The Global Engagement Gateway is a compilation of University-wide resources meant to assist the Boston College community in the process of engaging internationally—both on campus and abroad. When embarking on an international activity, there are many elements to be aware of, and offices across the University are dedicated to providing guidance to help make your international engagement a success.
On This Page
Due to current travel restrictions, all travel must be approved by the President, Executive Vice President, or Provost. Be sure to obtain approval before booking any travel.
Any trip abroad should be planned well in advance to ensure that you are prepared and have received all pre-departure approvals and briefings and have time to apply for any visas or other entry requirements for your destination(s). For more information about vaccinations, refer to Global Health and Safety.
Here is useful information on travel booking, insurance, funding and reimbursements, as well as regulations regarding travel on sponsored programs.
- BC Travel
- International Travel
- Faculty Handbook: Travel
- Foreign travel on sponsored programs
- For faculty leading student group travels abroad: University guidelines for academic and extracurricular group travel
If you are interested in taking groups of students abroad, you should consult with the Office of International Programs for information and support.
If you are looking to teach abroad or considering developing curricula as a consultant or in the framework of a partnership with a university or organization abroad, please consult your Dean and the Vice Provost for Faculties. Teaching and service for other universities implicate university policies including:
- the Faculty Handbook provisions regarding conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment
- the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Commitment Pertaining to Sponsored Projects, and
- Export Controls requirements
Certain countries have specific health and safety requirements. If you would like a consultation for required immunizations and country specific health advisories, you may contact Health Services. In order to receive immunizations, you will need to visit a travel clinic.
You may also refer to the US Department of State for country specific requirements and advisories:
- Department of State international travel
- Department of State travel advisories
- Interactive State Department map
- Vaccines for travelers
- Vaccines, updates, and medical advice
If you have to apply for a visa or other permit, here are useful
Here is travel insurance information for BC faculty and staff traveling abroad. For questions concerning insurance abroad of property and vehicles, and general liability, please contact the Office of Risk Management. Undergraduate students participating in a study abroad program through the Office of Global Education will be enrolled in the supplemental health insurance for the duration of their program.
When planning to purchase goods or services from foreign vendors (for instance, consultants or law firms), contact Procurement Services. You may also need to consult the Office for Sponsored Programs if the procurement is occurring under federally sponsored projects, which may set forth rules restricting foreign procurement.
Before traveling abroad with your computer or mobile device, be sure to review these computing tips and security information, and contact the Office of Research Security, Integrity and Compliance (RSIC) regarding possible export restrictions on the devices and data that you plan to bring with you. Also remember to use Boston College's VPN to access specific computers or servers behind BC's firewall, or to access confidential BC information from home that should be encrypted (scrambled) while traveling. Guidelines on using BC's VPN may be found here.
The University has been notified that, in order to comply with U.S. law, Duo, Zoom, and Canvas will restrict usage of their services from the following countries/regions sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC):
- North Korea
- Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of Ukraine
BC faculty, staff, and students who are based in, or travel to, OFAC-sanctioned countries or regions will no longer be able to use Duo (two-factor authentication); Zoom (teleconferencing); or Canvas (learning management system). Traveling to the above sanctioned countries with devices that contain certain encryption software, including the Duo mobile app, is a violation of U.S. export regulations. Questions about compliance with U.S. export law while traveling can be addressed to RSIC at email@example.com. Questions regarding the IT impact created by Duo's, Zoom's, and Canvas' service changes should be addressed to ITS.
If your research involves the transfer of personally identifiable information, you should consult the Institutional Review Board/Office of Research Protections as your first point of contact, to confirm that adequate protocols are in place to mitigate harm against those to whom the data relates.In certain cases, such as in Europe, the transfer of personally identifiable information may implicate the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or other applicable privacy laws. Often, the party making the transfer will require that the recipient researcher agree to a date use or data sharing agreement. These agreements need to be reviewed with Information Technology Services and the Office of the General Counsel to confirm that the technology security requirements and other obligations can be met by Boston College.
