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South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season: 2014-2015

10 October 2014

The State Department has issued a Travel Alert warning U.S. citizens traveling in the South Pacific region about the ongoing threat of cyclones affecting the area. The season begins on November 1st and ends on April 30th. Travelers to the region should read the full text of the alert.

Resources

If you are ever abroad and find yourself in need of immediate assistance, please contact International SOS anytime 24/7 at 1-215-942-8478, or call UTPD at 512-471-4441.

 


China: Avoid ongoing protests in Hong Kong

30 September 2014

UT would like to remind all travelers not to get involved in protests while abroad. Protests in Hong Kong are expected to increase over the next week, particularly on 1-2 October, which are public holidays; related demonstrations will also boost the number of participants. More...

 


Jordan: Coalition strikes against ISIS

24 September 2014

On September 23, 2014 the U.S. Embassy in Jordan published a Security Message for U.S. Citizens regarding the coalition strikes against the Islamic State (ISIS, or ISIL) in Syria. As Jordan is a member of that coalition, the Embassy advises maintaining a heightened level of vigilance while traveling, but states it “has no specific information on increased potential for threats against U.S. Citizens.” However, according to International SOS, “There is an underlying risk both of small-scale opportunistic and large-scale terrorist attack by Islamist extremists.” More...

 


 

Update: Ebola outbreak in West Africa – NEW CDC RECOMMENDATIONS

9 September 2014

As recommended by the Ebola prevention guidelines published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UT-Austin strongly urges anyone who has traveled within the past 21 days to countries where Ebola outbreaks are occurring to conduct a short risk assessment.

More...

 


Be prepared for travel disruption: Bárðarbunga volcano activity in Iceland

26 August 2014

The current level of seismic activity at the Bárðarbunga volcano means flight disruption in Iceland's airspace may occur at short notice if an eruption and associated ash emission occur. More...

 


UPDATE: Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

4 August 2014

Summary

The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa hit the news again last week after a spike in the number of cases. The shocking numbers recently published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1323 cases and 729 deaths as of July 27th) affirm headlines calling this the largest Ebola outbreak in history. These headlines are intimidating, but it is important to remember that it is a rare disease that is not easily contracted. More...

 


 

UPDATE: Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensifies

25 July 2014

On July 21, the U.S. Department of State updated an existing Travel Warning for Israel, which recommended that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirmed the longstanding advisory to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. Immediately following the issuance of the Travel Warning, a rocket landed near Ben Gurion International Airport on July 22, ultimately causing the FAA to issue a 24-hour ban on U.S. carrier flights to Israel. That ban was extended for another 24 hours on July 23. The situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza remains very fluid.  More...

 


 

Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensifies

8 July 2014

Israeli and Palestinian hostilities have sharply escalated on Tuesday. The Israeli army has said it will launch an offensive operation against the Gaza Strip in response to a surge in rocket attacks on Monday. 1,500 reservists have been called-up with the potential to recall 40,000 additional reservists for a possible ground invasion. You can read more media coverage here and here. We are monitoring the situation very closely, and are in contact with our students in the region. More...

 


Holy month of Ramadan begins

3 July 2014

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began last week. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours. Travelers in regions with large Muslim populations may notice businesses operating at reduced hours, and that restaurants and cafes are closed during the day. While it is not typically required for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan, eating, drinking, or smoking in public can be considered insensitive, and may incur some form of government sanction in some countries. The period is expected to end around 28-29 July, with a three-day public holiday celebrating Eid-al-Fitr. More...

 


 

Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup

6 June 2014

“…11 of the 30 most violent cities in the world are in Brazil; these include seven of the 12 cities that will be hosting matches of the FIFA Football World Cup.” – International SOS

Brazil takes football seriously. There have been 19 FIFA World Cup (FWC) tournaments since 1930, and Brazil is the only nation that competed in all 19, taking home the win 5 times. This year, Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup for the first time in 64 years. The FWC will be hosted in 12 cities across Brazil starting on June 12th. More...

 


 

Hurricane Season 2014

30 May 2014

The Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for U.S. citizens about the upcoming Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The alert includes information about season predictions, travel advice, and resources. More...

 


Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

14 May 2014

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Most people with the infection develop severe acute respiratory illness that includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath. MERS-CoV cases surged in April. According to International SOS (ISOS), as of May 10th, so far “520 cases have been reported worldwide, including at least 148 deaths.” Officials do not know where the virus came from or exactly how it spreads, and at this time there is no vaccine. More...

 


Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

5 May 2014

“This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks that we have ever faced.”
- Assistant Director-General Dr. Keija Fukuda, World Health Organization (WHO)

For just over one month, medical and health organizations worldwide have been tracking an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Ebola is a rare and extremely contagious virus with a high mortality rate. Symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, and appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure. Visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site for more information about signs and symptoms. More...

