International Travel

International Travel Guidance

     All MSU-funded travelers going abroad can view the ORC&S International Travel Briefing in Canvas here. Select the International Travel course from the "Canvas Course Self-Enrollment" dropdown box. This briefing focuses on foreign intelligence threats, elicitation, protection of sensitive data and equipment, and other security concerns. Travelers can be targeted in any country, but travelers should pay particular attention if traveling to countries that are identified in the briefing as high-risk. The list is composed primarily of countries that are sanctioned or embargoed according to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), or the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), but it can also includes countries known for IP theft or other reasons that are clearly indicated in the briefing. We also recommend you do due diligence on your international partners, and if you're participating in a conference or other event organized by people or entities from a high-risk country, we recommend you consider the trip high-risk. Please keep in mind that the list of high-risk countries can change, and ORC&S will make every effort to ensure the list you see in the briefing is the most up to date. Please note: Travel to a high-risk country does not necessarily jeopardize your trip approval; it just helps ORC&S arm you with the information you need to protect yourself and MSU from malign foreign influence, especially those travelers associated with classified or export-controlled programs.    


Exportation of University Property

     All Mississippi State University employees and students are subject to U.S. export and sanctions regulations. The physical export outside of the United States of university commodities, software or technology is subject to control under U.S. export control laws and regulations. This means that if you intend to bring any type of university commodity with you other than your work computer, tablet, or phone - and this includes non-open source or proprietary software on those devices - please contact us at prior to your travel to ensure no export license is required. Please note that published information, fundamental research, open-source software, and other information in the public domain is not subject to export control regulations and may be discussed and shared freely. However, we recommend that you do not export confidential or proprietary technical data as it may be subject to export control and may require an export license.

     Similarly, presentations and discussions must be limited to topics that are not related to classified or export-controlled commodities, software, or technology, unless that information is already published or otherwise already in the public domain. Ensure the following:

Verify that your technology or information falls into one or more of the following categories prior to traveling:

  • Research that qualifies as fundamental research

  • Published information

  • Publicly available software

  • Educational information

Do not take any commodities, software, or technology that fall into one of the following categories:

  • Classified, Controlled Unclassified, or Export Controlled

  • Limited Distribution, Proprietary, Confidential, or Sensitive

  • Specifically designed for military, intelligence, space, encryption software, or nuclear related applications

  • Data or information received under a Non-Disclosure Agreement

  • Data or information that results from a project with contractual constraints on the dissemination of the research results

  • Computer software received with restrictions on export to or on access by non-US Persons 

     Export Administration Regulations (EAR) generally exempt university-provided electronic devices, including university-installed encryption technology (e.g., Bitlocker) from export regulations during the conduct of official travel ("TMP" exemption). However, to retain this exemption you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must spend no more than 12 months outside the United States

  • The items you take with you must be always under your effective control. This means that you cannot ship equipment, software, or data you take with you in unaccompanied baggage (e.g., checked baggage)

     All personnel who possess a U.S. Government-issued security clearance or are signed on to an active export-controlled program (i.e., have an active Technology Control Plan and nondisclosure agreement on file with ORC&S) are required to review their travel plans with the Export Control Officer prior to travel.  All personnel, regardless of clearance or export-controlled status, are required to review their travel plans with the Export Control Officer prior to travel, if traveling to a country listed as high risk in the ORC&S Foreign Travel Briefing. See Export Control for further information on MSU’s export control compliance program or email us prior to travel if you have any other questions.


Loaner Laptops

     Some countries are well known for installing tracking software or other malicious software on electronic devices left outside of your physical control. To avoid any potential data theft or compromise, ORC&S can loan you a clean laptop for the duration of your travel. Please send an email to to initiate a request. We recommend it if you are traveling to a high-risk country as identified in the foreign travel briefing, or you are a cleared employee or working on an active export-controlled program, regardless of destination.


Additional International Travel Guidance

     MSU Travel Services' International Travel Website and the MSU International Institute's International Travel websites must also be consulted prior to travel. They host information on the administrative process, travel documents, health and insurance requirements, safety and security links, and other great information. Please also see this list of IT security best practices written with assistance from MSU ITS, as well as this FBI travel guide. We encourage you to view or download these documents, especially if you are not an experienced international traveler.