International Studies & Programs

Travel Advisories

Europe Travel Alert - Holiday Season Travel
November 16, 2017
On November 16, 2017, the Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events. 

Europe Travel Alert - Holiday Season Travel

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.  U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events. The Travel Alert text is available on the U.S. Department of State's international travel website and is also pasted below. 

In addition to monitoring events overseas and maintaining close communication with the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Council (OSAC), the Offie of International Health and Safety (OIHS) works to support the health and safety by:

Travelers should review the travel alert below and follow the safety precautions outlined.Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Contact information and many other international health and safety resources may be found at oihs.isp.msu.edu.

Safe travels this holiday season.

U.S. Department of State - Europe Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.  U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events.  This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2018. 

Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe. Last year, mass casualty attacks occurred at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany in December and a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey on New Year’s Eve. While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages. Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism. Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

For further information:

 

Re-Issued Europe Travel Alert
September 12, 2017
On August 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of State re-issued its Travel Alert for Europe. All travelers should review this information carefully and heed the travel safety precautions outlined.

Re-Issued Europe Travel Alert

On August 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of State re-issued a Travel Alert for Europe. MSU travelers should review the Travel Alert carefully and heed the safety precautions outlined. The Travel Alert text is available on the U.S. Department of State's international travel website and is also pasted below. 

In addition to monitoring events overseas and maintaining close communication with the U.S. Department of State Overseas Security Council (OSAC), the Offie of International Health and Safety (OIHS) works to support the health and safety by:

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Contact information and many other international health and safety resources may be found at oihs.isp.msu.edu.

U.S. Department of State - Europe Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe. This travel alert expires on November 30, 2017. 

Recent, widely reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.  While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.  U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning. 

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets.  In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.  U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of a U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination country for any recent security messages.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members, and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

For further information:

 


International Travel Safety Message
June 7, 2017
In light of the recent events in Manchester and London, the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) is reaching out to remind travelers of the roles OIHS, the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC) and International Studies and Programs (ISP) play in overseeing the health, safety, and security of Spartans abroad. Please review the message below.

International Travel Safety Message

Dear MSU Travelers:

In light of the recent events in Manchester and London, the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) is reaching out to remind travelers of the roles OIHS, the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC) and International Studies and Programs (ISP) play in overseeing the health, safety, and security of Spartans abroad. OIHS supports the health, safety, and security of all MSU international travelers and works closely with RSAC, the Office for Education Abroad, the University Physician, and colleges/ departments to prevent or minimize the impact of risks to MSU students and employees traveling internationally.

At this time, we are not recommending the cancellation of any scheduled programs in Europe or elsewhere. Any students with questions about refunds in the event of program cancellation or voluntary withdrawal from the program should be referred to the Office for Education Abroad refund policy.

Travel safety is a partnership between OIHS and the travelers we serve. All Spartans traveling abroad are urged to follow the travel safety precautions outlined below.

  • In the event that you are impacted by an emergency situation, immediately call the local equivalent of 911 and then call MSU’s 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at: +1 (517) 353-3784.
    • Please remember to check in with your loved ones regularly, but particularly if there is a critical incident that occurs near your location.
    • Follow the advice of local partners. Education Abroad participants are especially encouraged to avail themselves of the resources and information available through on-site providers.
    • Exercise vigilance at all times but especially in crowded locations and public transportation. If you see something suspicious, do not hesitate to remove yourself from the situation and report your concern to the local authorities.
    • Minimize time spent around the perimeter of public venues. Be aware of the various exit points and establish a meeting plan with your friends should you become separated.
    • Anticipate increased security presence in major cities and give yourself plenty of extra travel time.
    • Familiarize yourself with multiple forms of safe transportation. Travel with some extra cash, public transportation cards, etc.
    • Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
    • Keep a charged cellphone, capable of making international calls, with you at all times.

 For more travel safety tips and information on the ways OIHS supports traveler safety, please review our website.

We acknowledge that some travelers may have specific concerns and invite them to speak with us directly or we can arrange for discussions with a counselor. We would also like to remind everyone of MSU’s emergency response capacity, collaboration with RSAC to regularly review travel-related risk for the entire MSU community, close monitoring of security conditions in Europe and throughout the world, and information-sharing with partners including the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Council, professional security information providers, and peer institutions.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our office at oihs(at)msu.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Safe travels, 

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety
International Studies and Programs
International Center
427 N Shaw Lane, 308
Michigan State University


Memo: Europe Travel Alert
Updated May 1, 2017
On May 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a Europe Travel Alert. Travel Alerts are issued when the U.S. government thinks there are “short-term events that you should know about when planning travel to a country.” 