 


Passport Security

17 April 2014

The investigation surrounding the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has revealed that two passengers were traveling on stolen passports, exposing a lack of passport security screening in airports. Most readers have heard of stolen identification cards; Austin culture is imbued with a rich nightlife which is often only accessed with proof of age. The implications of stolen passports are much broader. According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble states that “in every major terrorist attack…you can find fraudulent travel documents tied or linked in some way,” and called passport fraud “the biggest threat facing the world.” More...

 


India: Travel Risks and Safety Concerns

17 March 2014

Many recent headlines about India have focused on the brutal 2012 gang-rape of a woman on a bus in Delhi, and recently on the rape of a Danish woman who was sightseeing in the nation’s capital. According to Human Rights Watch, there has been an increase in reports of sexual assault in recent years, and Business Insider has listed India as the most dangerous country for women to travel. While the focus on women’s safety is important, all travelers to the region should be aware of the various health and safety risks, and how to mitigate them. More...

 


Spring Break in Mexico: Understanding the risks

5 March 2014

“Nothing in the behavior of Mexican cartels indicates that they would consciously keep tourists out of the line of fire.”
 – Stratfor Global Intelligence

Mexico remains the top international destination for students on Spring Break. Each year, UT Austin seeks to remind students about the risks of travel into Mexico, but according to Stratfor Global Intelligence, students often don’t read about the risks before they travel. Stratfor warns that “as a result, many regular visitors to Mexican resort areas believe they are safe from transnational criminal organizations, more commonly known as cartels.” Additionally, Stratfor writes that “there is a misconception that cartels want to avoid interfering with the profitable tourism industry, or that they only target Mexican citizens. This simply is not true.” More...

 


“All That You Should Leave Behind”

27 February 2014

When it’s time to start packing for your trip abroad, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what to take. What some people forget to think about is what not to take. The TSA Prohibited Items page is a great way to find out what not to take on the plane as you leave the U.S., but what about what you shouldn’t have when you arrive in your destination? Luckily, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) recently published the following essay to help travelers start thinking about what they should leave behind. Read the article...

 


Carnival Safety Update

21 February 2014

If you’re in South America this semester, you’re probably very aware that it’s Carnival season!  In fact, many countries around the world hold festivities to mark the period before the Catholic observance of Lent. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask, and public street party. People often dress up or masquerade during the celebrations, which marks an overturning of daily life. The largest celebrations will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where almost 500 parades will take place all over the city, drawing close to 5 million people between February 28 and March 4. More...

 


US Department of State and International SOS Issue Travel Alerts for Egypt

6 February 2014

On January 30, the US Department of State updated its Egypt Travel Alert, cautioning US citizens about the risks of traveling to Egypt posed by the country’s continuing political and social unrest.  Subsequently, International SOS released travel alerts for Egypt, cautioning travelers about the increased risk of unrest during the trial of former president Morsi and other key dates likely to have increased activism.  Both the US Department of State and International SOS strongly advise travelers to avoid all demonstrations and to exercise caution in areas susceptible to protest. More...

 


Are the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games Safe?  US Department of State Issues Travel Alert for the Games

30 January 2014

Recent suicide bombings at a train station and on a trolley bus in Russia heightened worries regarding the safety of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, which will take place February 7 – March 16. Moreover, uneasiness over the treatment of LGBT athletes and fans persists since a law banning “LGBT propaganda” passed in June 2013.  Addressing these concerns and others, the US Department of State issued a Travel Alert on January 10 (that was revised on January 24) advising U.S. citizens attending the games to “remain attentive about their personal security at all times.” More...

 


Israel: Travel Risks and Safety Concerns

17 January 2014

Israel has been making major headlines over the last several weeks, with the death of former Prime Minister and controversial public figure Ariel Sharon, major protests by African immigrants, and the ongoing peace talks between Israel and Palestine pushed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.  Additionally, there have been more clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank and between Lebanon and the Israeli army.  Meanwhile, Israel stays cautious about spillover effects and political repercussions from the major political upheavals in bordering countries Egypt and Syria. More...

 


Panama: Dengue transmission reaches epidemic levels

7 January 2014

On Friday, January 3, International SOS sent out a medical alert warning that Dengue transmission has reached epidemic levels in Panama.  It states, "Panama City Metropolitan Region and the province of Bocas del Toro are most affected. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications." More...

 


 

Staying Healthy & Safe This Holiday Travel Season

11 December 2013

Are you planning a trip abroad this holiday season? The winter holidays are one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, and many people take advantage of the extended vacation to embark on international travel.  As you plan out your activities and scope out the best restaurants and museums, make sure to spend some time researching and planning for your health and safety, too. More...

