ISEP Response to Changes in U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory System

January 25, 2018

As many of you may be aware, the U.S. Department of State recently revised their travel advisory system.

Change from the U.S. Department of State

They will now issue an overall Travel Advisory level for a country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, they may advise U.S. citizens to “Exercise Increased Caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country.

ISEP Policy

ISEP will continue to evaluate travel advisories through level three (3) on a case by case basis. We will consult the risk indicators as defined in the advisory in addition to any specific advisories tied to locations or regions in-country. Additionally, we will continue to monitor additional information we receive from our other sources including but not limited to the host country’s government, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control.

In the event that a travel advisory level is heightened for a country after a student applies, and the home university prohibits students from participating on a program in a country with a travel advisory at that level, ISEP will:

  • Attempt to find the student an alternate academically appropriate placement
  • Refund all fees paid to ISEP (Only if the student does not wish to accept an alternate placement).
  • Should ISEP determine to cancel or suspend a program due to a travel advisory, ISEP will follow the program cancellation and suspension policy.

At this time, all ISEP programs operate in countries with overall advisories at levels 1 and 2, with the exception of Turkey. We have reviewed the advisory levels of each country in addition to the more detailed regional advice within these countries and have determined that we will continue with normal program operations.

Our programs in Turkey, Alert Level 3, remain closed to outbound students based on ISEP’s assessment and the reported hostile nature exhibited towards institutions of higher education.

Our Country Handbook’s section on health and safety link directly to the U.S. State Department country pages with the travel advisory, embassy messages, alerts and traveler advice.

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