Learn the basics of traveling overseas and when you are done with that, you can use our Travel Checklist to help you plan your trip! In addition to personal preparation, it is advised you take a moment to familiarize yourself with any regulations that might impact your trip (federal regulations and customs requirements might impact your itinerary and business abroad), the University's Office of Trade Compliance offers assistance in navigating these regulations and requirements.

Yes, all faculty, students and staff are covered for up to six months at time via International SOS and Cigna healthcare for all non-routine care while abroad while traveling on behalf of University business or sanctioned travel such as Study Abroad. Learn more about your coverage.

Yes, the Technology Loaner Program via CSSD can equip you with phones, laptops and tablets for your work sanctioned travel. Learn more about Loaner Program.

University policy states all students and staff must register their University related travel overseas. Faculty, while not required are encouraged to do so.

Given the shear amount of visa possibilities that exist for all the countries in the world, it is not possible for Pitt to provide such a service within the University. However, for more complex visa requests/situations the University has contracted with visa service providers to offer reduced pricing. We always encourage you to check first with your host nation's consulate to ascertain what kind of visa you should apply for.

Inter-institutional Agreements

It is never too early to start the process. At the moment of program conception, you should contact Global Operations Support Manager. A key responsibility of this individual is helping faculty and staff develop solutions to problems and issues in doing business abroad. The Support Manager does this by working with faculty and staff and connecting them to appropriate business offices across the University

a. The Office of University Council (OUC) advises that initiators work directly with the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) to start the process. UCIS will liaise with OUC regarding the terms of the relevant contract.
b. Initiators will start by submitting a project proposal request through the UCIS portal on the Global Operations website. This can be found here: Once you submit this request, UCIS will be in touch to support you through the contracting process.

Completing the project proposal request typically takes 15-20 minutes to complete. The whole process from request submission to contract signing can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 6 months depending on various factors (committee reviews, negotiations with the partner, etc.)

a. Officially – The Vice Provost for Global Affairs and/or the Chancellor
b. Ceremonially –Sometimes the requesting department or college would like to sign the contract. This is permitted but the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and/or the Chancellor also need to sign the contract.

a. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): is a standard, non-binding accord between institutions. It is used in cases where a ceremonial signing is required or when Pitt would like to establish an exploratory relationship with a partner to best decide whether more formal collaborations are warranted. In cases where parties agree on specific projects or scope of partnerships, the MOU should be avoided and one of the agreements below should be explored.
b. Faculty Exchange Non-Teaching: supports faculty as they establish non-teaching collaborations with partners abroad (including formal mobility agreements, coordinating academic meetings, collaborating with international partners). Research projects should be discussed with the Office of Sponsored Programs and teaching contracts should be discussed with the Office of Faculty Affairs.
c. Cooperative Agreement: allows units to partner with institutions abroad on matters not related to student/faculty exchange. For example, if Pitt is co-hosting any type of program or event abroad, not related to study abroad (such as conferences, film festivals, or publication launch), then we should formalize that arrangement using this agreement.
d. Undergraduate/Graduate Student Exchange: supports individual student mobility (outside of Pitt-sanctioned study abroad program models) via a bilateral agreement where each partner is encouraged to send/receive equal numbers of students annually. Since students at each institution pay tuition to their home institutions, these agreements require careful thought and consideration, especially as regards the responsible unit’s ability to recruit and send/receive a set number of students annually. If there is a desired exchange at both the Graduate and Undergraduate levels, separate agreements may be required. Also, please note that Graduate exchanges will be administered through specific graduate schools.

Yes. In order to bring an undergraduate student to the University of Pittsburgh the department must have an official Program created with Program criteria. UCIS will be able to assist the department in navigating the process. An official contract between the two institutions is required. More information can be found in the Provost's guidelines regarding undergraduates participating in research. Currently, graduate students coming for internships do not require an inter-institutional agreement, however, they will most likely need to complete a Visitors Agreement with the Office of Trade Compliance. Learn more about Visitor Agreement Requirements.

Yes, please work with UCIS to help develop the necessary documents to bring the student to the University of Pittsburgh.

Conducting business abroad

First, we recommend you complete the 20 factor test to see if what you have planned falls under the definition of independent contractor.

If you feel your proposed arrangement is appropriate, then contact the Global Operations Support Manager and your departmental Purchasing Representative and forward them your 20 factor test results.

Most likely, you will need to utilize one of the International Services Agreements. It is important that you have a clear scope of services to enter into the agreement so we can evaluate the proposed arrangement.

To speed up processing and evaluation time it is helpful know: the citizenship of the person doing the work as they might not be a native of the country they reside in, if they are not a native, you will need to know their visa/residency status. Are they already registered as a an independent contractor (or the equivalent) for their country (if applicable)? Will they be accessing Pitt systems or technology? How often are they to be paid - i.e. per task? Quarterly? By invoice? etc.

Employment of individuals remotely (particularly in another country) while in some cases possible, is a situation where the risks in light of the host country's law must be evaluated. Many countries have registration requirements if a presence is established. Learn more to begin your own risk assessment, you will also need to contact the Global Operations Support Manager as early in the planning process as possible so a risk assessment as well as all University policies can be followed. *Please note that department wishing to have someone working remotely whether abroad or in the United States must complete the Remote Work Agreement Request.

Normally, when you are working with an established company, entity or partner institution, you can work directly with your Purchasing Representative to complete an International Services Agreement and subsequent forms when required. If you have an independent contractor or private person you would like to pay for work to be completed, please do contact the Global Operations Support Manager immediately.

Hosting Visitors and Delegations

The degree of involvement UCIS will have will depend on the nature of the visit and the type of individuals that would be visiting. We recommend you review the following chart to help you get an idea of the types of delegations that warrant contacting UCIS for assistance. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to contact the Global Operations Support Manager.

It is not required per University policy, that all visitors have the RPS done, however it is recommended for all. Visitors staying longer than 14 days on campus, accessing any labs or restricted materials/sites (Categories 2 & 3) are required to be entered into the MyEC portal, by the hosting unit, please note if you enter your visitors into MyEC, the portal automatically runs an RPS for you, thus no extra step of running one is required. More guidance can be found on the Academic Visitor's to Pitt website.

Visitor Agreements are determined by the duration of stay and access to sensitive sites on campus, you can find more information regarding Visitor Agreements on the Academic Visitors to Pitt website.