 


Crime Trends and Safety in Latin America

2 December 2013

From the snowcapped mountains of the Patagonia and the jungles of the Amazon to the historical wonders of Machu Picchu and Tikal to the many rich and diverse cultures throughout the region, it is no wonder that Latin America is a popular destination for UT students, whether studying abroad, conducting research, or just traveling for pleasure.  While thousands of U.S. citizens and others throughout the world travel to Latin America without incident, UT travelers should be aware of common trends in crime and the associated risks, and heed appropriate cautions.  More...

 


Restricted Regions – F.A.Q. for Individual Students

11 October 2013

It’s October, and many students are preparing for travel abroad this winter or next spring. Students traveling for any UT-related purpose to a UT Restricted Region need to request International Oversight Committee review. More...

 


 

Turkey: New State Department Travel Warning

6 September 2013

A new U.S. Department of State Travel Warning has been issued for Turkey, to warn U.S. citizens that "the U.S. Consulate General in Adana has been authorized to draw down its non-emergency staff and family members because of threats against U.S. government facilities and personnel." The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to southeastern Turkey. More...

 


Planning for a safe trip

30 August 2013

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of State issued a short-term worldwide travel alert about the "continued potential threat for terrorist attacks." That alert expires this weekend, but it’s important for travelers to continue to maintain awareness of ongoing travel risks.  More...

 


Quarterly updates to Restricted Regions List

14 August 2013

The UT Restricted Regions List undergoes a thorough quarterly review (although the list may be updated year-round, as conditions warrant). When planning your travel abroad, it is always important to check online for the most current Restricted Regions List. More...

 


Brazil: Security operations in northern Rio de Janeiro; reprisals by criminal gangs possible

7 August 2013

Violence in Rio de Janeiro is usually associated with what International SOS (ISOS) calls "deprived urban areas," or slums. Known as "favelas" in Portuguese, these areas are rated as HIGH risk regions. According to ISOS, security forces frequently conduct raids targeting favelas in an attempt to crack down on organized criminal gangs and evict drugs and arms traffickers. These raids entail a persistent risk of firefights between the two sides as well as reprisal attacks by gang members. More...

 


Update: U.S. diplomatic mission closures extended until 10 August

5 August 2013

The U.S. Department of State has announced that many of the diplomatic missions closed over the weekend will remain so through 10 August. These include Amman (Jordan), Cairo (Egypt), Riyadh, Dhahran, and Jeddah (all Saudi Arabia), Doha (Qatar), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Manama (Bahrain), Muscat (Oman), Tripoli (Libya), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Bujumbura (Burundi), Djibouti City (Djibouti), Khartoum (Sudan), Kigali (Rwanda), Port Louis (Mauritius), Abu Dhabi and Dubai (United Arab Emirates (UAE)), Sanaa (Yemen), and Dhaka (Bangladesh). More...

 


Travel Alert: Worldwide

2 August 2013

The U.S. Department of State has issued the Worldwide Travel Alert below about the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. UT travelers who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. If you are currently abroad and find yourself in need of immediate assistance please contact International SOS anytime 24/7 at 1-215-942-8226 (main line) or 1-215-942-8478 (dedicated scholastic hotline), or call UTPD at 512-471-4441. More...

 


Embassy closures due to unspecified security threat: Middle East, North Africa, Asia

2 August 2013

The U.S. Department of State has announced that a number of U.S. embassies and consulates that are normally open for business on Sundays – mostly in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia – will be closed on 4 August as a precaution due to an unspecified security threat.

Accordingly, all U.S. diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen will be closed on the day. Some closures may be extended beyond Sunday. More...

 


Updated Travel Warning for Mexico

16 July 2013

On 12 July, the U.S. Department of State updated the Travel Warning for Mexico "to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel." State-by-state assessments of security conditions throughout Mexico are given to help understand regional threats. More...

 


Holy month of Ramadan begins

8 July 2013

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to commence on 8 or 9 July (depending on the sighting of the moon). Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours during Ramadan. Travelers in regions with large Muslim populations may notice businesses operating at reduced hours, and that restaurants and cafes are closed during the day. More...


Egypt: Clashes ahead of 30 June protests highlight need to review travel plans

27 June 2013

Travelers to Egypt ahead of the first anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi's inauguration on 30 June are advised to review their travel plans, in view of a rise in social unrest. According to International SOS, one person was killed and more than 200 were injured on 26 June in clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents in Mansoura (Dakahlia governorate). A rally by thousands of supporters of Islamist political parties turned violent as it was intercepted by secular protesters; the police fired tear gas but were unable to effectively contain the unrest. More...