Memo: Europe Travel Alert

On May 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued a Europe Travel Alert. Travel Alerts are issued when the U.S. government thinks there are “short-term events that you should know about when planning travel to a country.” Please carefully review the Travel Alert that is pasted below and follow the security precautions outlined.

We would also like to remind the MSU community that the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) monitors events overseas and is in direct communication with our evacuation and security information provider, the U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, international partner programs, and peer universities.

Some of the ways OIHS works to support the health and safety of MSU’s international travelers include:

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Contact information and many other international health and safety resources may be found at oihs.isp.msu.edu.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM

Director, International Health and Safety

 

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe.  This Travel Alert expires on September 1, 2017. 

Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.  While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.  U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning. 

Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets.  In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.  U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should also:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

We continue to work closely with our European partners and allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

For further information:

 

 


Special Statement on Electronic Device Restrictions
Updated on March 21st, 2017
On March 21, 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security announced new restrictions for electronic devices on U.S. bound flights from 10 airports in 8 different countries.

Special Statement on Electronic Device Restrictions

To all MSU travelers,

On March 21, 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security announced new restrictions for electronic devices on U.S. bound flights from 10 airports in 8 different countries. Devices no larger than a cell phone are allowed to be carried on, however, all other devices (iPads, Kindles, laptops, cameras etc.) must be checked in with luggage. Flights from airports in the following countries will be impacted by the new ban: Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

This new ban may impact MSU travelers please follow the advice of the airlines and local authorities. We will keep you updated as any information changes. As a reminder, allow yourself extra time for security screening. Also, keep in mind the potential risks and damages associated with putting your electronic devices in your checked-in luggage, as you may want to pack cautiously.

For more information on the new restrictions, click here.

 electronic device ban.jpg

The safety and security of all MSU travelers is our top priority, and MSU is prepared to respond to incidents abroad. If you experience an emergency while traveling internationally, please contact OIHS through MSU’s 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM

Director, International Health and Safety


Statement on International Travel
Updated on March 7, 2017
On March 7, 2017, the US Department of State updated its Worldwide Caution dated September 9, 2016 to reflect the need for continued vigilance while traveling internationally. The new advisory was issued “[a]s part of the State Department’s continuous efforts to provide U.S. citizens traveling abroad with information about relevant events.” Read the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) statement on international travel below.

Special Statement on International Travel

To all MSU travelers,

On March 7, 2017, the US Department of State updated its Worldwide Caution dated September 9, 2016 to reflect the need for continued vigilance while traveling internationally. The new advisory was issued “[a]s part of the State Department’s continuous efforts to provide U.S. citizens traveling abroad with information about relevant events.” They offer important information on “the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.”

We encourage all MSU travelers to read through the Worldwide Caution and follow the safety precautions outlined. We would also like to remind the MSU community that the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) monitors events overseas and is in direct communication with our evacuation and security information provider, the U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, international partner programs, and peer universities.

OIHS works with campus partners – including the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) - to help keep students and program leaders safe while they are abroad through established emergency procedures and protocols, pre-departure orientation for students, pre-departure Critical Incident Management training for program leaders, medical and evacuation insurance, and 24/7 crisis response through the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line.

Due to the state of heightened alert and the possibility of disruption to travel plans, we recommend the following safety tips: 

  • Exercise vigilance when in public places, crowded locations, and when using public transportation. If you see suspicious activity, leave the area immediately.
  • Keep a charged cell phone, capable of making international calls, with you at all times.
  • Communicate plans with your program leader or host institution. Your program leader or host institution may have further requirements to help you stay safe. Please heed their advice.
  • Monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities.
  • Avoid traveling alone whenever possible. Stay in touch with family, friends, and/or program leaders
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for any country you will be visiting. This registers your travel with the local embassy and allows you to receive security messages from the U.S. Government. Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy offers a similar service and take steps to enroll.
  • Take note of the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line (1-517-353-3784) and do not hesitate to call if you require emergency assistance.

For more information on travel registration, international health insurance, and health and safety tips, please review the OIHS website or contact us directly at oihs(at)msu.edu or 517-884-2174.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM

Director, International Health and Safety

 


Holiday Travel Safety Message
December 20, 2016
In advance of a busy travel season, the Office of International Health and Safety asks all travelers to review the important travel safety message below.

