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ISP Travel Policy

Students participating in BYU International Study Programs are required to book their travel through BYU’s Travel Office (280B HRCB).  If you have questions on travel, please read through the frequently asked questions below:

  • To get permission to book your own travel without using BYU Travel, you will need to complete an online waiver that indicates that you understand that any challenges or difficulties you face while on this travel is your responsibility and that BYU will be unlikely to help you in case of emergency.

    You'll need to sign the first page of the waiver, and a person who will not be traveling with you and who will agree to provide financial support in case you have travel issues, will need to sign the second page as the “responsible person.”

    After you complete the waiver, you will receive a copy of it back with signed approval. Once you have this approval, you can book your travel on your own. Keep in mind that the international medical insurance that BYU provides is only valid for the dates of your program. If you have extra travel dates, you will need to get your own insurance for those days.
  • If you plan to do additional travel either going to or returning from your program, we require that you sign this waiver and that you limit this travel to Level 1 or Level 2 countries listed on BYU’s Travel Smart system. If you wish to travel to a Level 3 or Level 4 country, you will need to get an exception to this policy. Contact Lynn Elliott at if you have questions.

    By signing this waiver, you indicate that you understand that any challenges or difficulties you face while on this travel is your responsibility and that BYU will be unlikely to help you in case of emergency.

    Also, keep in mind that the international medical insurance that BYU provides you with while on your international study program begins on the first day of the program and ends on the last day of the program, so if you want international medical coverage for your additional travel dates, you will need to arrange that on your own.
  • Whether or not you will need a visa will depend on where you plan on traveling. Americans can travel in the UK as tourists for 180 days without a visa. Americans can travel in most other western European countries for 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. For a list of countries for which this regulation applies to, see

    For all other countries, American passport holders can check the specific visa requirements under the specific country travel information pages.

    If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you will need to check the visa requirements at the country’s embassy web pages to see the specific requirements for your passport.

    If your program requires that you have a visa, your program director will give you instructions on how to get this. You are responsible for getting your own visa to do any extra travel.

    Do not overstay the time you are legally allowed in a country. If you do, you can be assessed a fine and barred from future travel to that country. BYU will not be able to help you if you find yourself in this situation.
  • Overnight unchaperoned travel (without a faculty member) may occur only if approved by your faculty director and ISP coordinator. The policy for independent unchaperoned travel is the following:

    • Independent travel is encouraged prior to the beginning or after the end of the program to alleviate interrupting the flow of the program and imposing logistical challenges. 
    • Independent travel is seen as part of the program experience and should have an appropriate academic purpose approved by the faculty director. 
    • If you are proposing to travel independently within the dates of the program you will need to complete an ISP Independent Travel Proposal form (available from your faculty director) and have it approved by your faculty director and ISP Coordinator the semester prior to your departure for the program. Approval is not guaranteed. Overnight travel may be limited to the country of program.      
    • Independent overnight travel may only occur during the designated “free travel” period on your program calendar, not during any time you perceive to have free time. Due to time limitations for spring and summer term programs, independent travel may be limited to semester-long fall and winter programs.   
    • You may only propose to travel to Category 1 countries listed on the BYU Travel Smart website.
    • You are required to abide by BYU policies and CES Honor Code guidelines during independent travel. If you do not follow your approved travel plan, you run the risk of being dismissed from the program and being sent home. 
    • You will need to attend Church in the LDS congregation where your program is located. Independent travel should not interrupt your regular Church attendance.  This requires that you return to your program location by Saturday with enough time to prepare for the sabbath.       
    • Every student is required to have their own bed (no sharing).
    • Men and women are required to have separate rooms.   
    • Students should travel in groups of three or more. 
    • You should only use regular public transportation for your independent travel.  Renting cars or motorbikes is not allowed, nor is hitchhiking allowed. 

    Independent day trips (not overnight) from the program should be discussed with the faculty director who will consult with the ISP coordinator.
  • Simply Travel can be a useful took to book flights to Western Europe directly without talking with a BYU travel agent. However, it does have some limitations, so if you are traveling somewhere besides Western Europe or if you cannot find the flights you want through Simply Travel, please speak with an agent at BYU Travel by coming to 280B HRCB, by emailing them at, or by calling them at (801) 422-3872.
  • Please contact an agent at BYU Travel. You can speak with them in person at 280B HRCB, by email at, or by phone at (801) 422–3872.