57 Countries land on the US Department of State Travel Advisory List
The US Department of State released their Travel Advisory list with 57 countries, including popular countries for study abroad programs to visit.
The color-coded map lists the countries with travel advisories here are the criteria:
- Green is a Level 2 Advisory. The website states that you need to exercise increased caution. If you click on a country it will give you more information. The level two areas in Mexico state it's because of crime and kidnapping. In Italy, it's because of increased terrorist activity.
- Orange is a Level 3 Advisory. The US Department of State asks you to reconsider travel. Countries like Niger are level three due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Honduras also a level three includes violent gang activity, such as extortion.
- Red is a Level 4 Advisory. Level four means it's a Do Not Travel zone. Countries include North Korea due to serious risk of arrest and long term detention of US Nationals, and Somalia due to crime, kidnapping, terrorism, and piracy.
Manager of Study Abroad Programs at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Laura Livermore claims they monitor the advisory list closely.
"We generally never allow our students to go to countries that are a level three or four travel warning," said Livermore.
The most recent example of a country that moved from a Level 2 to a Level 3 is Turkey. The D.O.S. lists terrorism and arbitrary detentions as a reason for the Level 3 advisory.
"So we did have some study abroad providers that have some programs in Turkey, and those are suspended right now," said Livermore.
The vast majority of UTC students are traveling to countries under a Level 2 warning, but parents who are worried about their children's safety can call UTC with any questions they may have.
"Parents are really involved," said Livermore. "Obviously their kids are going abroad and they want to make sure they understand the process of where their kids are going, and if they're going to be safe and taken care of. So we do have quite a few parents call and we're more than happy to talk to them."
Cole Marshall is a student at Lee University in Cleveland. The senior education major is doing a semester abroad in Thailand. This is his second trip studying abroad, but his parents still had their concerns.
"They were a little bit at first," said Marshall. "So they were happy I was going through Lee instead of going on my own, they were nervous but they were happy I was going through the university."
Thailand only has advisories in certain areas of the country, but if anything were to change, he said Lee University has a plan.
"If anything were to happen here, every single trip that Lee does they purchase insurance for the students so if things become unsafe even to the point there were to be an evacuation, we would be able to get out because Lee has purchased that insurance for us," said Marshall.
Livermore said UTC through their partner International SOS, they have a plan just in case things escalate in countries where they have students abroad.
"If it escalated, maybe if they were in a level two country and it escalated to maybe a Level 4, that's when we really work with International SOS and our safety and risk management team here, our executive leadership team on campus," said Livermore. "If it's a faculty lead trip, 'OK do we relocate them?' If it's a single student in a place and we have our providers then they kind of make a lot of the judgment calls and say 'OK we're moving your student to this location, or we need to evacuate the country.'"
For the latest advisory list, visit the Travel Advisory website.