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Study Abroad Office


Destinations of Risk

Your well-being is our first priority. If you are interested in traveling to a country or region subject to a University Travel Warning, you will need to submit a Destination of Risk petition to gain university support. 

Destination of Risk Petition Process

If you are traveling abroad for university-related purposes to a country subject to a University Travel Warning, you must adhere to the following procedures in order to gain USC approval to do so. This is 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.

  1. Contact the Study Abroad Office to set up an appointment with the Assistant Director of Health and Safety (ADHS) to discuss travel to a country currently subject to a University Travel Warning. 

  2. In advance of the appointment, thoroughly research the region in question, including all associated travel advisories, particular the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, and relevant risk reports, including the OSAC Crime and Safety Report for the country. 

  3. In advance of the appointment, submit to the ADHS a petition detailing: 

    1. The name of the organization sponsoring the program or opportunity, the name of the program and/or host institution abroad, and the location (city and country) of the program.

    2. The term/period you intend to go abroad.

    3. Why you want to go abroad through this program, in this country specifically.

    4. Why no other program or opportunity in a different country would provide a similar experience.

    5. A description of the comprehensive student support services provided by the program or otherwise available to the student (e.g. is there an on-site director, and other on-site staff? Is an on-site orientation provided? Is there a 24/7 U.S. emergency number, and if so what is it? Is there a 24/7 emergency number abroad, and if so what is it?).

    6. Your understanding of the safety and/or health situation in that country/region.

    7. Your personal safety plan when in-country.

    8. Your ability to speak the local language, if not English.

    9. Your prior travel experience abroad, if any.

    10. A description of your in-country contacts, if any.

    11. The program’s website.

    12. Any other pertinent info.

    13. For undergraduate students only, a parent signature (with date) indicating support of the student’s travel to the region in question.

  4. During the appointment, the ADHS will review the petition with you, as well as the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory for that country/region, the Consular Information Sheet for that country/region, and any other related information for the country/region in question.

  5. If you have not completely addressed each point above, the Assistant Director will ask you to further research the program in question, then revise and resubmit the petition.

  6. Your petition is forwarded to the Student International Travel Oversight Committee (SITOC) for official review. 

  7. If your petition is approved, you will complete the Destination of Risk waiver. USC can withdraw approval of the experience if the situation in the areas changes drastically prior to departure. If the situation changes after you have arrived in the country, it will be handled on a case by case basis. 

University Travel Warning List

The University Travel Warning (UTW) List is compiled of destinations deemed to be higher risk areas for travel by the University of South Carolina. UTW 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 (iJET), and information published by other governments' foreign affairs commissions, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In some cases, the UTW applies to an entire country. In others, the UTW applies only to a specific region(s) or area(s) of the country; in these cases, the traveler is only required to submit a DoR petition if traveling to the UTW region or area.

Country UTW Region(s) or Area(s) DOS Advisory Level  iJET Risk Rating 

Afghanistan

Entire country

Level 4 

Albania

The southern town of Lazarat due to crime

Multiple

Algeria

Areas near the eastern and southern borders, areas in the Sahara Desert due to terrorism

Multiple

 4 

Angola

Urban areas due to crime

Multiple

Antigua and Barbuda

The island of Barbuda due to the aftermath of a natural disaster

Multiple

Armenia

Nagorno-Karabakh due to armed conflict

Multiple

Azerbaijan

Entire country

Multiple

 Bangladesh

Entire country

Multiple

4

 Benin

Urban areas due to crime

Multiple

 Brazil

Entire country

Multiple

4

Burkina Faso

Entire country

Multiple

Burma

Entire country

Multiple

Burundi

Entire country

Level 3 

Cambodia

Phnom Penh due to crime; Very remote areas of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, Pailin, and Kampong Thom provinces due to land mines

Multiple

Cameroon

Entire country

Multiple

Central African Republic

Entire country

Level 4  

 5 

Chad

Entire country

Level 3 

Colombia

Entire country

Multiple

Costa Rica

Central neighborhood in Limon; Liberia city; Desamparados neighborhood in San Rafael; Pavas and Hospital neighborhoods in San Jose; Poas Volcano National Park due to a natural disaster