Holiday Travel Safety Message

Dear MSU International Travelers,

Recent violent events in Jordan, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany are an unfortunate reminder of the importance of travel safety, particularly during the holiday season. The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) has confirmed the safety and well-being of all Spartans with registered travel in the affected areas.

We urge all travelers to heed the following travel safety precautions while traveling this holiday season: 

  • Review the U.S. Department of State’s Europe Travel Alert. Although specific to travel in Europe, the safety precautions outlined apply to travel elsewhere so all travelers are encouraged to review the information.
  • Program the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784 into your cell phone and contact us if you require assistance.
  • Register with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts. 
  • Diligently monitor local media for the latest news and follow the advice of local authorities should an incident occur.
  • Crime has a tendency to increase during the holidays so be mindful of pickpockets during your travels.
  • Exercise vigilance when in public places, crowded locations, and when using mass transportation. Keep your eyes and ears open. If you see suspicious activity, leave the area immediately.

The safety and security of all MSU travelers is our top priority, and MSU is prepared to respond to incidents abroad. Some of the ways OIHS supports safe international travel include: established emergency procedures and protocols; pre-departure orientation for study abroad participants; Critical Incident Management Training for study abroad program directors; medical and evacuation insurance; coordinating with the Office of Study Abroad; the Risk and Security Assessment Committee; our security information providers; the U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council; and, staffing MSU’s 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line.

As you begin or continue your travels, do not hesitate to reach out to OIHS if you have any concerns. We are here to answer your questions and offer support.

Best wishes and happy holidays,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety
International Studies and Programs
International Center
427 N Shaw Lane, 308
Michigan State University

E-mail: danielc7(at)msu.edu
Office Tel: +1 (517) 884-9418 

 

Message Regarding the Europe Travel Alert
November 23, 2016
On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State revised its Travel Alert for Europe. See below for a message from the Office of International Health and Safety regarding the alert.

Message Regarding the Europe Travel Alert

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State revised its Europe Travel Alert. Travel Alerts are issued when the U.S. government thinks there are “short-term events that you should know about when planning travel to a country.” Please carefully review the Travel Alert that is pasted below and follow the security precautions outlined.

We would also like to remind the MSU community that the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) monitors events overseas and works closely with campus and external partners - including the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC), the Office of Study Abroad (OSA), the U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, and our evacuation and security information provider – to support healthy and safe travel.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Contact information and many other international health and safety resources may be found at oihs.isp.msu.edu.

Wishing everyone safe travels and happy holidays,

The Office of International Health and Safety
Michigan State University
International Studies and Programs
427 N Shaw Lane, Room 308
Office Tel.: 1-517-884-2174 / 1-517-884-9419
MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line: +1-517-353-3784
__ 

“The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets.  This Travel Alert expires on February 20, 2017.

Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da'esh), al-Qa'ida, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.  U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning. Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. 

While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe.  If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.  Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds, when possible.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should:

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan of action ready.
  • Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

European authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots.  We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats. 

For further information:


Statement on Nice, France
July 15, 2016
The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad are closely monitoring the results of the July 14 attacks in Nice, France. Our hearts go out to the French people as we stand in solidarity with them through this tragedy. MSU does not have any study abroad programs in Nice and does not have any registered travel in Nice. All travelers are encouraged to please follow the travel safety precautions outlined in the statement below.

Statement on Nice, France

The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad are closely monitoring the results of the July 14 attacks in Nice, France. Our hearts go out to the French people as we stand in solidarity with them through this tragedy. 

MSU does not have any study abroad programs in Nice or any registered travel to Nice at this time.

OIHS strongly encourages all students, particularly those with travel plans in Europe, to carefully read the U.S. Department of State Europe Travel Alert and take note of the precautions outlined.

To enhance the health, safety, and security of summer travel, all travelers should:

  • Exercise vigilance when in public places, crowded locations, and when using mass transportation. If you see suspicious activity, leave the area immediately.
  • Avoid loitering around security perimeters.
  • Keep a charged cell phone, capable of making international calls, with you at all times.
  • Communicate your plans with your program leader or host institution. Your program leader or host institution may have further requirements to help you stay safe. Please heed their advice.
  • Monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities.
  • Avoid traveling alone whenever possible. Stay in touch with family, friends, and/or program leaders. Have a plan and back up plan if you are separated, and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
  • Take note of the local emergency services number. In most of Europe it is 112.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for any country you will be visiting this summer. This registers your travel with the local embassy and allows you to receive security messages from the U.S. Government. Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy offers a similar service and take steps to enroll.
  • Take note of the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line (1-517-353-3784) and do not hesitate to call if you require emergency assistance.

