The State Department monitors conditions around the world and assigns each country a Travel Advisory with important security information. The Travel Advisory appears at the top of each country page, with a color corresponding to each level:
In addition to the overall Travel Advisory, specific locations within a country may have additional Advisories in effect.
During the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be special restrictions in place. Some countries have been moved up to Level 3 and Level 4 only because of the pandemic. For students who want to travel to any current Level 3 or 4 country, please contact Eric Benjaminson by email to discuss individual country situations. For pre-pandemic country levels, we will inform the participants in our Study Abroad and Direct Enrollment programs about these restrictions – for individual student questions, please also contact Eric Benjaminson for more information.
The University of Chicago’s working assumption is that travel to countries or regions with a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Advisory is not permitted for undergraduate participants. We also use as indicators the advisory levels published by the Centers for Disease Control and our emergency provider, International SOS. Thus, if the country or region to which travel is contemplated is listed as Level 3 or 4 in the State Department’s travel advisories OR has a warning level 3 from the Centers for Disease Control OR has an International SOS risk rating of High or Extreme, travel is assumed to be prohibited. For student reference, the CDC website can be found at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and the International SOS ratings can be found at internationalsos.com where one can log in with UChicago’s membership number: 11BCAS084635. This will provide students access to further country-specific information. If students have trouble finding the correct information, please contact Eric Benjaminson.
Other websites that provide useful information are: British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
There may be additional restricted countries or regions.
Undergraduate students may petition for an exemption to this policy. The following items will be needed for the Study Abroad Risk and Security Assessment Committee (SARSAC) to review requests for an exception:
- Travel Advisory meeting to discuss the petition process. Please email Eric Benjaminson at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
- A one- to two-page written petition detailing the proposed activity to be conducted in the desired country. The petition should address the risks of the locale and present a thoughtful plan to address adversity that might arise. Students are advised to include information about prior travel, language skills, local support resources (embassy, friends, family, etc.), and other experiences that will inform the proposed travel. The petition must also give a reasonable justification that the experience cannot be obtained in another country or region that does not bear a Level 3 or Level 4 Advisory.
- A Waiver, signed by the student and a parent or legal guardian.