Penn-Affiliated Travel

Access to International SOS membership, travel insurance and emergency resources applies to current faculty, staff and students while on Penn-affiliated travel abroad (outside of the United States).

What is Penn-affiliated Travel?

Travel is considered Penn-affiliated when at least one of the following criteria applies:

  • Travel that is completed within the course and scope of employment at Penn, regardless of funding source, including business, teaching, conference attendance, or research. 
  • Travel that is accompanied by Penn faculty or a staff member acting in his/her role as a Penn employee.
  • Travel that is directly related to, or in support of, academic research or fieldwork.
  • Student travel that is funded, in full or in part, by Penn or Penn-managed funds (grants, stipends, scholarships, fellowships, financial aid).
  • Education Abroad that is pre-approved for Penn credit.  This includes semester and year-long study abroad managed by Penn Abroad, summer study abroad managed by Penn Summer Abroad, short-term and immersion programs of any duration, and research that is tied to academic credit.
  • Travel that is undertaken by one or more members of a student organization officially recognized and sponsored by the appropriate university entity and the purpose of travel is within the scope and mission of the University. 

Guest Travel (non-Penn Travelers)

  • Legal spouses and dependent children traveling with current faculty, staff and students on Penn-affiliated trips are eligible for Penn’s travel insurance program. Invited guests must be declared and pre-approved in advance of departure by emailing
  • Penn-sponsored guests that will accompany a Penn trip and contribute to the academic and/or business mission of the trip may be eligible for Penn’s travel insurance program.  Invited guests must be declared and pre-approved in advance of departure by emailing

In general, Penn discourages inviting guests to participate on Penn-affiliated student trips abroad unless the guest’s participation actively contributes to the academic mission of the trip.  Guests that are not in one of the categories listed above are not eligible for Penn insurance and are expected to acquire their own travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance. 

Penn-affiliated Travel Post-Graduation

  • International travel post-graduation that is required for degree completion
  • International travel undertaken within 6 months post-graduation that is funded by Penn 
  • The award/funding is granted while the student is still matriculated at Penn (i.e. senior year)
  • The travel is within the scope of the student’s prior enrollment at Penn (i.e., leisure travel not covered)
  • The President’s Engagement Prize will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis since it is a rare occurrence that the funding is used outside of the U.S. and outside of home country.

Penn-affiliated Travel Does Not Include

  • Personal travel such as vacation
  • Group travel organized by students, without administrative oversight and unrelated to a recognized student organization or the purpose of travel does not meet scope and mission of the University
  • Instances when Penn faculty or staff has discussed a travel opportunity, forwarded information about travel that might be of interest, or posted information about travel opportunities offered by third parties but otherwise does not meet funding, credit, or organizational criteria above
  • Summer study abroad at an another institution to earn “credit away”
  • Participating in a Penn online course or online degree program from a country outside of the United States