International & Domestic Travel

International Travel Update

We are continually assessing and monitoring the situation in eastern Europe. In our judgement, it’s still safe to continue with SMU Abroad programs as well as international travel for other SMU purposes. These are some of the resources we use to keep tabs on the situation:

  • Advice provided by the US Department of State, which regularly updates its travel advisories, including information on the availability of US embassy assistance to travelers;
  • Advice and on-the-ground security updates provided in real time by SMU’s preferred intelligence vendor, International SOS.
  • Continuous monitoring of open-source media;
  • Advice provided by trusted on-site partners who develop Education Abroad programs in partnership with us and who can speak to the realities they are currently facing in their countries;
  • Continuous benchmarking with other similar universities who are considering these same things.

Of course, there are potential escalations that we are watching for that may cause us to reconsider or suspend programming in Europe. These include, but are not limited to:

  • An evacuation recommendation or order issued by the US embassy in a country;
  • The suspension of US embassy services in a country;
  • The suspension of regular flight service to or from a country;
  • A cyberattack that significantly damages a country’s infrastructure;
  • The use of nuclear weapons in the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine;
  • Any armed conflict between NATO and Russian forces.

Faculty/Staff Travel

International travel has two review components – budget and risk. The budget review happens when a travel request is submitted and approved in Concur (SMU-funded trips only). After the travel request is approved, the risk review happens at the Travel Oversight Committee (TOC). Once both reviews have been completed, the individual or group has authorization to begin booking the actual travel.

COVID-19: SMU International Travel Updates

Based on the Department of State August 6, 2020 decision to lift its level 4 Global Health Advisory, SMU-sponsored international travel is no longer suspended. Travel requests must be submitted, and are subject to location specific health and safety restrictions as dictated by the Department of State, CDC, and International SOS, before approval. With the health and safety of our university travelers as a top priority, approval of travel is not guaranteed due to the ongoing global pandemic.