Do I Need to Petition?
The Missouri State University Office of Education Abroad is governed in part by the Missouri State University policy of travel to restricted areas. Missouri State defines restricted travel by a Department of State advisory level of three or four or a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) assigned warning of level three or four to that country. It is important for students to check the Department of State advisory level and CDC warning level for each Education Abroad experience. To do this, please see the steps below:
- Department of State: Following the link, type in the country name in the left side bar. Across the top of the page, a bar will appear that lists the travel level for that specific country.
- Center for Disease Control: Following the link, select the desired country from the dropdown menu. Then, scroll to look for any level three or four travel notices (in an orange or red bar across the page).
If the host country is restricted based on the above information, you need to submit a petition to study abroad.
NOTE: The submission of a petition does NOT guarantee approval. However, we have historically had a very high petition approval rate. The Education Abroad Emergency Response Team is responsible to review all petitions. For further information, please see the policy on travel to restricted travel areas.
What Do I Include on My Petition?
A student petition must include:
- Statement of why the experience in the restricted Travel Area is unique and necessary for completion of the program, research, or other university-related purpose.
- Outline of resources to utilize in an emergency, such as an on-location host institution, U.S. embassy or consular office, local law enforcement, local government agency, or other entity.
- Outlines of plans to mitigate risk.
- Names, locations, and contact information for any institutions or organizations with whom the group is working during the program.
- Indication that the students understand that they will be required to sign a Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement if the exception is approved.
All petitions must be emailed to Education Abroad.
Tips for Successful Petitions
- Do your research. By spending time on the country-specific page of the Department of State Website and the CDC website, you’ll gain a better understanding of your host country’s situation, allowing for a stronger petition. You may also wish to review other sources of health and safety data, e.g., the WHO, OSAC, program provider protocol, and local governments.
- If you are vaccinated for COVID-19, please state this in your petition.
- If traveling with an affiliate program provider (such as USAC, ISA, KCP, SAI, etc.), emphasize the provider’s health and safety protocol. All Missouri State University Education Abroad providers provide another robust layer of health and safety requirements for students.
- See two successful student petition examples below.