Hiring abroad If your project requires you to contract or hire a local consultant or employee, please consult with the Office of the Vice President of Human Resources for information on regulations and procedures.Working abroad (Boston College employees)When taking on a work assignment abroad, you will have to consider a number of issues, in particular related to banking, taxes, social security, and benefits. If you are a foreign national, an extended stay abroad may have implications on your visa in the United States. For support and guidance when planning your move, please contact the Office of the Vice President of Human Resources.
These are your resources if you need to access, manage, spend, and report on money used abroad:
- Banking issues: If you need to open a bank account in a foreign country to carry out your activities, Bank and Cash services within the Office of the Controller is dedicated to providing you with fiscal advice.
- Use of purchase card (P-card): For questions related to the purchase of goods or services abroad with a p-card (for a value of less than $5,000), and which type of card to use, please refer to Purchasing card program.
- Payments abroad: For payments to foreign vendors by wire, please refer to the policies and procedures of the Office of the Controller.
- Advances and reimbursements: To apply for an advance to cover your travel expenses, or for reimbursement, please visit BC travel.
Certain countries around the world are issued travel advisories based on national recommendations. According to the Department of State, a Level 3 warning indicates a high warning and that you should reconsider travel. Level 4 advisories are given to sanctioned countries and can be found on the Department of Treasury’s website.
Consult Export Controls for a list of countries where extra precautions are needed with respect to traveling with personal or university computers, phones, or other electronics. For information regarding vaccinations and health notices while traveling to countries with advisories, visit the Center for Disease Control's site.
If you are planning to take students abroad on an extra-curricular program, including volunteering, service, and immersion (such as the programs on this overview), here are your resources. Please be mindful of the Boston College Academic and Extracurricular Student Travel Policy.
The Office of University Advancement is interested in finding opportunities for Boston College communities abroad to meet with any faculty or administrators traveling internationally. For more information, contact the Director of International Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boston College follows the United States' comprehensive lists of restrictions on academic collaborations, research materials, and equipment. Information, equipment, technology, and other exchanges within the framework of academic collaborations with foreign nationals, on campus, in the United States, or abroad, should stay within compliance. When traveling as an affiliate of the Boston College community, you are required to adhere to Boston College’s policies on international travel regarding export controls. If you are traveling with samples, materials, equipment, or sensitive data, please visit Export Controls’ website or contact email@example.com for more information and forms.
Global Engagement at Home
Boston College welcomes visitors and delegations from around the world for meetings, short trainings, and conferences. As these visitors will not be employed or engaging in full time study at BC, most will be coming with a B-1 ”Visitor for Business” visa, or they may qualify for the Visa Waiver ESTA program.
In exceptional cases, your visitors might need an official invitation or visa. If you are not sure if this is the case, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars. For visits to special sites on campus, please refer to Export Controls’ guidelines to be sure the visit stays within compliance.
Every year, Boston College hosts hundreds of esteemed scholars from around the world. If you are considering sponsoring an unpaid visiting scholar or a paid researcher, fellow, or part-time faculty member, your first point of contact is your Department Chair or Dean. For unpaid visiting scholars, please first request a visiting scholar appointment letter from the Office of the Provost. Once this letter has been issued, the Office of International Students and Scholars will contact your department and the scholar about visa options. For paid visiting researchers, fellows, and part-time faculty, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars directly about the process for obtaining a J-1 exchange visitor visa for this person.
When it is anticipated that a foreign national will be hired to work for Boston College and may require a different visa than the J-1, it will be necessary to work with the Office of the Provost (for faculty) or Human Resources (for staff) to ensure that the new hire works through the requisite paperwork and immigration and visa requirements necessary to complete the hiring process.
The curriculum and the classroom are opportunities to engage in inclusive global learning, reaching out to all students regardless of national or cultural background. The Center for Digital Innovation in Learning (CDIL) and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) offer support for faculty looking for help. Please visit their websites to learn what resources and services they can provide, including the CTE's intercultural competence resource page. You will also find useful resources on the website of the Office of Global Education.
Collaborations & Partnerships
Having a sense of understanding and cultural awareness is necessary for effective communication. We recommend visiting the Office of Global Education's website. Most semesters, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) offers Cultural Competency Engagement Modules as well as other programs. The OID and the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) also offer opportunities for assessment and development of intercultural competency through the use of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). The OISS also provides individual programs for departments/offices on other related issues, such as cross-cultural communication.
