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Overseas Travel

Guidelines for Overseas Travel

  • All international travel for staff and students, with the exception of International Studies and Professional Experience Program participants, must be approved by your Dean or Director using the UTS Travel Approval Form.
  • International Studies Administration (IS) will manage their students' overseas travel. Non-IS students travelling overseas are the responsibility of the Dean of their Faculty.
  • Professional Experience Program (PEP) participants should refer to the VC's Directive PEP and liaise with their school administration on approval, travel advance and acquittal procedures.
  • It is the traveller's responsibility to monitor and adhere to the relevant Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Travel Advice and direction from their Dean or Director before they travel and while overseas.
  • The table below ("Interpreting DFAT Travel Advice") provides a guide to the action required for each type of DFAT warning.
  • If the advice falls into level 3 ("reconsider your need to travel"), the Dean or Director must consider carefully whether the intended international travel is essential and ensure they can demonstrate due diligence in their approval. A 'Risk Management and Approval of Overseas Travel' form should be completed and kept on file.
  • No staff member is under an obligation to undertake any international travel which conflicts with DFAT advice.
  • Faculties/Units and Institutes will retain a listing of staff and students travelling overseas.
  • Students/staff travelling will be provided with at least one Faculty / Departmental emergency contact and should ensure they take with them details of the nearest International SOS Assistance Centre to their destination.
  • Complete any Offsite Activities Risk Assessments applicable to the travel.  Update your Research Risk Management Plan for any research risks relating to the travel.
  • Booking travel with a UTS preferred Travel Management Agent ensures the traveller is registered with International SOS (Intnl SOS), the UTS emergency support agent. If you use a different travel management company, details of the traveller and itinerary must be entered into the Intnl SOS Personal Travel Locator so emergency assistance can be provided if needed. 

Airline Deals

UTS has airfare agreements in place with six (6) airlines for key international routes. To support the UTS Travel Directive and our preferred airlines, our Travel Agents (STA & Anywhere Travel) have been advised to provide travel bookers with 3 quotation options:

  1. Lowest logical airfare
  2. Cheapest flight from a preferred airline (if not the lowest logical airfare)
  3. Next lowest logical airfare.

Preferred Airlines for International Travel

International Route
Preferred Airline
ex Syd/Mel to Auckland
Air New Zealand
ex Syd/Mel to Nth America
United Airlines
ex Syd/Mel to Middle East
ex Syd/Mel to Singapore
Singapore Airlines
ex Syd/Mel to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific
ex Syd/Mel to Europe

The airlines above are preferred for the routes specified.  Qantas flies or has code-share arrangements in place for most of the routes listed above and will be offered to the traveller in line with the quote system.

For international routes not listed above, the University's Travel Agent will use the following quotation system:

  1. Lowest logical airfare
  2. Next lowest logical airfare.

The University has negotiated corporate lounge memberships with Virgin Australia and Qantas (includes global partner lounges) and recommends that staff consider frequent flyer programs that support the University's airline agreements

Overseas Travel Insurance

All UTS staff and students travelling overseas for business or study on authorised travel are automatically insured for their travel. The insurance cover is comprehensive, however it is recommended that staff and students take adequate precaution with their personal property at all times. When making a claim, proof of the travel being authorised is required by attaching a copy of the authorised Travel Approval Form.

Checklists and Related Guidelines

Checklist for Travelling Overseas on UTS Business

Checklist for Managers Approving Overseas Travel

UTS Fieldwork Guidelines

Research Risk Assessment

Overseas Accommodation

Accommodation can be booked via the travel agent when booking airfare/s. Booking accommodation through the agent allows UTS to more easily contact you in the case of an emergency as well as providing a payment method through the agents’ UTS Account. You can however also book directly with the hotel/accommodation provider.  

The best available rate should be booked at all times depending on hotel availability. The standard of hotel accommodation should be safe, secure, comfortable, located near your place of business and priced at a reasonable level considering the general hotel pricing in the city/region you are visiting. For example a $A100/night hotel in Hanoi would be extravagant but in London a $A100/night hotel is likely to be substandard.

On extended stays travellers might consider a serviced apartment for greater convenience and value.

For conferences travellers can choose a conference package that includes accommodation at the conference venue or nearby.

Corporate Credit Card Holders

Notify the Commonwealth Bank before you go overseas to ensure they accurately monitor transactions coming from your account and have updated contact details should they need to speak to you.

The Commonwealth Bank may stop your corporate card if any suspected fraudulent activity is noticed.

Please note that some countries require you to enter a PIN instead of signing for your purchase. So whenever you travel overseas it is important that you have a PIN on your credit card, otherwise you may not be able to use it.

The fastest and easiest way to create the PIN of your choice is through any Commonwealth Bank branch.
Phone: 1800 020 306

Corporate Credit Cards should not be used for tipping with the exception of the USA where a 10% tip is acceptible.

Mobile International Roaming

Information on Mobile International Roaming plans and how to minimise roaming charges can be found at UTS ITD .

Other Overseas Travel Information

Booking and arranging overseas travel information is found at Before you travel.

Information on health and safety whilst travelling is found at UTS Travel Health and Safety.

Go to Commonwealth Government DFAT for information on Visas.

For some handy links and Smartphone Apps click here.

Interpreting DFAT Travel Advice

The following information is a guide to assist Deans and Directors to determine whether staff/students should be permitted to travel to and/or remain in countries in risk level 3 - DFAT advice is to 'reconsider your need to travel', or similar.

For ease of management, DFAT travel advice has been grouped into four risk levels. UTS guidelines for each risk level are shown in the table below. However, you should consider the specific content of the advice provided by DFAT at Smart Traveller for the country to which you intend to travel.

DFAT Risk Level Examples of DFAT Advice UTS Guidelines


Exercise normal safety precautions

Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia

  • No special action required.
  • Travellers may wish to register for DFAT updates for travel advice by e-mail.
  • Travellers may wish to register with the nearest Australian embassy.


Exercise a high degree of caution

Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media about possible new safety or security risks

  • Travellers and Dean/Directors, or their nominee, must register for DFAT updates for travel advice by e-mail.
  • Travellers must register with the nearest Australian embassy.


Reconsider your need to travel

There is a high level of risk in the country/area. This may be due to a very high threat of terrorist attack or a volatile and unpredictable security situation. If you are already in a destination where we advise you to 'reconsider your need to travel' and you are concerned about the security situation, you should consider leaving.

  • Deans/Directors must demonstrate due diligence in approving travel to, or allowing staff/students to remain in, these countries.
  • Deans/Directors must provide documentation supporting the decision that the travel is essential, noting any additional safety or security precautions. The Risk Assessment Management Form must be used for this purpose.
  • Travellers and Deans/Directors, or their nominee, must register for DFAT updates for travel advice by e-mail.
  • Travellers must register with the nearest Australian embassy.


Do not travel

The security situation is extremely dangerous. This may be due to a very high threat of terrorist attack, widespread armed conflict and/or dangerous levels of violent crime. If you are already in a destination where we advise that you 'do not travel' you should consider leaving unless you have compelling reasons to stay.

  • Do not travel to this country. If travel has already commenced, follow DFAT advice.