 


Brazil: Nationwide protests cause travel disruption, potential for violence

18 June 2013

The U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) reports that on Monday, 11 Brazilian cities were impacted by some of the largest protests seen in 20 years. A recent report stated that, “while the protesters represented multiple causes, they were primarily focused on a rise in bus fare, public expenditure around the Confederations and 2014 World Cup, excessive use of force by police, inequity, nepotism, and corruption in Brazil.” Crowds varied in each city, from 3,000 in Brasilia to 65,000 in Sao Paulo, and nearly 100,000 in Rio de Janeiro. More...

 


Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

11 June 2013

A novel coronavirus called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV) has been identified in several Middle East and European countries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “coronaviruses are common worldwide. They usually cause colds.” However, since its discovery in 2012, MERS-CoV has infected over 50 people and has resulted in over 30 deaths. More...

 


New Travel Alert: Turkey

6 June 2013

On 4 June the U.S. Department of State issued a new Travel Alert for Turkey about the the continuing public demonstrations taking place throughout the country. There have been numerous reports of violence, injuries, and at least two confirmed deaths resulting from or related to clashes between protestors and Turkish law enforcement authorities.  U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. More...

 


Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Protests throughout Turkey

Update: 3 June 2013

The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that public demonstrations are taking place throughout Turkey at varying times and with little notice.   Violent altercations have occurred in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Mersin, and elsewhere.  The continuing protests in Istanbul are centered on the Taksim and Besiktas areas, but others may occur elsewhere in the city as well.  More...

 


Flooding, heavy rainfall to persist in central Europe

3 June 2013

Reports on 3 June (Telegraph, Spiegel, Al Jazeera), indicate that thousands of people have been evacuated from several parts of central Europe due to heavy rainfall and consequent flooding, particularly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Significant disruption to overland travel is expected to persist as further rainfall is forecast in the coming days in the region. More...

 


Protests, unrest in Turkey

3 June 2013

Protests last week against plans for commercial redevelopment of a park in Istanbul escalated into violent demonstrations in several Turkish cities over a range of social issues this weekend.  Clashes between demonstrators and the police increased, resulting in alleged injuries from tear-gas canisters and water cannon. More...

 


Hurricane Season 2013

31 May 2013

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the upcoming Hurricane Season in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The alert includes information about season predictions, travel advice, and resources. Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and ends November 30. Travelers to these regions should read the full text of the alert. More...

 


Pacaya volcano erupts in Guatemala

31 May 2013

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) on 30 May issued an orange alert – the third highest in a four-level system – following a small eruption at 06.15 (local time) at the Pacaya volcano (Escuintla department), located approximately 30 miles (46km) south of the center of the capital Guatemala City. Conred cautioned that further volcanic eruptions could entail large ash clouds and potentially disrupt air traffic. More...

 


New developments on Korean peninsula do not indicate widespread conflict

20 May 2013

On the afternoon of 20 May, North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles, following the launch of three similar projectiles on 18 May and one on 19 May. All six missiles were fired from North Korea's east coast and landed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The Japanese authorities indicated that none of the missiles had landed in that country's territorial waters while the South Korean military stated that it was maintaining a high level of readiness in response to the development. More...

 


Quarterly updates to Restricted Regions List

20 May 2013

The UT Restricted Regions List undergoes a thorough quarterly review (although the list may be updated year-round, as conditions warrant). When planning your travel abroad, it is always important to check online for the most current Restricted Regions List. More...

 


Mexico raises alert level for Popocatepetl volcano

13 May 2013

Due to increased seismic activity at the Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico, the Interior Ministry has raised the Volcanic Alert to Yellow Phase 3. The government has deployed soldiers and federal police in nearby towns in the event of larger eruptions. The country’s National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) is currently giving status updates twice a day. Travelers in the region are asked to avoid the area and to monitor local news. More...

 


China: New strain of bird flu A(H7N9)

8 May 2013 Update

International SOS continues to report that the risk of H7N9 transmission is low. According to University Health Services (UHS), the cases are almost entirely sporadic without epidemiological links and are likely the result of avian-to-human contact in a widespread, previously unrecognized outbreak in poultry and/or birds. The median age of cases is 61 years (range 2-91), and ~70% are male.

Travelers should avoid places where direct contact with birds or poultry and their secretions may occur, such as live animal markets and poultry farms. Though well-cooked poultry is considered safe to eat, visual assessment of such is difficult, so travelers may be best advised to avoid consumption of poultry in China at this time. Travelers departing China should be aware that many countries have implemented enhanced health surveillance of incoming travelers, including thermal scanning.

