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Review and Approval of Travel Locations at FSU

Florida State University has assesses and approves university-related student international travel proposals using several reliable information sources and advisories. These sources include the U.S. Department of State (US DOS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other reliable recognized sources such as intelligence providers, insurers, and U.S. DOS/CDC counterparts around the world. Information is thoughtfully considered in context of the global situation, as well as in comparison to the domestic situation.

Please note as of March 2020 all FSU-related domestic and international travel is restricted. Under these restrictions, travel exceptions must be approved by a Vice-President. 

Students may submit a travel exemption request to travel to a restricted destination. Each individual request is considered on a case-by-case basis by the International Travel Oversight Committee.

Organized programs may submit an exemption request to travel to a restricted destination. Each program request is considered on a case-by-case basis by the International Travel, Safety, and Risk Advisory Council (to ensure university-wide standards are applied).

Florida State University may refuse to grant permission for an FSU student/program to participate in an international opportunity by denying a request.

For further information, please contact Ashley Krutz the International Travel, Safety, and Risk Manager.

 

Procedural Standards at FSU:

In general, the U.S. DOS Travel Advisory is used in the following ways:

  • Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions & Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Student travel is generally approved at this level. Travelers must check for updates to advisories regularly and should identify key elements of their journey plan (ongoing information review and risk assessment, contacts, evacuation plan). Travelers must not travel to/through any Level Three regions within a country without submitting a travel exemption request to the International Travel Oversight Committee and receiving approval. Travelers must not travel to/through any Level Four regions within a country. If a destination changes while a traveler is abroad, the travel will be re-reviewed per the new advisory level.
  • Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Student travel at this level requires a travel exemption from the International Travel Oversight Committee. The exemption must include key elements of a journey plan (ongoing information review and risk assessment, purpose of trip, local contacts, support and infrastructure, regions visited within the country, evacuation plan, etc.) and confirmation that the traveler will not travel to/through any Level Four regions within a country. Travelers must check for updates to advisories regularly. If a destination changes while a traveler is abroad, the travel will be rereviewed per the new advisory level. If a destination changes to a Level Three, the traveler must submit an exemption request to the International Travel Oversight Committee. If the exemption request is not approved, the traveler shall be evacuated as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Level 4 - Do Not Travel: At this level, no student travel will be approved on university-related activities, whether to Level Four countries or regions. If a destination changes to a Level Four while a traveler is abroad, the traveler shall be evacuated as soon as it is safe to do so.

In general, the CDC Health Notices are used in the following ways:

  • Watch Level 1 & Alert Level 2: Student travel is generally approved at this level. Travelers must review the risk and follow precautions as recommended by the CDC. Travelers must check for updates to notices regularly. If a destination’s watch or alert level changes while a traveler is abroad, it will be re-reviewed.
  • Warning Level 3: At this level, no student travel will be approved on university-related activities. If a destination changes to a Warning Level 3 while a traveler is abroad, the traveler shall be evacuated as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

Understanding the Advisories & Levels:

The U.S. DOS travel advisory levels are as follows:

  • Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.
  • Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
  • Level 4 - Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.

The advisory system also provides reasons for the level assigned:

  • C - Crime: Widespread violent or organized crime is present in areas of the country. Local law enforcement may have limited ability to respond to serious crimes.
  • T - Terrorism: Terrorist attacks have occurred and/or specific threats against civilians, groups, or other targets may exist.
  • U - Civil Unrest: Political, economic, religious, and/or ethnic instability exists and may cause violence, major disruptions, and/or safety risks.
  • H - Health: Health risks, including current disease outbreaks or a crisis that disrupts a country’s medical infrastructure, are present. The issuance of a Centers for Disease Control Travel Notice may be a factor.
  • N - Natural Disaster: A natural disaster, or its aftermath, poses danger.
  • E - Time-limited Event: A short-term event, such as an election, sporting event, or other incident that may pose a safety risk.
  • K- Kidnapping/Hostage Taking: Kidnapping and/or hostage taking occurs in areas of the country.
  • O - Other: There are potential risks not covered by previous risk indicators. Read the country’s Travel Advisory for details.

The CDC provides travel health notices to inform international travelers of current health risks that are related to specific countries or areas. The CDC issues travel health notices in the event of disease outbreaks, special events, or natural disasters that may impact a traveler’s health.

There are three levels of CDC travel health notices:

  • Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions: A reminder to follow usual precautions, like being up to date on recommend vaccinations, when traveling abroad to a location with an identified increase in risk.
  • Alert Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions: This type of notice will include additional precautions or information a traveler should consider to protect against an identified increase in risk.
  • Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel: This is the highest level of health notice for the CDC, and is used to indicate that all non-essential travel to the affected destination be avoided. This type of travel health notice indicates a high risk, one that travelers cannot mitigate through precautions. Conditions in any country may change at any time.

 

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