Funded Independent Student Travel Abroad

Each year, about 65 Richmond students are awarded funding from offices across campus to attend conferences, intern, engage in volunteer projects, or to conduct research abroad in about 35 different countries. Most of these independent experiences abroad take place in the summer. Sources of funding include the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of International Education’s (IE) Weinstein Summer Grants, the Spider Internships program through Career Services, and many other offices.

If your office is funding or otherwise facilitating student travel abroad, please be aware of the following.


The IE encourages all offices that provide such funding to make their awards early in the spring semester (before spring break). Doing so allows students to access the services that are available to them from the IE, the Global Studio, Health Services, and other offices, and gives them adequate time to prepare passports, visas, affordable airfare, and immunizations, for example.

Review of plans and students

When your office is reviewing student requests to fund independent experiences abroad, consider the nature and previous experiences of the student, and how these match conditions at the proposed project site.

For example:

  • Is the level of structure at this program site a good match for this student?
  • Is the student ready for the degree of cultural difference that he or she will encounter there? If the answer is no, do you feel that he or she can be ready before departure?
  • Does the student have, or can he or she achieve, an appropriate level of proficiency in the language in use at the program site?

Contact an IE staff member to discuss the match between a student and a project abroad with the funding staff and/or the student if you need an additional perspective.

Students must petition for IE approval for travel to countries rated Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State. IE maintains discretion to approve travel to countries presenting substantial risk that may not be rated Level 3 or 4. Petitions are due at least six (6) weeks prior to the student’s intended departure date. For policy and the petition form, please click here.

Student participation is also subject to approval by the deans of Richmond or Westhampton College, following a review of disciplinary records.

Please inform Patrick Schweiger, study abroad manager, of the student's name, what he or she hopes to do abroad, and his or her intended destination as soon as funding has been awarded (or as soon as the proposal has been received, if the office providing funding has concerns about the student’s plans).


The IE requires that all students traveling with University support be registered in our on-line record-keeping system so that we can evaluate their plans on the basis of safety, so we know how to find them in case of emergency, and so we have accurate records of University-affiliated international activity. The Office of International Education will provide one of two sets of registration instructions (depending on what is being done with the funding) to students who have been identified as receiving University funding for an experience abroad.


Richmond students participating in an official University approved trip outside of the U.S. are covered by AXA Travel Assistance international health and travel insurance. There is no cost for this coverage. Students will receive the insurance card upon completion of their required travel registration in Gateway Abroad. For insurance details, please visit our Health and Travel Insurance page.

Students traveling to their home countries cannot be enrolled in this insurance coverage because you are expected to have applicable insurance coverage in your home country. (Exception: U.S. permanent residents traveling abroad in their home countries.)

Pre-departure orientation

There will be a mandatory orientation meeting in mid-April for all students who have been funded to go abroad in the summer. Before this orientation, please encourage students who will receive funding from your office to acquaint themselves with conditions in the places they hope to visit by consulting the country information pages of the U.S. Department of State and of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.