For more information, refer to the travel advice and resources listed below. If at any point you find yourself in a situation where you need emergency assistance, please contact International SOS anytime 24/7 at 1-215-942-8226 (main line) or 1-215-942-8478 (dedicated scholastic hotline), or call UTPD at 512-471-4441.

 


China: New strain of bird flu A(H7N9)

29 April 2013 Update

Influenza A(H7N9) has infected over 110 people in China, at least 20 of whom have died. Infections have been detected across several provinces and in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai. There has been 1 imported case reported in Taiwan. Most infected people have become severely ill, with fever and cough which quickly progresses to serious breathing difficulty. International SOS is monitoring the situation closely.  Please visit their Pandemic Preparedness Website (Member # 11BSGC000037) for additional information. More...

 


China: New strain of bird flu (H7N9)

16 April 2013

A new strain of bird flu (H7N9) has appeared in China. Over 60 people have been infected since February, and 14 deaths have been reported in Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Anhui, Henan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.  However, there are strong indications that H7N9 is not being transmitted between humans. In a Press Briefing Transcript, the Director of the CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden, states that, “There has been no person-to-person transmission and no epidemiologic link between any of the cases so far.” More...

 


Korean Peninsula Safety

11 April 2013 Update

Despite the heightened tensions and increased North Korean rhetoric, security analysts continue to believe that the actual likelihood of an open conflict on the Korean Peninsula is low. Daily life in Seoul remains largely unchanged. Again, at this time UT-Austin is not cancelling or suspending any programs in South Korea. We are monitoring this situation very closely, and are in communication with our students in-country. More...

 


New Travel Alert: Egypt

4 April 2013

On 29 March the U.S. Department of State issued a new Travel Alert for Egypt about the continuing possibility of political and social unrest, incidents of which have led to recent violence. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. More...

 


Potential aftershocks after Taiwan earthquake

27 March 2013

An earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.1 shook Taiwan at 10:03am local time on Wednesday. Google Public Alerts and the U.S. Geological Survey have posted details and recommended actions. More...

 


Restricted Regions Updates: Colombia & Mexico

25 March 2013

International SOS has changed the risk ratings for parts of Mexico and Colombia. As a result, the UT Restricted Regions List has been updated. More...

 


Honduras elevated to High Risk

8 March 2013

On 8 March, International SOS (ISOS) raised their travel risk rating for Honduras from Medium to HIGH to reflect the country's persistently high levels of violent crime. ISOS implemented this change based on periodic review of the security environment and is not triggered by any specific recent event. As a result, the entire country of Honduras is now a Category 2 UT Restricted Region. More...

 


Beijing Sandstorm

7 March 2013

A sandstorm is predicted for Beijing to start on Friday night through part of Sunday, with extremely high and dangerous winds. Winds could blow up to Beaufort Scale 8 (39-46 MPH=gale). The temperature will also drop 10 to 15 degrees due to the cold wind. More...

 


Spring Break Travel Tips – Part 2: MEXICO

7 March 2013

Travelers planning a personal trip to Mexico next week are strongly encouraged to read the following FREE report from Stratfor Global Intelligence, the Austin-based geopolitical intelligence company.  According to UT’s International Risk Analyst, Erin Wolf, "This article is a must read for anyone considering travel to Mexico for Spring Break this year." More...

 


Spring Break Travel Tips

5 March 2013

It’s almost here – that week-long respite during the spring semester when we all take time to re-charge our mental batteries. As many of you plan trips abroad in the next few days, we’d like to remind you of some special U.S. Department of State Spring Break travel resources. More...

 


Breaking down the Restricted Regions Categories

27 February 2013

The UT Restricted Regions List indicates locations worldwide where approval is required for student, faculty, and staff travel.  Due to heightened health or safety risk, the International Oversight Committee (IOC) must review and approve all student, faculty, and staff travel to locations on this list. More...

 


Updated Worldwide Caution

20 February 2013

An updated Worldwide Caution for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 23, 2012, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.  UT students who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. More...

 


Restricted Regions List Quarterly Updates

14 February 2013

The UT Restricted Regions List undergoes a thorough quarterly review (although the list may be updated year-round, as conditions warrant). When planning your travel abroad, it is important to always check online for the most current Restricted Regions List. More...

 


Carnival Safety Update

4 February 2013

If you’re in South America this semester, you’re probably very aware that it’s Carnival season!  In fact, many countries around the world hold festivities to mark the period before the Catholic observance of Lent. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, mask, and public street party. More...

 


El Salvador: New State Department Travel Warning

28 January 2013

On 23 January, t he U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning informing U.S. citizens about the security situation in El Salvador. More...

