Worldwide Caution and Europe Travel Alerts from the U.S. Department of State
In March 2017, the U.S. Department of State re-issued a Travel Alert for worldwide caution and in May 2017, it re-issued a Europe Travel Alert. These alerts give basic information on the worldwide and European heightened state of alert related to terror and safety threats to travelers abroad. The Worldwide Caution alert is also categorized by world region, so you can read information specific to the location of your program or travel. The Europe alert specifies threats based on Europe’s current heightened state of alert following numerous recent attacks in several countries.
The advisory does not recommend canceling travel, but encourages travelers to be informed and vigilant as they travel. Please take a moment to read the travel alert and the following travel advice so you may take steps to be informed about the current security environment in the area you will visit and so you may reduce your risk during travel.
Colorado State University has no plans to suspend or cancel any study abroad programs at this time. Student travelers going to higher risk destinations must petition to travel to those areas, and higher risk destination travel in monitored in that way by CSU’s International Travel Oversight Committee. For other travelers, in accordance with the travel guidelines set out by the Department of State and procedures set by Colorado State University Office of International Programs, all students are encouraged or required to:
- 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. U.S. Embassy websites for your country often provide current emergency 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.
- Carry a charged cell phone and your 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. Past travel alerts have identified ‘Western’ hangouts, holiday festivals and markets as areas in which travelers should exercise caution.
- 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 in myEdAbroad 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 Wooton at (970) 491-4334.