Independent Travel

Independent travel during the program is highly restricted and requires prior written
authorization from the academic/program director. Independent travel is defined as travel
arranged for and conducted by a student that is not part of the SIT program itinerary or an
approved homestay activity. Each program may have regional or country-specific policies with respect to independent travel locally. In general, independent travel is limited and only
authorized within country. Travel policy violations may result in immediate dismissal from the program. A student who travels independently or deviates from the scheduled itinerary at any time without obtaining written authorization in advance from the academic/program director may not be allowed to return to and may be withdrawn from the program. The normal refund schedule will apply, and travel expenses incurred due to a premature departure from the program must be borne by the student. Program related travel, specifically for the purpose of completing an Independent Study Project, internship or other type of field research must be approved in advance by the academic/program director. Deviations from an approved itinerary must be communicated immediately to SIT staff and if not approved will be considered independent travel. While travelling, students continue to be responsible for abiding by the program’s Conditions of Participation and are responsible for their own actions and safety.

Other Circumstances Requiring Independent Travel

Students are strongly encouraged to plan and schedule any independent travel either before or after the program and are responsible for their own actions and safety. The period of
enrollment for students begins on the program arrival date in country and concludes the day of the scheduled program departure for return to the US. Students traveling independently
before, during and after a program assume total responsibility for themselves. SIT Study Abroad assumes no liability for individuals before the program start date or after the program end date or while on Independent Travel.

SIT understands the need to accommodate student travel exceptionally for academic or compelling personal reasons. Those reasons may include an educational opportunity (scholarship, conference, etc.) that has a significant impact on a student’s academic career and is approved by the student’s sending institution and the academic/program director prior to departure or a personal family matter (family death, marriage, medical emergency, etc). Any exceptional travel must be approved well in advance by the academic/program director and SIT Student Affairs.

Any student requesting approval for independent travel must provide a detailed itinerary and contact information for lodging, cell contact, names and contacts of travel companions. Any student whose travel is approved, must sign the Withdrawal, Temporary Leave, and Early Leave Form which relieves SIT/World Learning of any liability.

All students must understand that they may be subject to a passport check upon return to the program.