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Independent Travel Policy

(revised February 2024 – effective Summer 2024)

Studying abroad with SIT is an intensive, immersive experience. Students should expect that most weekends will be occupied with homestay family interaction, academic work, and planned program excursions. During the program’s enrollment period, it is possible for students to engage in limited independent travel under the guidelines detailed below.


Students on SIT programs may request to travel independently except to locations identified as higher risk by the U.S. Department of State, SIT’s security provider, the Office of Student Health, Safety, and Wellbeing, or specifically prohibited by the program. SIT defines “independent travel” as travel that: a) occurs during the program’s defined enrollment period; b) is independently organized by a student; c) is unrelated to program activities; d) does not interfere with scheduled program activities; and e) involves an overnight stay.

SIT may deny requests to any location based on health, safety, and risk conditions at the time of application.

Independent Travel Request Form

If a student is interested in independent travel, they must complete and submit an Independent Travel Request From to their academic or program director prior to booking any travel or accommodations. This form will be provided to students once they are onsite, and it may include program-specific policies governing independent travel.

The form should be submitted to the academic or program director as far in advance as possible but no later than two weeks prior to the proposed travel date. On the form, students must include details about their proposed travel, such as:

  • modes of transportation;
  • a detailed itinerary;
  • accommodation details;
  • mobile phone contact information; and 
  • names of travel companions and their mobile phone contact information.  


Submitting the form does not imply approval for the proposed travel. Independent travel requests must be reviewed and approved by the academic or program director and the Office of Student Health, Safety, and Wellbeing prior to the student traveling. The travel request may be denied for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • the location is deemed unsafe due to specific safety/security concerns; 
  • unmanageable logistics;
  • issues related to student conduct; and 
  • the student is not in good academic standing. 

After the request is reviewed, the student will receive confirmation that their request has either been approved or denied. If approved, the student may proceed with booking their travel. If denied, the student cannot travel to that location during the proposed time frame. In turn, they may work with local staff to propose alternative travel requests.

Even if approval is provided, SIT reserves the right to rescind that approval for any reason. In turn, if approval is rescinded, SIT will not be responsible for any forfeited travel costs (e.g. cancelled flights, lodging, etc.). Those costs will be the responsibility of the student.