Students Travelling Abroad Policy


The University is globally-connected with internationalisation as one of the core elements of its mission, and with an increasing number of students undertaking international travel for the purpose of international relations, research and study. Such activities may involve risks which need to be managed.


Students of the University travelling outside New Zealand for University activities and University staff members who are involved in organising, supporting or authorising such travel.


To assure the safety of students travelling abroad. This will be done by providing instructions and clarifying responsibilities for safe travel. This policy is supported by the Students Travelling Abroad Procedures which contains detailed mandatory procedures for how the policy must be  carried out.



1.     Staff members are frequently approached by individual students or groups of students for advice regarding planned international travel. Staff members providing advice to such students need to clarify with the students at the outset whether or not such travel is for a University activity, and, if so, inform the students of their obligations as outlined in this policy

2.     If any person is uncertain whether or not contemplated travel is considered to be for a University activity as outlined in this policy, they will need to consult the International Office

3.     All students planning to travel abroad for a purpose other than a University activity do so independently of the University. Such students are solely responsible for making their own travel arrangements and making their own decisions regarding personal safety. While they are not required to comply with this policy, such students are nonetheless permitted and encouraged to voluntarily contact the International Office for advice regarding their travel arrangements

Travel planning and responsibilities

4.     The University provides resources and support services aimed at facilitating safe travel experiences for students travelling on University activities. The University aims to educate student travellers about health and safety issues and facilitate safe student travel. However, the University cannot ensure that students will travel incident free, nor can it account for all potential health and safety risks associated with travel outside New Zealand

5.     All student travellers are required to:

  • prepare themselves in advance for international travel
  • research and be aware of the risks involved with their planned trip
  • ensure that they are mentally and physically prepared for travel (including the necessary vaccinations)
  • ensure they have appropriate and adequate travel and medical insurance
  • register with Safe Travel and obtain any recommendations to travel that are required in the procedures of this policy
  • book travel through the University’s preferred travel supplier or, if the relevant dean or LSRI director has approved the use of another travel provider, lodge their travel plans with the University
  • conduct themselves in a safe manner while travelling
  • bring any potential health and safety concerns they may have to the attention of the appropriate office or department at the place of travel (if any) as well as the trip organiser and/or Associate Director, International Student Support, as soon as possible after the concern arises

6.     The trip organiser is responsible for ensuring that students are:

  • registered with Safe Travel
  • booked through the preferred travel supplier, or if the relevant dean or LSRI director has approved the use of another travel provider, lodged their travel plans with the University

7.     Where required by this policy document and any accompanying procedures, the trip organiser must consult with the Risk Office regarding University activities outside of New Zealand and must take account of their recommendations

8.     The trip organiser must consider applications for authorisation for travel from students participating in University activities in accordance with this policy and all accompanying procedures

9.     The University has no control over international events, and will not be responsible for the refund of any costs or losses, including the loss of timely academic progress associated with student travel or the cancellation of student travel. Pursuant to this policy, the University will however endeavour to find an alternative way of achieving such academic progress if the events could not be reasonably forecast


The following definitions apply to this policy:

International Office is the service division within the University that supports the University’s internationalisation objectives, including the management of exchange/study abroad arrangements

LSRI is a Large Scale Research Institute at the University

MFAT refers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Risk Office is the office within the University dealing with the coordination of risk management at the University

Safe Travel ( is the official source of advice from MFAT and registration for New Zealanders travelling or living overseas

School of Graduate Studies is the service division responsible for the development and oversight of policies and procedures for graduate programmes, and for the promotion of graduate study and advocacy for graduate students

Staff member is an individual employed by the University on a full-time or part-time basis.  This includes permanent, fixed-term or casual staff members

Student is an individual enrolled in a programme of study at the University

UniServices is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University

Trip organiser is the member of staff arranging, requiring, authorising or supporting the trip or activity, as nominated by the relevant dean or LSRI director

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

University activities means any activity:         

  • an activity that is encouraged by the University, supported by academic staff and is directly relevant in terms of the student’s professional/academic development
  • organised by the University; or
  • paid for in whole or in part from University funds, including without limitation, third party research or other funds administered by the University or
  • undertaken by a student to fulfil a requirement for academic progress at the University; or
  • University activities do not include activities organised solely by a student or group of students unless they otherwise meet the definition of University activities


Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Content manager: International Office/ Performance and Risk

Owned by: CIO

Approved by: Senior Management Team

Date approved:  03.07.14 (last reviewed)

Review Date: July 2016