Information for Study Abroad in Europe following terror events in Belgium
On March 22, 2016, a coordinated terror attack in Brussels, Belgium resulted in at minimum 30 casualties. Our heart goes out to all those affected in Belgium, Europe and beyond. Please take a moment to read the following travel advice so you may take steps to be informed about the current security environment in Europe and so you may reduce your risk during travel.
The terror threat level for Brussels has been raised to its highest level and much of Europe has elevated terror threat levels in recent months. CSU is not suspending programming or recommending cancellation of travel in any European country, but we encourage you to evaluate your independent travel plans and avoid personal travel in or transiting through areas with elevated threat.
If you are currently abroad or planning to travel abroad in the near future, read through the Worldwide Caution Alert, which was released by the U.S. Department of State following recent terrorism events in different parts of the world, including Paris, France, and the Europe Travel Alert, which was released following the Brussels attack.
The Worldwide Alert does not indicate that Americans should delay or suspend travel, but it does emphasize that travelers should take specific precautions and factor in the current regional climate of their destination when planning travel. The following travel recommendations are relevant for all travelers, but especially important for travelers in areas recently affected by terror attacks:
- Follow news reports and the advice of your local contacts to remain up-to-date on the security situation in areas you live or plan to visit. The U.S. Embassy sites can provide information.
- Make sure you are registered with STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, using your current contact information. This is a U.S. State Department program that is designed to inform and assist American travelers during emergencies.
- Maintain a heightened sense of situational awareness and be prepared for heavy security and delays in areas with high level alerts or recent terror incidents.
- Choose secure transportation options, carry identification and insurance information at all times.
- Avoid areas with current police activity or travel restrictions, as well as “soft targets” listed in current warnings such as large sporting events, theaters, markets or other crowded venues.
- Keep a low profile when in public and avoid clothing or behaviors that would readily identify you as American.
- If you travel, make sure to inform your loved ones where you will be and when you plan to return. If an event happens in an area near you, check in with loved ones and CSU immediately so your safety is accounted for.
- Make sure your travel registration with CSU Education Abroad is up to date, including your emergency contacts.
- Know your emergency resources (911 equivalent and program contact information) in the country are visiting.
- Carry your passport when traveling, even within the Schengen States (within Europe). Increased security measures are in place and you may be asked for your original passport, especially when crossing borders.
Student safety is of utmost importance to CSU, and we hope that you will take these recommendations seriously as you travel abroad. There is no indication that any education abroad programs are in any specific danger beyond the general warning. CSU will continue to monitor the safety and security situation in the region and will communicate any changes to program participants if changes are necessary.
For travelers who would like more information, CSU’s Education Abroad team is available to discuss travel, safety and security topics. For more information, please contact CSU’s International Risk Manager, Nicole Tobin at 970-491-4334
Nicole Tobin Wooton
International Risk Manager
Colorado State University
Laurel Hall, 1024 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523