U.S. State Department Safety Info

The United States Department of State provides general travel tips for students who are planning to travel and/or study abroad.  You can enroll in the Department’s STEP program which allows you to get updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

In addition, the Department of State issues three types of official information pertaining to travel abroad:

Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Bates requires that a Special Waiver and Acknowledgement be signed by the student and a parent/guardian when participating in off-campus study in a country for which a Travel Warning has been issued by the U.S. Department of State

Travel Alerts are a means to disseminate information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers. They are made at any time there is a perceived threat with Americans in particular as a target group. In the past, Public Announcements have been issued to deal with short-term coups, bomb threats to airlines, violence by terrorists and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.

Consular Information Sheets are available for every country of the world. They include such information as the location of the U. S. Embassy or Consulate, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. If an unstable condition exists in a country that is not severe enough to warrant a travel warning, a description of the condition(s) may be included under an optional section entitled “Safety/Security.” On limited occasions U. S. Embassy advice given to official employees is included; however Consular Information Sheets generally do not include advice, but present information in a factual manner so the traveler can make his or her own decisions concerning travel to a particular country.

The State Department also provides information on Road Safety worldwide.

List of U.S. Embassies and Diplomatic Missions abroad.

The United Kingdom Foreign Office and the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry provide what are sometimes different perspectives on travel safety abroad.