Policy: 201.J International Travel

Statement of Policy:

This policy covers general information such as allowed maximums related to international travel.  For important information regarding international travel safety and security, please visit the UW Madison International Travel website at http://internationaltravel.wisc.edu/.

Note: Sponsored projects (e.g., fund 144 or 133) are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific award, as well as applicable program guidelines, which may restrict use of funds for certain types of expenses.  Please contact the RSP accountant for your award with any questions.

International Air Travel

International air travelers can refer to Policy 201.A Air Travel for most policies and procedures related to booking airfare for UW business; however, below are a few key points that apply only to international travel.

  • Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement: In accordance with the Fly America Act of 1974, commercial air travel and movement of cargo on federally funded grants must comply with the requirement that US flag air carriers be used to the maximum extent possible when traveling between the US and a foreign country or between foreign countries. The Open Skies Agreement, however, allows for the use of foreign air carriers under certain circumstances.  All travelers must comply with the Fly America Act unless exceptions in the Open Skies Agreement pertain.
  • Booking Methods:Fox World Travel recommends that travelers and travel arrangers contact a Fox World Travel agent directly when booking foreign travel due to the complexity of the routes versus booking on-line using the Concur on-line booking tool.  An agent can be reached at (866) 230-8787 or UWAgents@gofox.com.  Concur can still be used for simple routes (e.g. Chicago to London).

International Lodging and Meal Maximums

International travelers should refer to Policy 201.H Lodging and Policy 201.I – Meals & Incidental Expenses (M&IE) for most policies and procedures related to lodging and meals; however, for travel outside of the United States, separate dollar maximums apply.  Lodging and M&IE maximums for specific locations and dates should be found using the UWTravelWIse Rate Calculator.

Alaska, Hawaii and all US territories and possessions are considered foreign locations and are covered under the international per diem rates.

Additional Docuementation Requirements

  • Foreign Currency: When a payment is made using a foreign currency, the receipt must be converted to US Dollars.  Documentation supporting the exchange rate used must be attached to the expense report or other payment mechanism.
  • Vendor documentation printed in a foreign language must be translated to English before submitting for reimbursement or reconciliation.  A tool that may be helpful for doing so is Google Translate.

Registering Equipment prior to Departure

US Customs requires that all equipment and personal effects of an unusual nature are registered prior to export.  Further information and the Certificates of Registration can be found on the International Travel Carry-on Guide.

Travel Insurance

MEDEX is an optional program provided at no cost to State of Wisconsin employees while traveling in the course and scope of their employment.  Employees in work status while involved in educational pursuits abroad are automatically enrolled in a special medical evacuation and repatriation program through the MEDEX Program; however, it is important to note that MEDEX is NOT health insurance; it provides coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation only.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) program is also available to faculty and staff who are involved in educational programs abroad on a voluntary basis. This provides an excellent option for staff that are not sure how their personal insurance will respond abroad, or who don't want to risk paying for medical care and submitting for reimbursement after their return. CISI will make direct payments to providers. Individuals should contact their primary health insurer with questions regarding how the coverage works while in travel status. Remember that employees injured in the course and scope of their employment may be eligible for benefits under Worker's Compensation, regardless of the location of the worksite.

Please contact Risk Management for further information.

Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.