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Study Abroad in Europe and the U.S. State Department Travel Alert

On May 1, 2017, the U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert for Europe. This alert urged Americans traveling in and to Europe to be vigilant about possible terrorist attacks.

A Travel Alert urges extra caution during a specific time. The Travel Alert issued on May 1st, expires on September 1, 2017. The U.S. State Department closely monitors countries around the world to ensure that American citizens are aware of issues that may affect their international travel.

An alert, as opposed to a Travel Warning, does not discourage Americans from visiting a country or suggest that they should return home if they are already abroad. Travel Alerts (previously called Public Announcements) 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’s abroad. On the other hand, Travel Warnings are issued when the U.S. State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.


Study Abroad, Voyager Europe

Most study abroad programs, including Voyager Europe, will not travel to countries that are under a Travel Warning from the U.S. State Department. It is important that the study abroad program regularly monitors the situation abroad, especially if a country or countries on their itinerary, are already under a Travel Alert. The study abroad provider should have a contingency plan in case the U.S. State Department issues a Travel Warning.

Generally, multi-country program like Voyager Europe can modify their itineraries to avoid a particular country or countries if a Travel Warning is issued. The safety of the program participants is of paramount concern to all study abroad providers. On the very first day of the program, program participants should be provided specific safety information and instructions, including emergency contact information. Study abroad staff are familiar with the cities and countries on the program’s itinerary and are trained in safety procedures.

Students from the US should visit the Students Abroad website sponsored by the Department of State and register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) here before traveling abroad.

For more information regarding the travel advisory issued yesterday, please visit the Department of State website.

For more information, feel free to contact Dr. Mike Tyler, Director of Voyager Study Abroad, at director@voyagereurope.com.

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