Travel and Study Abroad

Cal Poly continues to urge all students, faculty and staff to consider canceling plans for non-essential domestic travel, including over spring break. Cal Poly has suspended all current study abroad programs worldwide. Students and faculty currently abroad have been asked to make immediate plans to return to the U.S.  Exceptions to this suspension have been considered for students who have medical reasons for the request..

Our first and most important priorities are the well-being and safety of our community members. We want to share facts, to help decrease any feelings of anxiety or panic that our community may be experiencing. 

University Travel Guidelines 

Please visit the university's Administration and Finance website for details regarding travel guidelines and reimbursement of expenses related to canceled travel.

CSU Travel Advisories

On March 9, the CSU Chancellor’s Office advised campuses and associated auxiliary organizations to immediately suspend all international and non-essential domestic travel through May 31, 2020. This includes all auxiliary organizations and registered student organizations (RSO).

The President or designees — in this case the university’s vice presidents — will make final determinations for their divisional areas about what constitutes essential domestic travel.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Global Advisory – Do Not Travel. Per March 19 memo from CSU Chancellor’s Office, “Under a worldwide Level 4 advisory, U.S. citizens are advised by the State Department to avoid travel outside the United States and to return to the United States as soon as it is safe to do so. As such, all previously authorized delegations of authority for the approval of travel are rescinded. Only campus presidents shall provide an exception, this authority shall not be further delegated.” Requests for Presidential exception are to be submitted through the International Center. Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

International Center Updates 

The International Center continues to monitor the worldwide situation of the COVID-19. The safety of our students and employees abroad and of international students and scholars on campus is our highest priority. We are in communication with the CSU, campus stakeholders, and SLO County Public Health in our response to the novel coronavirus.   

For the latest updates, please visit the International Center website.

Spring Break Travel 

Given the heightened situation worldwide and with the safety of our community in mind, Cal Poly encourages students, faculty and staff to forgo travel to domestic areas this spring break with a significant number of coronavirus cases (at present these include: Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and the Bay Area). If you plan to stay or work on campus during spring break, Campus Dining and other campus services will remain open during this time.

If you do travel, consult the local health departments of your travel area for guidance and precautions. Please take caution if you are traveling to locations within the United States with several confirmed cases of coronavirus or are high risk, such as Seattle, New York, Los Angeles or the Bay Area.

Campus community members who do plan to travel internationally for non-university matters are asked to notify the campus where and when they plan to go by completing this online form.

Current CDC Travel Advisories

All travel advisories issued for U.S. travelers can be found on the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises special care for the following areas:

Travel Advisories FAQs

What should students, faculty or staff do if they return from an affected area? 

Cal Poly is following recommended guidance from the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department to minimize our community’s exposure risk. The county has advised that travelers refrain from returning to Cal Poly's campus for 14 days after leaving the following affected level 2 and 3 countries and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left the area. In addition, we strongly advise against travel to these areas to minimize the risk of exposure and/or disruption of course work.

If you plan to travel to level 2 or 3 countries — China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left the area. Please do not return to campus during this time and discuss your work situation with your supervisor before returning.

The CDC also strongly advises that you take the following precautions if you travel to any affected area:

  • Practice social distancing - this includes not taking public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times per day and monitor for fever.
  • Watch for cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Learn more at

Faculty and staff who were to travel abroad on university business not deemed essential must cancel plans for international travel immediately. International insurance coverage and fees will be reversed. 

Campus community members who do plan to travel internationally for non-university matters are asked to notify the campus where and when they plan to go by completing this online form:

I feel fine. Why should I take these precautions? 

Please remember that although you may feel healthy, our campus community includes individuals with compromised immunities who are counting on the diligence of others to help prevent the spread of illness. Thank you for taking care to keep all of our community members safe. 

Travel Resources


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