Policy 128 - Family and Visitors on Employee-Led Programs Abroad

Section: Employment
Policy Number: 128
Responsible Office: Office of Global Studies
Effective Date: 4/10/11
Revised: 10/27/15


This policy applies to all staff and administrators who lead or help to administer programs abroad for St. John’s University students.


Employees and faculty who lead a group of students internationally have a significantly broader responsibility for the students than do faculty who teach a course on campus. This responsibility involves 24/7 availability to the program’s students while the program is in progress, in case of emergency or other needs. The employee leader’s first priority must to be the safety and wellbeing of the students in his or her program.

The University expects the full and complete commitment of the employee leader to the program and its students. The presence of family members or visitors during an employee-led program abroad could result in a divided commitment for the employee leader; therefore, the University does not permit employees who are directing a program abroad to be accompanied by family or visitors while the program is in progress. Further, for reasons of liability, only students who are enrolled in the program and employees of the University are permitted to join in excursions and travel with the program. In the case of certain service or ministry programs held abroad, it may be appropriate for a family member to participate in the service experience, and in this case an exception may be granted by the VP for University Ministry.

In situations where the employee’s responsibility is limited to the teaching of a course and the employee is NOT otherwise responsible 24/7 for the students in a program, the University does not expressly prohibit family members or visitors from accompanying the employee abroad at the employee's expense. In addition, with the approval of the Office of Global Studies, individual deans may make exceptions for programs that travel to the Rome or Paris campuses, or programs that travel with more than one University employee. In the case of programs that travel with more than one University employee, these programs must designate at least one employee  as “on call” who would not be permitted to be accompanied by family members or visitors on the trip. 

During these study abroad programs, family members or visitors who are not enrolled in the course or employed by the University cannot represent the University in any official capacity; they are also not permitted to attend any portion of the program that is not otherwise open to the public or that is held in a location that is open to the public.

Program leaders and their family members or visitors are required to complete and sign a “Conditions of Participation” form and “Assumption of Risk, Release of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement.” (PDF). All applicable University policies still apply. 

Employees are encouraged to consult directly with a member of the Office of Global Studies should they have any questions regarding this policy.

Notice of Foreign Travel

Prior to traveling abroad on University business, employees should provide the Department of Public Safety with the following information: 1) Full name; 2) Passport information; 3) Dates of travel and flight information; 4) Location(s) of stay while abroad; 5) Global cell phone number or other local contact phone number; and 6) Updated emergency contact information.

St. John's University, New York
Human Resources Policy Manual