practicum, and research;
- academic-related international service learning, internships, practicum, research, and volunteer opportunities organized and/or sponsored by UTHealth or McGovern;
- travel by members of a registered student organization regardless of whether or not the organization requires its student members to attend the activity or event;
- other trips organized and/or sponsored by UTHealth or McGovern;
- travel to meetings of academic-related, professional associations including conferences;
- other travel under the auspices (support or recognition) of the UTHealth or McGovern name.
Notice/Request for Travel Approval
Students must submit the proper forms including those on the Student Travel Portal before embarking on any travel (domestic or international) covered by this policy.
If traveling internationally, the student must submit a request and wait for approval to move forward/travel. Submitting the appropriate form(s) does not automatically result in approval of the trip (See Section E below).
If the trip is domestic, the student may travel after giving the notice in accordance with this policy, provided that the trip follows the school regulations, policies, and is NOT funded by UTHealth or McGovern directly. If the trip is funded by UTHealth, a Request for Travel Authorization (RTA) is required as well as further documentation required by the Travel Team and the specific funding code being used.
To allow processing time, international requests must be submitted at least 90 days prior to a trip and domestic notices must be submitted at least 60 days prior to a trip. Submitting as soon as possible is advised.
If a student fails to obtain approval or provide notice for travel as required by this policy, but travels anyway, the student is traveling as a private citizen and must not suggest or imply that he or she represents or is acting on behalf of McGovern or UTHealth.
Related University Policies
Students must follow all applicable university policies while traveling, including but not limited to, the
- HOOP 13 Travel
- HOOP 110 Student Organizations
- HOOP 8 Use of the University Name, Logo or Seal
- HOOP 180 Acceptable Use of Information Resources
- HOOP 59, Sexual Misconduct
- HOOP 186, Student Conduct and Discipline
Failure to adhere to applicable university policies while engaged in travel may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and/or appropriate academic penalties.
In order to ensure that events or activities which involve student international travel are within the course and scope of McGovern’s mission, and that student safety issues have been addressed, international travel undertaken pursuant to this policy must be authorized in advance by an appropriate administrator. There are two methods to obtain travel authorization:
- Acceptance into an officially recognized exchange, concentration, affiliate or faculty led program offered or sponsored by McGovern.
- Obtain individual or group travel authorization through the Student Travel Portal. Travel approval varies by department and program. Once approved, the individual, organization or group may begin travel. Requests must be submitted at least 90 days in advance of the planned travel.
Statement of Responsibility and Conditions of Participation
By engaging in travel covered by this policy, students agree to the following terms and conditions of participation:
- Personal Conduct
- As visitors, students will be subject to the laws of the jurisdiction to which they travel and to the rules and regulations of the institution with which they are engaged (if any).
- As participants in a McGovern or UTHealth related activity, whether officially sponsored or not, students are likely to be viewed as a representative of McGovern and UTHealth. Accordingly, students should conduct themselves with professionalism and integrity at all times.
- While traveling, students will be responsible for their own self-care, including managing appropriate personal hygiene, medical conditions, illnesses, including mental health, and other personal matters. It is the responsibility of the accepting or host institution to provide necessary ADA accommodations. Students needing disability-related accommodations should refer to HOOP 101, Disability Accommodation.
- While traveling, students must comply with all applicable university policies, including but not limited to, those referenced in this policy.
- If students violate applicable university policies, they may be subject to disciplinary action administered by university personnel, up to and including dismissal from the field site at the student’s expense, failure of the course, if applicable, and/or dismissal from UTHealth.
- Concerns about a student’s professionalism from university or field site personnel may result in dismissal from the field site at the student’s expense failure of the course, if applicable, and/or dismissal from UTHealth.
- During free time before, during, or after the period of the course or project, students may elect to travel independently at their own expense. McGovern and university staff and their counterparts overseas are not responsible for students while they are traveling independently during such free time. I further understand that the International SOS insurance provided may not apply to my independent travel during free time. (Check with International SOS about additional coverages. There is sometimes additional coverage available to students for a small fee.
- Students must recognize that travel can involve risks and uncertainties, and that no one, including McGovern or the University, can guarantee a student’s safety while abroad.
- Students must complete all pre-departure requirements in this policy by the specified deadlines.
- Students adhere to any post-travel assignment due dates and task deadlines, if applicable.
- Students must secure mandatory International SOS insurance. Students are responsible for submitting proof of registration to the appropriate office at McGovern Medical School prior to my departure. Failure to do so may result in loss of academic credit, if applicable, and dismissal from field site at my expense.
- When possible, a review of the visiting site clinician or clinical preceptor’s licensure history is required. Travel may be denied or elective approval rescinded due to adverse licensure history results.
- Students must follow all applicable rules and restrictions regarding the practice of medicine by medical students. Medical students providing clinical care must follow all orders and be under the direct supervision of a resident or attending physician.