New ASU international travel registration system provides safety net for students

February 1, 2019

Imagine these scenarios: An earthquake disrupts the power for days in Chile, a teachers’ strike in Mexico interrupts class for an unknown amount of time, protests in France reroute your commute. If you haven’t told ASU where you are and what you’ll be doing, how can ASU help and support you?

The answer is the new ASU international travel registration system. An airplane lifting off on the tarmac of an airport in Costa Rica Photo courtesy of Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash Download Full Image

Arizona State University now provides a secure system for students traveling outside the United States and its territories to record ASU-related international travel plans. This service, provided by the Study Abroad Office, supports emergency communications and gives registered travelers access to valuable international health, safety and security resources.

“ASU recognizes that more and more of our students are traveling outside of the United States to engage in various kinds of activities related to the university,” said Dan Hart, the associate director of international health, safety and security with the Study Abroad Office. Along with a number of institutions nationwide, ASU is now amping up resources to support these students. Hart developed the international travel registration system and oversees many of its day-to-day operations.

“These students may otherwise lack access to important information regarding safe and healthy travel to their international destination, and if the university doesn’t know where the students are, we can’t help them. This new International Travel Registration System is our first step toward filling that information gap.”

The safety and security of all ASU students, faculty and staff traveling internationally is a top priority.

“To travel safely, one must have at least a basic understanding of the risks inherent in a particular location or activity, and know how to seek help in case of emergency. Students who register their travel will be provided with destination intelligence that is not freely available to the public and will have access to 24/7 emergency support resources,” Hart said.

Registering travel is now required for all students traveling outside of the U.S. and its territories on ASU business, including:

• Research, experiential learning (e.g., international internships, co-ops, volunteering, service-learning), independent study done abroad or any other international travel that is part of an ASU class or for which the student receives ASU resident credit.

• International travel sponsored by or affiliated with ASU or an ASU student organization (this applies to both affiliated and independent student organizations registered with EOSS).

• Any other international travel by students for the purposes of officially representing ASU, such as participation in an academic or professional conference.

Why should you let ASU know of your international travel plans?

There are a number of benefits, including:

AlertTraveler Mobile App. Through an app accessible on both Apple and Android devices, students, faculty and staff preparing to travel internationally have access to travel intelligence (including topics such as culture, politics, religion, safety, security and current events) both before and during international travel. Students can also contact local emergency services through the app, or request help from ASU.

GeoBlue International Medical Insurance. Receive coverage through ASU’s international health insurance provider, including emergency evacuation in the event of political instability or natural disaster.

Emergency Communication Support. Through this registration system, ASU will provide 24/7 emergency response services and can assist you in the event of an emergency. With access to your itinerary, travel dates and locations, ASU is better able to reach you in the event of an emergency

Who registers?

Students traveling abroad on an ASU-related activity outside the United States, along with any ASU faculty and staff accompanying them. Although this system is not equipped to support students traveling abroad for personal reasons (like a family vacation or a church mission trip), there are many types of ASU-related travel that should be reported. Whether a student is traveling as part of a class, an ASU student organization or traveling alone for an internship or to conduct research, we want to support them.

Is there a difference between group and solo travel?

If you’re traveling on ASU-related business by yourself, register your travel using the Individual Student Travel page. If you’re traveling as part of an ASU group, you’ll still need to register your travel individually, but do so on the Group Travel page.

Who does NOT need to register in this system?

Those on ASU-approved study abroad programs (including student participants and faculty/staff program leaders) do not need to register their travel in this system. These travelers already have access to the same benefits noted above and are automatically registered by the Study Abroad Office as part of the study abroad program application process.

ASU students traveling internationally for personal matters should not register their travel.

ASU faculty or staff traveling abroad for ASU-business without students (such as an international conference presentation, for example) do not need to register their travel in this system; these travelers should continue to use the My ASU Trip system for business travel.

Additionally, students, faculty and staff traveling domestically (within the continental United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico) are excluded from this travel registration requirement.

How much does it cost?

The daily rate for registering your international travel is $3/day. This fee includes:

• Pre-departure advice and resources to prepare for a safe, healthy experience abroad.

• Trained and response-ready experts from ASU on-call 24/7/365 to assist in case of an emergency.

• Comprehensive international insurance coverage and resources (including evacuation services).

• 24/7/365 access to international security intelligence on desktop and mobile platforms.

The ASU international travel registration system was developed in conjunction with a new Student International Travel Registration policy issued by the Office of the University Provost. The services are provided by, developed and coordinated through the ASU Study Abroad Office. Read more about it on

Carrie Herrera Niesen

Manager, Marketing & Publicity, Study Abroad Office


Winners announced for 9th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition

February 1, 2019

The ninth Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition was held Jan. 13–20 at the Arizona State University School of Music. Dmytro Choni, Catherine Huang and Ruisi Lao took first place in their respective categories.

Recognized as being among the top piano competitions in the world, it attracted a total of 280 pianists from 35 different countries with 43 selected to perform in the semifinal and final rounds. Prizes included more than $50,000 in cash awards and recital performance opportunities for the top winners. Bosendorfer winners Hyo-Eun Park, Dmytro Choni and Peter Klimo. Download Full Image

The first prize in the Bösendorfer competition for pianists ranging in age from 19 to 32 was awarded to Dmytro Choni, 25, from Ukraine. He received the gold medal and the $15,000 David Katzin Award. He will be featured in a number of concerto performances with the Phoenix Symphony and will perform a recital in Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York as well as a recital for the Oracle Piano Society in Arizona. He began piano lessons at the age of 4 and is currently studying with Professor Milana Chernyavska at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.