 


Traveler Health Safety Update

17 January 2013

If you listen to NPR, you may have heard that the U.S. is being “hit by a triple whammy of respiratory viruses” this season.  According to International SOS, “Most states are reporting widespread flu, with high activity.”  This is certainly a concern for travel within the U.S. – especially the east coast where Boston and New York have declared public health emergencies – but viruses are on the rise abroad as well. More...

 


Global Risk & Safety in Asia

7 January 2013

Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 4.3 billion people is also home to 60% of the world's current population. More...

 


Global Risk & Safety in Africa

18 December 2012

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq. mi) including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. With a population of over 1 billion people, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. More...

 


Honduras: New State Department Travel Warning

13 December 2012

On 21 November, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning informing U.S. citizens about the security situation in Honduras. While tens of thousands of U.S. citizens visit Honduras safely each year, increasing crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country. More...

 


Global Risk & Safety in Latin America

3 December 2012

Covering 14% of Earth’s land surface area, Latin America is a large and diverse region united primarily by language. Latin America extends from Mexico in the North to the tip of Argentina and Chile in the south. If defined as all of the Americas south of the United States, the basic geographical sub-regions are North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The inhabitants of Latin America more...

 


Updated Mexico Travel Warning

26 November 2012

On 20 November, the U.S. Department of State updated the Travel Warning for Mexico, including region-specific advisories. For the latest security information, visit the State Department's website at http://travel.state.gov/, where current Worldwide Cautions, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. There you’ll find the Travel Warning for Mexico, which provides an overview of the overall security situation.  Additional information and resources are also available on UT’s Global Risk & Safety page for Mexico. More...

 


New State Department Travel Warnings

19 November 2012

The U.S. Department of State website is an important resource for safety and security information. It contains comprehensive country-specific information as well as any current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts.

The State Department has published nine new and revised Travel Warnings since the 11th of September. They are listed below for quick reference. More...

 


Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel

15 November 2012

International SOS – UT’s emergency assistance provider – has issued two special advisories regarding escalating violence in southern Israel, and rocket fire from Gaza into south-east Tel Aviv. Both advisories follow:

4 November 2012

SPECIAL ADVISORY: Defer travel to areas in southern Israel near Gaza border as further violence likely; avoid all protests in West Bank (Revised 14.00 GMT)

Continued rocket fire from Gaza (Palestinian Territories) into Israel on 14-15 November underscores our advice for personnel in Israel to defer all travel to areas within 25 miles (40km) of the border with Gaza. Additionally, we continue to advise that personnel postpone any non-essential travel in areas from 25-40 miles (40-60km) from the border, as several rockets have also been fired towards Beersheva and Dimona. More...

 


General strikes, protests against austerity across Europe on 14 November likely to cause travel disruption

14 November 2012

Travelers should plan their itineraries to allow for travel delays resulting from industrial action and protests in several European countries on 14 November. The events have been called by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to denounce austerity-related budgetary constraints. Disruption is likely to be more severe during demonstrations in southern countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy, but protests are also planned in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland. More...

 


Safe travel during Diwali festival

30 October 2012

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrating the Hindu New Year that will begin on Tuesday, November 13th and end on Sunday, November 17th. Known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji. More...

 


Staying safe during demonstrations and protests

16 October 2012

Political protests and demonstrations can certainly be exciting –and at times, dangerous.  While Americans have the legal right to peaceably assemble in the U.S., it is important to remember that different countries may have quite different laws, cultural perceptions, and behavioral approaches when it comes to demonstrations. More...

 


Worldwide: Demonstrations prompted by anti-Islamic film produced in the United States continue

18 September 2012

On 13 September, we reminded international travelers to avoid U.S. diplomatic missions abroad and those of countries representing U.S. diplomatic interests in the Middle East/North Africa region in the coming days.  These precautions are due to the potential for further disruptive and potentially violent protests over a controversial film produced in the US that is widely perceived as insulting to Islam. More...

 


Typhoon Sanba to hit Japan & South Korea in coming days

14 September 2012

The University of Texas at Austin is closely following the progress of Typhoon Sanba, categorized as a super typhoon, with winds of at least 150 mph, equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.  If it continues its current course, the path will bring it close to Okinawa, Japan, by Saturday night (local time) and to South Korea by Monday night (local time). More...

 


Avoid vicinities of U.S. diplomatic missions due to potential for further protests over controversial film

13 September 2012

The following information has been provided by International SOS, UT’s emergency assistance provider, and was updated on 13 September 2012.  If you are currently traveling internationally, please read carefully:

Where possible, travellers should avoid US diplomatic missions and those of countries representing US diplomatic interests in the region in the coming days, due to the potential for further disruptive and potentially violent protests over a controversial US-made film portraying the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a derogatory manner. More...

