Independent Travel Policy

(effective June 1, 2024)

Studying abroad with SIT is an intensive, immersive experience. 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 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.

General Guidelines

  • SIT students may choose to undertake independent travel outside the city or country of their program center during the weekend or travel breaks. 
  • Students may not travel to a location with a U.S. Department of State travel advisory level 3 or 4 or CDC health notice level 3 or 4 without prior written approval from both their program chair and the office of SIT student health, safety, and wellbeing. 
  • As stipulated in the SIT Code of Conduct, student independent travel must not interfere with SIT academic courses or SIT planned excursions.
  • Prior to their independent travel, the student is required to provide their itinerary and contact details to SIT a minimum of one week prior to travel. The student must also notify SIT immediately of any trip interruption or delays in their itinerary.
  • Students are responsible for researching any visa implications of cross-border travel. Exiting a country does not guarantee return to that country. SIT will not be able to assist if a student is denied re-entry.
  • Leaving the SIT program base for the purpose of independent travel means leaving the proximity of support and resources from SIT local staff. Students will have resources through SIT’s international assistance provider and there will be no interruption in their international emergency medical coverage. 
  • Students choosing to undertake independent travel do so with the understanding that they are solely responsible for all aspects of that travel including logistics, preparations, personal, and financial risks. 
  • Students are required to sign and return SIT’s Independent Travel Waiver either separately or as part of the Conditions of Participation.

Independent Travel Notification Form

If a student is interested in independent travel, they must complete and submit the online Independent Travel Notification Form to their program chair no later than one week prior to the proposed date of travel. Requests for travel to U.S. State Department level 3 or 4 locations need to be submitted to the program chair and are reviewed by the Student Health, Safety & Wellbeing department. Approval or denial of the request will then be communicated in writing to the student.