Student Travel Policies


There are a variety of ways GW students can explore the world while furthering their education:

  • Most semester and year-long undergraduate study abroad programs are managed by the Office for Study Abroad. Follow the Office for Study Abroad’s travel procedures for these programs.
  • Most graduate-level study abroad programs are managed by the graduate schools. Graduate students interested in studying abroad should contact their graduate school to learn more about available study abroad opportunities within their school.
  • International students with questions should contact the International Services Office.

If you have questions about the International Travel Approval Process, please contact the International Operations Administrator at [email protected].

Travel Approval Process for Fellowships, Internships & Research 

Students traveling outside of a GW Office for Study Abroad program must complete the International Travel Approval Process before leaving the United States:

  • Using the International Travel Proposal Form Instructions (PDF), complete and submit the International Travel Proposal Form.
  • Follow the instructions at the top of the International Travel Proposal Form to request approval from your faculty advisor, program director or department chair.
  • GW’s International Operations Coordinator will contact you within three business days to confirm the status of your proposal. All high or extreme risk destinations will require an extra level of review and approval from GW’s Associate Provost for International Programs. If approved, you will be directed to the online travel registration component of the process, where you will be required to:
    • Register travel with your consulate of citizenship
    • Confirm that you have sufficient international health insurance coverage
    • Electronically sign GW’s Standard Risk and Release Form and, if applicable, High Risk and Release Form
    • Note important GW and GeoBlue emergency contact information
    • Confirm travel itinerary, including transportation arrangements, lodging plans and in-country contact information
    • Provide personal emergency contact details and passport information


The university's main concern is the safety and well-being of its students. As such, GW reserves the right to withdraw its approval of your international travel at any time and for any reason.

Internship Agreement Template 

If you are a student who is planning to accept an internship abroad, your host country may require a three-way contract between your internship provider, you (the student), and GW. To facilitate this process, GW has developed a standardized international internship agreement.

GW International Internship Agreement Template (PDF)

If your host country requires this agreement, please complete the following steps:

  1. Submit your International Travel Proposal Form
  2. Download and complete the agreement
  3. Send the agreement to your internship provider for signature
  4. Once signed by your internship provider, sign the agreement yourself
  5. Scan and email or drop off the signed agreement to your Dean’s office

Alterations to the document may not be accepted.  If your internship provider requests alterations or the use of a different agreement, the GW review and negotiation timeline can take up to eight weeks. Please plan accordingly.

Turnaround time may vary by school. Please contact your Dean’s office directly for more information. You must give your school at least two week's notice to sign the document.

GW cannot sign your internship agreement if you are not a registered GW student for the entire duration of the internship. Therefore, we cannot issue an agreement after the completion date of your studies.

Emergency Contact Information 

After completing the appropriate online application through GeoBlue, students must print out an emergency contact card (PDF), which provides GeoBlue’s emergency contact information. This card must be carried at all times while abroad.

Travel Advisories 

Before traveling abroad, consult the U.S. Department of State to review your destination's Travel Advisory, alerts, and destination-specific health and safety information. Enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Program to receive email notifications and alerts while abroad. 

International Health and Safety 

GW requires students to secure sufficient health insurance coverage for the duration of their travel abroad. To satisfy this requirement, students must purchase health insurance through GW’s partner, GeoBlue. This will give you access to GeoBlue’s vast network of doctors and hospitals abroad, as well as medical referrals and country-specific health and safety information. Once a student’s international travel proposal is approved, the student will have access to the GeoBlue insurance enrollment website.

Risk Management Policies 

GW students are not allowed to rent a car while abroad on GW-related travel.

Auto Rental Guidelines

GW students interested in peer-to-peer housing (Airbnb, etc.) should review the Risk Management policy.

Peer to Peer Lodging Guidelines