Independent Student Travel (IST) is a broad term for any student/resident seeking an opportunity to participate in an international experience that is not one of our faculty-led programs.

IST students must register with us as early as 3 months before departure, so plan ahead. In order for the student’s travel and work abroad to be approved, all additional required forms and information must be completed before the student travels.

We've compiled links to explore programs, explanations of special circumstances, and a list of what every IST student must submit to the Study Abroad Office. 

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Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.  U.S. citizens should:

International travel developments are reviewed continuously by the Study Abroad Office and Institutional Study Abroad Committee. However, it is the student's responsibility to research worldwide & regional travel safety conditions, and use available resources to make informed decisions.

US DOS Travel Advisories by Country

Contact Us

Study Abroad Office

Summerville Campus

Allgood Hall

AH E134


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Find a Program

External Programs

Medicine: Global Health Opportunities

Dental Medicine and Physical Therapy

Registration Process

All independent student travelers will need to complete their online registration using our Terra Dotta portal. 

Please begin this process no later than 3 months before your departure. Please complete the registration no later than 1 month before departure, as we know that some itinerary items may be unknown at three months prior. Everything is explained in further detail within the registration process. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Information you will need to start the registration process

  • Student contact information
  • Program information
  • In-country contacts


  • Flights
  • Lodging
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport picture
  • Emergency contacts
  • Participation Agreement & Waiver
  • Medical Profile (in case of an emergency)
  • Pre-Travel Risk Assessment via Qualtrics

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the Department of State.

Travel Resources

Read the Department of State's information on the location you will be traveling.

CDC Traveler's Health

Read CDC Traveler's Health information for travel notices, advice and resources. 

Pre-Travel Risk Assessment

Please complete the IST Pre-Travel Risk Assessment at least 1 month before your intended departure. This is used by the SAO and Emergency Response Team as part of the IST Petition process when determining if AU-sponsored travel is possible to countries with a level 3 or 4 advisory.

Important Information


All Independent Student Travelers must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be a Junior-level standing by the time of departure to be considered. Please email if you have any questions or concerns about the requirements.

Traveling abroad, but not for credit

Individuals who are traveling abroad (to any location with any program) but not receiving course/clinical credit should NOT complete IST Paperwork Process. 

Level 3 and 4 Travel Advisory Countries or Areas

International Travel by Undergraduate Students on Third-Party Programs
Travel to a country/area that is currently under either a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 for COVID-19 only or CDC COVID-19 Warning Level 3 or 4 by undergraduate students on third party programs, including Bilateral Exchanges, may only be approved after a completion of the mandatory pre-travel risk assessment process.
Third-Party Provider Programs
Students participating in a third-party provider program are required to sign a waiver in the Study Abroad Office Portal acknowledging the risks of program participation and may participate if their provider is operating the program.
International Travel by Graduate Students
Graduate Student Travel to Countries/Areas Under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 and 4 and/or a CDC Warning Level 3 or CDC COVID-19 Warning Level 3 or 4
Please check that the country/area to which you wish to travel is currently under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 and 4 or a CDC Warning Level 3 or CDC COVID-19 Warning Level 3 or 4.



In general, graduate students are discouraged from traveling to countries/areas that are currently under either a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 and 4 , a CDC Warning Level 3, or CDC COVID-19 Warning Level 3 or 4. The risk of injury, detention, and death is significantly greater for many areas within these Travel Advisory Levels 3 and 4 countries/areas, and AU is not in a position to fully assess those risks or provide services in the event of emergency. Augusta University does not permit travel to Dept of State level 4 advisories (unless solely due to COVID-19) for graduate students, even with a petition submitted.
SAO recognizes that there can be compelling reasons to conduct research sanctioned by a Department and School or College, even when there is an elevated threat of risk for that location. Therefore, if a graduate student wishes to travel, the academic activity must have the support of a major professor and the department head or program director in the graduate student’s major or in the unit sponsoring the student’s travel. The IST petition to travel must follow the procedure described below. The burden will be on the graduate student, in conjunction with the supporting faculty member and the unit Head or Director, to identify all relevant risks and demonstrate that they will be appropriately managed.
Graduate students who are traveling to countries/areas under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 1 and 2, but contain areas of Reconsider Travel (Level 3) or Do Not Travel (Level 4), are subject to the same petition requirements as below if they intend to travel to those areas of heightened risk.

Students who fail to complete and submit the required paperwork to the Study Abroad Office will not be recognized as an enrolled Augusta University student eligible for academic or clinical course credit or be eligible for international health insurance through CISI.

Independent Student Travelers are ineligible for the Augusta University Study Abroad Office Scholarship.