Multiple

3

Cote d'Ivoire

Entire country

Level 2

Democratic Republic of Congo

Entire country

Multiple

Ecuador

The northern border with Colombia due to crime

Multiple

3

Egypt

Entire country

Multiple

El Salvador

Entire country

Level 3 

Eritrea

Entire country

Multiple

Ethiopia

Entire country

Multiple

Georgia

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

Multiple

Guatemala

Entire country

Level 3 

Guinea

Entire country

Level 2

Guinea-Bissau

Entire country

Level 3 

Haiti

Entire country

Level 4 

Honduras

Entire country

Multiple

India

Entire country

Multiple

Indonesia

Entire country

Multiple

Iran

Entire country

Level 4 

Iraq

Entire country

Level 4

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza

Entire country

Multiple

3

Jamaica

Entire country

Multiple

Jordan

Entire country

Multiple

3

Kenya

Entire country

Multiple

Kosovo

Entire country

Multiple

Kuwait

The desert region near the border with Iraq due to the prevalence of unexploded bombs and landmines, the City of Al Jahra in northwest Kuwait City and Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh area in Kuwait City due to crime

Multiple

2

Laos

Remote areas along the border of Burma due to crime; areas of Savannakhet, Xieng Khouang, Saravane, Khammouane, Sekong, Champassak, Houaphan, Attapeu, Luang Prabang, and Vientiane provines, as well as along route 7, Route 9, and Route 20 due to unexploded bombs; Xaisomboun Province due to civil unrest

Multiple

3

Lebanon

Entire country

Multiple

4

Liberia

Urban areas and public beaches due to crime

Multiple

3

Libya

Entire country

Level 4

5

Madagascar

Entire country

Multiple

4

Malawi

Entire country

Multiple

4

Malaysia

The eastern area of Sabah State due to crime and terrorism

Multiple

3

Mali

Entire country

Level 4

5

Mauritania

Entire country

Level 3

4

Mexico

Entire country

Multiple

4

Moldova

Transnistria due to the unresolved conflict between this breakaway region and the central government

Multiple

 3

Nepal

Entire country

Level 2

4

Nicaragua

Entire country

Level 3

4

Niger

Entire country

Level 3

4

Nigeria

Entire country

Level 3

4

North Korea

Entire country

Level 4

3

Oman

The Saudi Arabia and Yemen border areas due to terrorism and armed conflict

Multiple

2

Pakistan

Entire country

Multiple

5

Panama

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

Multiple

3

Papua New Guinea

Entire country

Multiple

4

Paraguay

Amambay, Alto Paraná, Canindeyu, San Pedro, and Concepcion departments due to crime

Multiple

3

Peru

Areas outside cities at night by car due to crime; The Colombian - Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime, the area in central Peru known as the Valley of the Rivers Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro (VRAEM) due to crime and terrorism

Multiple

3

Philippines

Entire country

Multiple

3

Republic of the Congo

Entire country

Multiple

3

Russia

Entire country

Multiple

3

Rwanda

The Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border due to armed conflict

Multiple

2

Somalia

Entire country

Level 4 

5

South Sudan

Entire country

Level 4

5

Sudan

Entire country

Multiple

5

Syria

Entire country

Level 4

5

Thailand

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

Multiple

3

The Gambia

The Gambia’s southern border area with the Casamance region of Senegal due to landmines

Multiple

3

Togo

Entire country

Level 2

4

Trinidad and Tobago

Entire country

Multiple

3

Tunisia

Entire country

Multiple

4

Turkey

Entire country

Multiple

3

Ukraine

Entire country

Multiple

3

Venezuela

Entire country

Multiple

4

Yemen

Entire country

Level 4

5

Zimbabwe

Entire country

Level 2

4

The current DOS advisory level(s) for the country, as well as the country's overall iJET risk rating, are included above. The two scales are as follows:

DOS Advisory Levels

  • Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

  • Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

  • Level 3: Reconsider Travel

  • Level 4: Do Not Travel

iJET Risk Ratings

  • 1: Minimal

  • 2: Low

  • 3: Moderate

  • 4: High

  • 5: Very High

The UTW List is updated when specific conditions warrant and it is reviewed twice a year in its entirety.  The UTW List was last updated on 7/17/2018.

University Travel Warning Criteria

Generally, an area is included on the UTW List if it meets any of the following criteria. SITOC may also determine that it is appropriate to include additional areas based on other factors. 

  • Country carries a DOS overall rating of Level 3 or 4
  • Country carries a DOS overall rating of Level 2 with areas of Levels 3 or 4, if the traveler is traveling to areas of higher DOS rating
  • Country carries a DOS overall rating of Level 2 with areas of Levels 3 or 4, if iJET’s overall risk rating for the country is 3, 4, or 5
  • Country carries a DOS overall rating of Level 1 with areas of Level 2, if iJET’s overall risk rating for the country is 3, 4, or 5 and traveler is traveling to DOS Level 2 region
  • iJET’s overall risk rating for the country is 4 or 5
  • Country carries a CDC Level 3 advisory