Preparing Students for Off-Campus Study

Will you be leading a group of students off-campus or working with students planning independent college-related travel or internships? These resources are for you!

Travel Registration

Students participating in off-campus, college-related travel must be registered with the CSO. This allows the college to account for and support students in the event of an emergency, and to help trip leaders collect and access emergency contacts and relevant medical information in case they need to respond to a student emergency. The travel registration process depends on the duration of travel.

1. Day trips during business hours

  1. Responsible faculty or staff member registers travel by adding an “event” for your off-campus trip on this Travel Tracking Calendar. Have the following information available:
    1. Date, time, and destination
    2. Name and phone number of trip leader
    3. Names of students traveling (or simply course name if entire class is traveling)

2. Short term travel overnight or outside business hours

  1. Have each traveling student provide relevant health and emergency contact information by turning in this one-page Off-Campus Activity Form prior to departure
  2. Responsible faculty or staff member registers travel by adding an “event” to the Travel Tracking Calendar.
  3. When creating your new event, click “Attach File” and upload completed Off-Campus Activity Forms (as a single PDF file) to the event.

If you will have multiple day trips throughout your course, you can note the dates and locations of each trip on the Off-Campus Activity Form before you distribute it (so students only need to complete it once), and upload the same set of completed forms to each event on the Travel Tracking Calendar, or consider setting up an online travel registry (see below) for the class by emailing

3. Extended and international travel registration

  1. Email with your travel dates and the names of traveling students to set up an online travel registration process. CSO staff will contact students via email with instructions to complete the following forms online:
    • Waiver
    • Health information
    • Itinerary (when applicable)
    • Passport (international only)

Vehicle and Driver Safety

Please review the Vehicle and Driver Safety Policy. This policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • All drivers must be cleared through the required drivers license check (Human Resources)
  • 15-passenger vans are not approved for institution travel
  • Students must be over 21 to operate a vehicle on the roadway
  • Alma College does not allow volunteers to drive for institution travel
  • Rental Vehicle Insurance: When driving in countries other than the US and Canada, rental vehicle insurance must be purchased.
  • To reduce the possibility of fatigue-related accidents on extended trips, no driver may exceed 10 hours of driving in any 24-hour period.

Student International Travel Policy

In March 2014, Alma College adopted the College Related Travel Policy. This policy outlines the circumstances under which the College restricts student travel to locations deemed high risk, as well as the process by which faculty and staff may petition for exemptions from the travel policy. Travel restrictions are in place for locations where the US Department of State has issued a level 3 (reconsider travel) or level 4 (do not travel) travel advisory.

If you are planning international travel (e.g. a Spring Term course) that will involve international travel with students, OR if you are working with students on plans for independent college-related travel (e.g. sponsoring a P-Global application or an international internship), please review the US Department of State travel advisory for your destination.

Responding to an Off-Campus Emergency

In the event of a student emergency during an off-campus program, the program leader should consult the Off-Campus Emergency Response Plan and follow the guidelines for emergency response and notification of on-campus personnel.

International Emergency Medical Insurance

Alma students enrolled through the Center for Student Opportunity in approved off-campus study programs are covered by the Alma College international emergency medical insurance policy. Students attending other Alma College approved international opportunities such as faculty-led Spring Term programs may also qualify for coverage under this policy. To learn if a travel experience will be covered, contact Alma College’s insurance representative Cassie Tennant by email or by telephone at (989) 463-7156.

Review the summary of benefits and claims procedures.

At Pre-departure Orientation, students will be provided with EIIA/EuropAssistance wallet cards with instructions on how to contact Europ Assistance for medical or other emergency travel assistance needs.

Note: it is important that students maintain their US health insurance during their time abroad. In the event of a medical evacuation back to the United States, this policy will not cover any treatment or service provided in the US.

Pre-departure Orientation

Once each Fall and Winter semester, the Off-Campus Study office  will hold a mandatory pre-departure orientation session for all students traveling abroad the following semester.

Please remind your students that they are required to attend this session if they will be traveling outside the United States. If you know of any students planning independent international college-related experiences (e.g. internships, independent studies, or non-Alma study abroad programs), please inform the Off-Campus Study office in the Center for Student Opportunity so that we can notify these students about pre-departure orientation dates. Thank you!

Support for Off-Campus Spring Terms

The Center for Student Opportunity provides support to Spring Term courses traveling off-campus in the ways outlined here. Please contact the Off-Campus Study office in the Center for Student Opportunity if you have any questions.