When approached by a foreign university or other foreign entity to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or other agreement, your primary points of contact are your Department Chair, your Dean, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Engagement. Even if they do not involve any financial or other resource commitments, these international agreements can raise a number of complex issues not ordinarily present in domestic arrangements. Check with this list (on the Office of International Programs’ website) and with the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Engagement to see whether Boston College already has an agreement with that institution. The Office of the Vice Provost for Global Engagement may have an appropriate University template agreement, and will advise on signing authority, any accreditation or reporting issues, and whether a review of the Office of the General Counsel is required. In addition, prior to entering into such agreements, international parties need to be screened in accordance with the University’s export controls procedures. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or assistance.When the agreement is signed, please submit the original document to the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Engagement.
If you are planning to conduct international research, there are a number of protections and disclosure policies to be aware of and follow. Please consult the offices of Intellectual Property, Export Controls, and Boston College's Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the early stages of your research for guidance and assistance in filling out any required forms. In many cases, you will need to seek local IRB approval from the country in which you conduct research, in addition to Boston College's IRB approval. Be sure to stay compliant in disclosing details of your research as according to university and national regulations.
If you are looking for funding for international travel and collaborations, here are some resources:
- Faculty Handbook: Travel
- Office of the Provost Grants and Awards
- Vice Provost for Research/Office for Sponsored Programs Funding
- Fulbright Scholar Program
- Rockefeller Foundation
- American Academy of Religion
- Marie Curie
- Humboldt Foundation
- Brocher Foundation
The Scholarly Communication Librarian at the University Libraries is available to offer advice and assistance on issues relating to use of copyrighted materials, working with publishers, and other copyright issues.
Please be mindful of the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and consult with the Office of Technology Transfer and Licensing to confirm that there are adequate protections in place to ensure the security of the research and protection of intellectual property. Any contracts or licenses with foreign parties should be reviewed in accordance with University policies.
All faculty, staff, and students are required to submit an International Shipping Form prior to shipping items abroad. The Office of Research Security, Compliance and Integrity (RSIC) will review the submission and determine whether a license from the U.S. Government is required for the shipment. FinaI RSIC approval, and a license if applicable, is required, before the item can ship
For questions related to reporting and taxes on income or payments abroad, please consult with the Office of the Controller.
To determine the legal issues and all operations related to your activity abroad, consult with your Department Chair or Dean, who may seek advice from Export Controls, the Office of the Controller, and the Office of the General Counsel, among other units.
International collaborations typically involve sharing of intellectual property, materials and equipment, data, technologies, and software, in addition to international travel, hiring on site personnel, and diverse sources of funding. As such, engaging in research with foreign collaborators can trigger a number of legal and compliance considerations not ordinarily present with domestic collaborations.
Information regarding foreign collaborators, technology and equipment, sources of funding, international site locations, as well as the scope of international research may require disclosure in accordance with federal regulations and Boston College policies. If at any point during collaboration any of the aforementioned components change, it must be reported to the appropriate office.
Compliance and transparency is vital for our rich academic environment. Boston College's faculty and staff are entrusted with the responsibility of being transparent about their international engagements. In order to help BC manage its federal compliance obligations and facilitate potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment, please review Boston College's policies on conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest. For additional support, refer to the offices of: Export Controls, Human Resources, Research Protections, Office of Sponsored Programs, Technology Transfer and Licensing, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty.
The Office for Sponsored Programs assists faculty and coordinates support and resources during the whole life cycle of sponsored research, including international research.
Acceptance of gratuities, gifts, or travel from any source could create the appearance of a conflict of interest. This is of particular concern when something of value is given by a foreign source, where there may be additional disclosure requirements applicable to foreign support.
Before accepting a gift (including travel) from a foreign source, be mindful of the University’s conflicts of interest policies as set forth in the Faculty Handbook, the Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment, the Policy on Professional Standards and Business Conduct, and the Policy on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Pertaining to Sponsored Projects. Related questions may be directed to the Vice Provost of Faculties.
Any financial gift intended to be given to the University from a foreign source may require disclosure under federal law. Consult the Director of International Advancement on protocols for accepting gifts to the University.