Hyo-Eun Park, 23, from the Republic of Korea took second place in the Bösendorfer competition and received the silver medal and the $10,000 Phyllis Chiat Award, named for a longtime arts advocate who loved classical music and the piano. Park started playing the piano at the age of 5 and is currently studying with Hie-Yon Choi at Seoul National University.

The third prize in the Bösendorfer competition went to Hungarian-American pianist Peter Klimo, 28, who received $5,000 and the bronze medal. Studying piano since the age of 9, Klimo is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music with Alan Chow.

In the Yamaha Senior Competition for pianists ages 16 through 18, Catherine Huang,16, from the United States received the Burns-Addona Award of $5,000 and the gold medal. In February 2018, she made her orchestral debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony. She studies with Professor Hans Boepple.

Second prize was awarded to Yongqiu Liu, 18, from the People’s Republic of China, who received $2,000 and the silver medal. She began her piano studies at the age of 4 and is currently an undergraduate piano student at the New England Conservatory of Music under Wha Kyung Byun.

The bronze medal and a $1,000 prize went to Yangrui Cai, 18, from the People’s Republic of China. He began his piano studies at the age of 4, has been a student of Professor Jay Sun and Vivian Li and currently attends the Xinghai Conservatory Middle School.

Pianists ages 13 through 15 comprised the Yamaha Junior Competition. Ruisi Lao, 13, from the People’s Republic of China, took home the $4,000 Addona-Burns Award and gold medal. Lao also won the Menahem Zohar Memorial Award of $250 for the most outstanding performance of a classical work and the Yehuda Meir memorial award of $250 for the most artistic performance of an etude by Chopin. He studies under professor Tang Zhe at the middle school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Kevin Cho, 15, from the United States, earned the silver medal and a $2,000 prize. He began his piano study when he was 4 years old and has been under the tutelage of Rufus Choi since 2013.

Katherine E. Liu, 14, from the United States, received the bronze medal and the $1,000 Linda and Sherman Saperstein Award. She started her musical journey at the age of 3 with her mother, Fumei Huang, a music educator, and currently studies with HaeSan Paik of the New England Conservatory.

Additional special award recipients from the competition were also announced. The Yehuda Meir memorial award of $250 for the most artistic performance of an etude by Chopin went to Polina Kulikova from Russia in the Bösendorfer competition.

The Sarra and Emmanuil Senderov Award of $500 for the most outstanding performance of a composition by a Russian composer went to Anastasia Rizikov from Canada in the Bösendorfer competition and Catherine Huang from the United States in the Yamaha competition.

Aushuang Li from the People’s Republic of China won the Sangyoung Kim Award of $1,000 for the most outstanding performance of a virtuoso work in the Bösendorfer competition. Li also received a $1,000 award for the most outstanding Arizona pianist, sponsored by National Society of Arts and Letters Arizona Chapter.

Xinran Wang from the People’s Republic of China won a special award of $1,000 for the best performance of a work by a French composer in the Bösendorfer competition.

There was a tie between Anastasia Rizikov from Canada, and Angie Zhang from the United States in the new $1,500 Mary Jane Trunzo Audience Favorite Award. The two winners were selected by the audience during the semifinal round.

This year’s jury included Sofya Gulyak, a Leeds International Piano Competition gold medalist; Faina Lushtak, Steinway Artist and professor of music and piano performance at Tulane University; Asaf Zohar, Tel Aviv University professor, Israeli pianist and pedagogue; Zhe Tang, vice dean and piano professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Robert Hamilton, internationally renowned pianist, recording artist and ASU professor; and Baruch Meir, ASU associate professor of piano and Bösendorfer Concert Artist.

“Our competition has become one of the leading piano competitions in the world today, alongside the Van Cliburn, Leeds and Arthur Rubinstein competitions,” said Meir, who is also the founder, president and artistic director of the competition. “Many of our competition winners have gone on to develop major musical careers. We are proud to assist these young pianists in achieving their dreams while focusing the musical world’s attention on Arizona. Our selected competitors come from some of the worlds’ leading music institutions, including Juilliard, Yale, Shanghai Conservatory and the Royal College of Music, as well as ASU.”

This biennial competition is considered one of the best in the world and welcomes the public to experience great performances by these talented young artists. The weeklong event is held at the ASU School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in collaboration with the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Young Artist Committee.

Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music, and Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, congratulated all the winners and commended each participant in this year’s competition. “We are pleased to host an international competition of the caliber of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USasu International Piano Competition at the ASU School of Music,” Landes said. “The competition serves as a springboard for the development of the next generation of young artists and provides us with a reminder of the transformative power of music.”

The opening gala for the competition was held on Jan. 13 in ASU’s Katzin Hall, and featured guest pianist and jury member Sofya Gulyak, who won first prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the 16th Leeds International Piano Competition in England.

All of the solo performances of the Bösendorfer Competition were held at Katzin Hall on Jan. 14, 15 and 17. The final round was held at the Mesa Center for the Arts in the Ikeda Theater on Jan. 20, with finalists showcased playing a concerto with the Phoenix Symphony, under conductor Matthew Kasper. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of medals and Bösendorfer awards took place immediately following the performance.

The semifinal and final rounds for the Yamaha Senior and Junior competition took place Jan. 16 and 18 and the winners’ recital and awards ceremony took place at Jan. 19 in Katzin Hall.

The winners were presented with medals individually handcrafted and designed by OT Jewelers of Mesa, Arizona, another generous sponsor.

For complete information about this year’s competition visit or contact the competition office by email at or phone at 480-965-8740.

Reprinted with permissions by Yamaha Corporation, Giles Communications and the ASU School of Music.