Skip to Content

Education Abroad Office

Higher Risk Travel

Your well-being is our first priority.  If you are traveling for university-related purposes to an area on the University Travel Warning List, you need to follow the instructions below to gain university approval.  This process is designed to ensure that you are made aware of the safety and/or health risks associated with travel to such areas, that you are able to adequately prepare for travel to such areas, and that you fully understand that you do so voluntarily.  This process also allows the university to better manage risk and prepare for emergencies.  

To submit a plan, please view the Instructions tab first.  If you are traveling with a Global Classroom program, you do not need to submit your own Higher Risk Travel Safety Plan.  Your leader will submit one for the entire group.

  1. Check below to see if your destination, where you are traveling on university-related travel, is on the University Higher Risk Travel List.
  2. Thoroughly research your destination with a variety of sources, including those lsted in the 'Resources' section below.
  3. Submit your safety plan in the "Submit a Plan" section below.  You must also follow the regular EAO education abroad application/registration requirements outlined here.
  4. After submission, your plan will be forwarded to the Student International Travel Oversight Committee for review.  A normal review period is 3-4 weeks.
  5. If your plan is approved, you will complete the Destination of Higher Risk waiver.  UofSC can withdraw approval of the experience if the situation in the area changes drastically prior to your departure.  If the situation changes after you have arrived in the country, it will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

In some cases, the Higher Risk Travel ("HRT") designation applies to an entire country.  In others, the HRT applies only to a specific region(s) or area(s) of the country; in these cases, the traveler is only required to submit a higher risk safety plan if traveling for a university-related purpose to the HRT region or area.


HRT Region(s) or Area(s)


Entire country


Algiers; areas near the eastern and southern borders and areas in the Sahara Desert due to terrorism


Border region with Azerbaijan; Nagorno-Karabakh region  due to armed conflict


Border region with Armenia; Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding territories due to recent hostilities


Entire country


Crab Hill, St. Lucy; Ivy St. Michael; Nelson Street and Wellington Street, Bridgetown (at night); Jolly Roger & Buccaneer Cruises (at night) due to crime


Entire country


Belize City due to violent crime


Northern regions of Benin, including Park Pendjari, Park W, and adjacent hunting zones, and Benin’s northeastern border area with Nigeria, due to terrorism and kidnapping


Yungas Region due to crime; Chapare region due to violent crime


Cities of Belem, Fortaleza, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador; Favelas; Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa during non-daylight hours; public busses in and around Recife; any areas within 150 km of Brazil’s land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay

Burkina Faso

Entire country

Burma (Myanmar)

 Entire country


Entire country


North, Far North, Northwest and Southwest Regions, and Parts of East and Adamawa Regions due to crime and kidnapping; Far North Region due to terrorism; and Northwest and Southwest Regions due to armed conflict

Central African Republic

Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country

Cote d'Ivoire

Entire country

Democratic Republic of Congo

Entire country


Guayaquil; El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas; Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo; All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province; the provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo due to crime.


Entire country

El Salvador

Entire country


Entire country


The Russian-occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia due to civil unrest, crime, and landmines


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest; and within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict. Northeastern States due to terrorism, Central and East India due to extremist groups. 


Central and Highland Papua due to civil unrest.


Entire country


Entire country

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza

All areas


Entire country


Ma’an City and some areas of Ma’an Governorate due to crime; The border with Syria and Iraq, Refugee Camps, Zarqa, Rusayfah, and the Baqa’a Neighborhood of Ayn Basha, due to terrorism and armed conflict.


Entire country


Entire country


North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zubin Potok, and Zvecan due to civil unrest


The desert region near the border with Iraq due to the prevalence of unexploded bombs and landmines


Xaisomboun Province due to violent crime


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


The states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Colima, Durango, Guanajuanto, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas


Transnistria due to crime and lack of infrastructure 


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country

North Korea

Entire country


The Yemen border areas due to terrorism and armed conflict


Entire country


The "Mosquito Coast" (Caribbean side) and Darien Region (Colombian border) due to crime

Papua New Guinea

Entire country


The Colombian-Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime; the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), including areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin


The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism,  civil unrest, and kidnapping; Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest


Entire country

Saudi Arabia

Within 50 miles of the border with Yemen due to terrorism and armed conflict; Abha, Jizan, Najran, Khamis Mushayt; Qatif in the Eastern Province and its suburbs, including Awamiyah


Entire country

South Africa

All areas outside of Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria

South Sudan

Entire country

Sri Lanka

Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla provinces due to civil unrest


Entire country

Trinidad and Tobago

Entire country


Within 30 km of southeastern Tunisia along the border with Libya, mountainous areas in the country’s west, including the Chaambi Mountain National Park area, Jendouba south of Ain Drahem and west of RN15, El Kef, and Kasserine, next to the Algerian border, and Sidi Bou Zid in central Tunisia due to terrorism; and the desert south of Remada due to the military zone


Sirnak province, Hakkari province, and any area within six miles (ten kilometers) of the Syrian border


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country


Entire country

The UTW List is updated when specific conditions warrant and is reviewed twice a year in its entirety.  The UTW List was last updated in February 2024.

The University Higher Risk Travel ("HRT") List is compiled of destinations deemed to be higher risk areas for travel by the University of South Carolina.  HRT decisions are made by the Student International Travel Oversight Committee (SITOC).  SITOC assesses safety and security by reviewing U.S. Department of State (DOS) travel advisories, the risk ratings of the university's international security vendor (Crisis24), and information published by other governments' foreign affairs commissions, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Generally, an area is included on the HRT List if it meets any of the following criteria: the area has a DoS advisory of Level 3 or 4; Crisis24 assigns a risk rating of 4 or 5 to the area; the country carries a CDC Level 3 advisory for reasons other than COVID.  SITOC may also determine that is appropriate to include or exclude additional areas based on other factors. 


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.