 


U.S. Diplomatic Compounds Attacked in Egypt and Libya

12 September 2012

On 11 September protesters attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in both Egypt and Libya.  At the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, dozens of activists – angered by a film that was reportedly produced in the U.S.  and allegedly insults Islam – scaled one of the Embassy's walls, tore down the U.S. flag, and hoisted their own flag. More...

 


New State Department Travel Warnings

11 September 2012

The U.S. Department of State website is an important resource for safety and security information. It contains comprehensive country-specific information as well as any current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. More...

 


Worldwide threat of proxy violence amid escalating tensions between Iran, Israel

28 August 2012

On 24 August International SOS issued a travel advisory regarding proxy violence in several countries in Africa, Asia and Europe.  We recommend all international travelers to read this document carefully and follow the guidance provided by International SOS –especially with regards to Page 4 “Advice for travelers (and expatriate residents).” Below is an overview of the travel advisory. More...

 


Earthquake Safety

14 August 2012

Over the past week, multiple earthquakes have hit the Asia-Pacific region – including Iran, and in the Sea of Okhotsk off the east coast of Russia, north of Japan. As a result of the two earthquakes that recently struck Iran, the death count is above 300, with an additional 3,000 people injured and 16,000 left homeless.  This is a clear reminder of how unpredictable and devastating earthquakes can be, and how important it is to know what to do when disaster strikes. More...

 


India & Pakistan Independence Days

7 August 2012

Next week, both Pakistan (August 14) and India (August 15) will celebrate their Independence Days. In the Pakistani cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, preparations are already gaining momentum as vendors have begun setting up stalls to sell Independence Day merchandise. Travelers should expect disruptions in both countries’ major cities, especially in India’s Delhi on August 15th, where the main parade will take place at the Red Fort monument. More...

 


New State Department Travel Warnings and Alerts

31 July 2012

The U.S. Department of State website is an important resource for safety and security information. It contains comprehensive country-specific information, as well as any current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. More...

 


Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan Begins

25 July 2012

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began last weekend, and its conclusion – a three-day public holiday called Eid al-Fitr – will begin around August 18th. During Ramadan, many Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, or smoking during daylight hours. More...

 


Updated “Worldwide Caution”

23 July 2012

An updated Worldwide Caution for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated January 24, 2012, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.  More...

 


Cairo, Egypt: Concerns for Female Travelers

17 July 2012

Over the past year, reports have emerged of women being sexually harassed or assaulted in Tahrir Square – beginning during the initial 2011 Egypt uprising and persisting to the present. More...

 


Updated Kenya Travel Warning

12 July, 2012

On 5 July, the US Department of State issued a new Travel Warning for Kenya, advising US nationals to “evaluate their security situation” in light of recent developments relating to the persistent risks posed by terrorist activities. The advisory stated that travel has been restricted for US government personnel until the security situation improves. More...

 


Egypt Elections 2012

22 June, 2012

Thousands of protesters rallied in the capital of Cairo and the city of Alexandria today to denounce recent constitutional amendments introduced by the interim ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which grant it considerable powers over both the legislature and presidency, and the dissolution of parliament. More...

 


Mexico Security Message: Possibility for Retaliation Following TCO Arrests

19 June, 2012

On 12 June, the US Embassy in Nuevo Laredo released a security message for US citizens alerting travelers to the enhanced potential for violence related to last week’s arrests of Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) associates and family members residing in the United States.  The statement highlights that “U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested associates and family members of a senior TCO member, and seized property and assets within the United States. These arrests could result in some form of retaliation and/or anti-American violence. Given the history and resources of this violent TCO, the U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to maintain a low profile and a heightened sense of awareness.” More...

 


Hurricane Typhoon Season 2012

15 June, 2012

Recently, the US Department of State released a “Hurricane Typhoon Season 2012” Travel Alert to inform U.S. citizens that we are now well into the hurricane and typhoon seasons.  As we all know, destinations along the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico, are full of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. More...

 


International SOS

16 May, 2012

As we all know, international travel comes with inherent risk.  Even the most seasoned traveler can be the victim of a crime, get caught in the middle of a political shift, or develop a medical concern while in a foreign country.  Sure, these things can happen even when you are walking down Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX.  But when you’re in another country, who do you call? The answer is International SOS. More...

 


New State Department Travel Warnings and Alerts

30 March, 2012

I have often written that being armed with information is the best way to prepare for a safe experience abroad. An important resource for safety and security information is the U.S. Department of State website. There, you can find a wealth of country-specific information, as well as any current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts. More...

 


Live State Department Webchat: Spring Break Travel Safety

6 March, 2012

UT students traveling abroad for Spring Break this year are highly encouraged to participate in this unique opportunity to learn straight from the experts how to prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip abroad. More...

