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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.

Country

HRT Region(s) or Area(s)

Afghanistan

Entire country

Algeria

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

Armenia

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

Azerbaijan

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

Bangladesh

Entire country

Barbados

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

Belarus

Entire country

Belize

Belize City due to violent crime

 Benin

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

Bolivia

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

 Brazil

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

Burundi

Entire country

Cameroon

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

Chad

Entire country

China

Entire country

Colombia

Entire country

Cote d'Ivoire

Entire country

Democratic Republic of Congo

Entire country

Ecuador

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.

Egypt

Entire country

El Salvador

Entire country

Ethiopia

Entire country

Georgia

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

Guatemala

Entire country

Guinea

Entire country

Guinea-Bissau

Entire country

Guyana

Entire country

Haiti

Entire country

Honduras

Entire country

India

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. 

Indonesia

Central and Highland Papua due to civil unrest.

Iran

Entire country

Iraq

Entire country

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza

All areas

Jamaica

Entire country

Jordan

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.

Kenya

Entire country

Kiribati

Entire country

Kosovo

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

Kuwait

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

Laos

Xaisomboun Province due to violent crime

Lebanon

Entire country

Libya

Entire country

Macau

Entire country

Madagascar

Entire country

Mali

Entire country

Mauritania

Entire country

Mexico

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

Moldova

Transnistria due to crime and lack of infrastructure 

Mozambique

Entire country

Nicaragua

Entire country

Niger

Entire country

Nigeria

Entire country

North Korea

Entire country

Oman

The Yemen border areas due to terrorism and armed conflict

Pakistan

Entire country

Panama

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

Papua New Guinea

Entire country

Peru

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

Philippines

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

Russia

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

Somalia

Entire country

South Africa

All areas outside of Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria

South Sudan

Entire country

Sri Lanka

Entire country

Sudan

Entire country

Syria

Entire country

Thailand

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

Togo

Entire country

Trinidad and Tobago

Entire country

Tunisia

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

Turkey

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

Tuvalu

Entire country

Uganda

Entire country

Ukraine

Entire country

Venezuela

Entire country

Yemen

Entire country

Zimbabwe

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. 

 


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