What is Travel?


Recognized student organizations traveling on behalf of MIT must follow all MIT policies, including the Mind, Hand Heart Handbook. Please see below for specific policies related to both Domestic and International Trips. All trips must be reported to SAO by submitting a travel form (for both domestic and international trips) prior to the trip. Failure to do so could result in loss of group privileges and/or reimbursements for group travel.
 
What is Travel?
MIT Travel is defined as travel by any member of the MIT community on MIT business. MIT business is defined as any program or activity that is required or run by MIT or financially supported through any MIT account, including Student Organizations accounts. 

Any member of the MIT community (faculty, staff and students) who is traveling wholly for personal reasons and without financial support by MIT (i.e., without funding through any MIT account) is not subject to MIT’s travel policy. Individual discretion governs decisions regarding such personal travel. 

Faculty, staff and students who combine travel on MIT business with travel to their home country for personal reasons must sign MIT’s travel form, but may use their individual discretion regarding decisions to travel to areas on the travel warning lists. 

Student organization travel that is less than 25 miles outside of the greater Boston area and/or inside of the Route 95 Corridor (within the Boston and surrounding areas), does not need to submit paperwork to SAO.

For the purposes of the Division of Student Life, Student organization travel that is less than 25 miles from the greater Cambridge/Boston area and/or insides of the Route 95 Corridor (within the Boston and surrounding area), does not need to submit paperwork to SAO. Student Travel consists of travel to an off-campus event, where MIT resources, financial or other, may be used to represent an MIT-approved or recognized organization, or the event would otherwise qualify as furthering the purpose of such group. 

References
· Event Planning Guide, SAO/CAC
· MIT Travel Risk Policy, Insurance Office 
For more detailed information on the Institute Travel Policies, please visit the VPF website
 
General Travel Requirements
 
Driving on behalf of a student organization trip
  • When traveling, the student organization’s trip leader (a student who is the main point of contact for the trip) should maintain a list of trip participants, the driver’s name, phone number and occupants for each car, the general itinerary of the trip, and the name and phone number of Dean on Call, MIT Police and the ICC. 
  • Anyone driving on behalf of MIT must have a current, valid driver’s license and proof of comprehensive automobile insurance. Drivers must obey all traffic and safety laws. In the event of an accident, please contact the Dean on Call to report an accident and follow up with local authorities as needed. The following outlines what is covered via MIT Insurance: https://insurance.mit.edu/services/insurance-coverage-claims/business-travel-accident.
  • When renting automobiles, please work directly with the Student Activities Office. We have a relationship with Budget in Cambridge that is walking distance from campus. Student organizations are not allowed to rent 12-passenger vans or trucks/U-Haul.
  • If an organization rents a truck or U-haul, passengers are only permitted in locations with seat belts and the vehicle should only be used for transporting equipment and not passengers. 
  • When renting charter buses, the organization must ensure that proper levels of insurance is provided. MIT strongly recommends Peter Pan, Boston Coach and Planet Train.
 
Flight bookings and arrangements
  • SAO strongly advises you book with an MIT preferred travel vendor: Travel Collaborative via the Concur site and/or Key Travel/OTT (international) link. Key specializes in lower cost fares. If you use a preferred vendor, these vendors feed the e-tickets into the Concur Risk platform of the registry environment automatically. Please reach out to sao-desk@mit.edu to book an appointment to discuss travel.
 
Domestic Travel
 
Students traveling domestically must first complete and hand in required paperwork to SAO, prior to the trip. Failure to do so could result in loss of group privileges and/or reimbursements for group travel.
 
  • Complete the SAO Domestic Student Travel Form 2 weeks in advance to your trip via Engage.
  • Submit finalized roster of participants at least 5 days in advance to the Student Activities Office. 
  • Review Best Practices for Vehicle Use (whether you are using personal vehicle or renting) on MIT Office of Insurance website.
  • Review frequently used links on the VPF Travel website.
 
International Travel

Students traveling internationally must first complete and hand in required paperwork and register their travel wit MIT prior to the trip. Failure to do so could result in loss of group privileges and/or reimbursements for group travel.

            Per group/trip:
  • Complete the Student International Travel Form 4 weeks in advance of your trip
  • Submit finalized roster of participants at least 2 weeks in advance to the Student Activities Office and ensure that each traveler has registered online via the MIT Travel registry. 
Per Traveler:
  • Review your International Travel Form with a SAO staff member at the beginning of the planning process.
  • Register your travel online on MIT’s Travel Registry. An SAO staff member will send link to complete your group's trip registration. 
  • Each traveler submit an for MIT Students Traveling Abroad.
  • Review the International Travel Risk Policy and look up your country on the Country Warning Level list. 
  • Review Safety and Security information and resources.
  • Review additional resources and checklist through the MIT International Coordinating Committee http://icc.mit.edu/travel-abroad/travel-abroad-checklist.
 
Additional Safety Guidelines and Information:
  • International students need to carry their passport and VISA with them at all times.
  • Additional information resources and training for international travel.
  • We want to make sure that our students are safe for all travel and are aware of their surroundings, cultural differences and laws that are often not reflective of the laws that we have here in the United States. The following resources can be very helpful when planning your trip:
  • Human Rights Watch - http://www.hrw.org
  • Human Rights Campaign - http://www.hrc.org
  • United Nations Free and Equal - https://www.unfe.org
  • International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association - http://ilga.org/
  • MIT has a license to GlobeSmart which is an online resources that can help you enhance your cultural awareness and improve communications in a global environment. It is available to all students, faculty and staff (MIT Credentials required).
  • There is currently not a policy that prohibits students from using Air B and B’s and other organizations that do “homestays”. However, we strongly recommend that you do not share houses with other groups you are not familiar with. The following are recommended tips for homestays (i.e. Air B and B’s):
    • Keep in mind that many homestay accommodations do not have security features commonly found in hotels (24/7 access to staff, security guards, deadlocked doors, etc.) Therefore, there is more responsibility on you, the traveler, to ensure your own safety and security. Please be aware of all surroundings and, if traveling alone, it is recommended you stay in a hotel instead.
    • Thoroughly research listings beforehand using reviews. Most homestay apps allow users to rate and review their stay at each listing. Seek listings with numerous positive reviews and pay close attention to anything that might be relevant to your safety during the stay. Reviews should be consistently positive over an extended period of time.
    • Take advantage of speaking with the host prior to booking; host should be responsive and professional and answer any questions and concerns.
    • Research neighborhood beforehand to ensure the listing is not located in a high crime area and familiarize yourself with the nearest police stations and emergency rooms.
    • Make initial inspection of the property, noting any potential hazards like broken windows or doors. Note exits and fire escape routes. Make sure that the host has left you with local emergency response numbers as well as their own contact information.
  • Under General Travel requirements, please remove the second half of the sentence “without prior approval and after on-line training”. Student groups are not allowed to rent U-Haul trucks and/or 12-passenger vans.