 


Preparing for Safe Travel Abroad in 2012

17 February, 2012

Last year, The University of Texas at Austin experienced a number of events which provided learning and growth opportunities for the UT International Office. The first six months were incredibly dynamic, beginning with the evacuation of UT students from Egypt and Syria during the Arab Spring, and continuing with a coordinated response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March.  More....

 


Updated “Worldwide Caution”

25 January, 2012

A Worldwide Caution for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 26, 2011, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.  More...

 


Possible Terrorist Threat in Thailand

13 January 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok has issued an emergency message to U.S. citizens, alerting all US travelers to Thailand that foreign terrorists may be currently looking to conduct attacks against tourist areas in Bangkok in the near future.  More...

 


Egypt Unrest: Clashes Resume in Cairo

29 November 2011 Update

Egyptian parliamentary elections began peacefully yesterday, however, protest activity and politically motivated demonstrations can be anticipated during the elections, which will run until mid-March, 2012. More...

 


Hurricane Rina

29 October 2011 Update

The US Consulate of Merida, Mexico released an Emergency Message on 28 October  to inform U.S. citizens that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Government of Mexico have discontinued all Watches and Warnings regarding Rina, which now is a Tropical Depression. The Department of State Travel Alert regarding the storm remains in effect for now. More...

 


Egypt Unrest: New Clashes in Cairo

10 October 2011

News sources are reporting that on 9 October, up to 24 people, including a number of Egyptian troops, were killed during demonstrations in Cairo.  Hundreds of others were injured when a march by approximately 2,000 Coptic Christians held in the capital of Cairo turned violent. More...

 


Worldwide Travel Alert

3 October, 2011

A Worldwide Travel Alert has been issued by the U.S. Department of State to alert U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad of the potential for retaliation against U.S. citizens and interests following the deaths of key figures in the terrorist group al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on September 30.  UT students who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.  More...

 


9-11 Anniversary Travel Alert

6 September, 2011

A 9-11 Anniversary Travel Alert for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State.  UT students who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take the appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as advised in the 26 July Worldwide Caution.  Students are encouraged to keep in regular contact with family and friends. More...

 


Preparing For a Safe Trip Abroad

2 September, 2011

International travel presents certain risks for anyone.  While chances are that the next time you travel abroad you will have a safe and incident-free trip, travelers can, however, become victims of crime, violence, or other unexpected difficulties.  No one is immune to risk -even in developed countries, as the March 11 earthquake in Japan demonstrated.  More...

 


Worldwide Caution

26 July, 2011

A Worldwide Caution for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. UT students who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. Students should also keep in regular contact with family and friends. More...

 


E. coli Outbreak in France - Same Bacteria as Recent Outbreak in Germany

28 June 2011

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8 cases of bloody diarrhea or hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) have been reported near Bordeaux, France in recent weeks. This shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) has been identified as the same strain of E. coli as that responsible for recent serious outbreak in Germany. More...

 


E.coli Outbreak in Germany

Last updated on 10 June 2011

The CDC has issued an Outbreak Notice about the significant number of cases of E. coli in Europe, primarily in Germany.  As of June 8th almost 2,100 people have been sickened by the outbreak, including over 720 who developed a rare kidney failure complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes sudden kidney failure with bleeding problems. At least 18 people have reportedly died. More...

 


Emergency Preparedness… Would You Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

May 19, 2011

That's right, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found a clever way to get people's attention when it comes to preparing for emergencies. In fact, the agency's new approach was so clever that the site announcing the new "zombie preparedness plan" initially crashed! More...

 


Worldwide Travel Alert

May 2, 2011

A Worldwide Travel Alert for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad has been issued by the U.S. Department of State. UT students who are currently abroad are encouraged to avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations that may be cause for anti-American violence. Students should also keep in regular contact with family and friends. More...

 


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

March 17, 2011

The University of Texas at Austin is closely following the situation in Japan and has made the safety and well-being of our students currently in Japan a top priority. The safety of all UT students currently in Japan has been confirmed, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation. More...

 


Spring Break in Mexico: Travel and Security Risks

March 2, 2011

Traveling for Spring Break this year?  For those thinking about a trip to Mexico, there’s more than just travel details to consider.  Due to the deteriorating security situation and escalation of narco-trafficking (and narco-related casualties) in Mexico, this Spring Break season is met with a wide array of significant concerns. More...

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Afghanistan

 

Category 1

Category 2

Extreme Risk: All other areas of Afghanistan
High Risk: Badakhshan, Bamian, Daykundi, Ghor, Jowzjan, Panjshir, Samangan, Saripul and Takhar provinces