As you begin or continue your travels, do not hesitate to reach out to OIHS if you have any concerns. We are here to answer your questions and offer support.

Best wishes for a safe and productive summer,

The Office of International Health and Safety
Michigan State University
International Studies and Programs
427 N Shaw Lane, Room 308
Office Tel.: 1-517-884-2174 / 1-517-884-9419
MSU 24/7 International Emergency Line: +1-517-353-3784


Memo: Travel Safety & Turkey
June 29, 2016
The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) are closely monitoring the results of the terrorist attacks at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. Please review the memo on travel safety and Turkey below.

Memo: Travel Safety & Turkey

To all MSU Travelers,

The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) are closely monitoring the results of the terrorist attacks at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, 2016. We offer our sincere condolences to the people of Turkey at this challenging moment. MSU has confirmed the safety and well-being of all registered travelers in Turkey. At this time, there are no current Study Abroad programs in Turkey. 

Students wishing to travel to Turkey on an MSU trip that is outside of a study abroad program or a non-credit bearing trip should contact OIHS to discuss the required review process that must be followed before the travel may be formally evaluated by the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC). 

Faculty and staff wishing to travel to Turkey on an MSU sponsored trip should review the security messages below from the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. Emergencies should be reported to the MSU 24/7 International Emergency Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784. 

Sincerely,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety

______

U.S. Consulate General Istanbul Emergency Message: Explosion and Casualties reported at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport - June 28, 2016

Explosions and gunfire have been reported at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.  Multiple casualties and wounded have also been reported.  U.S citizens are advised to avoid the area.  We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Turkey to directly contact concerned family members in the United States to advise them of your safety.

Review your personal security and communication plans, remain aware of your surroundings including local events, and monitor local news media for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow the instructions of local authorities. 

Government authorities and officials of Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, on 29 June reported that air traffic has resumed at the commercial capital Istanbul (Istanbul province)'s Ataturk Airport (IST) following a coordinated suicide bomb and gun attack at the facility's international terminal on the previous day, which killed at least 36 people and injured 147 others. On-the-ground sources confirmed that while a few low-cost domestic airlines are operating as usual, the majority of international airlines have cancelled flights to and from the airport.

 Heavy traffic congestion has been reported along highways that lead to Ataturk airport; journeys to and from the facility should therefore be expected to take longer than usual. Members due to travel to and from Istanbul should contact their airlines or visit the airport's website for information on the status of flights. Travelers that do not have scheduled flights should avoid the vicinity of the airport as cleanup operations continue.  

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

U.S. Consulate General Istanbul Security Message: Current Situation at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport - June 29, 2016

Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport has reopened following the June 28 terrorist attack.  Some flights have been delayed or cancelled.  For additional information on flight schedules, rebooking flights, and transiting Istanbul, please contact your airline directly and monitor information on the Ataturk Airport webpage

U.S. citizens are urged to:

  • Check local media for the latest updates. 
  • Be aware of local events.
  • Follow local authorities’ instructions.
  • Take the appropriate steps to bolster your personal security.

In this context, U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance in public and residential areas, and tourist destinations.  Specific safety concerns should be addressed to Turkish law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all visitors to Turkey.

U.S. citizens who are in need of emergency consular assistance in Istanbul and surrounding provinces should call the U.S. Consulate General Istanbul at (90) 212-335-9000.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:


Special Statement on Japan & Ecuador
April 18, 2016
The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) have been closely monitoring the earthquakes that recently struck Japan and Ecuador. MSU has confirmed the safety and well-being of faculty, staff, and students with registered travel to Japan and Ecuador.

Special Statement on Japan and Ecuador

April 18, 2016

To all MSU Travelers,

The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) have been closely monitoring the earthquakes that recently struck Japan and Ecuador. MSU has confirmed the safety and well-being of faculty, staff, and students with registered travel to Japan and Ecuador. We offer our sincere condolences to the people of both countries affected by these disasters.

Travelers are reminded to monitor local media and heed the advice of local authorities in the event of an emergency. U.S. citizens are also strongly encouraged to register in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages from the local U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy/consulate offers a similar service and take steps to enroll.

Questions about international travel safety may be addressed to Christopher Daniel orMaureen Handrahan in OIHS. Emergencies should be reported to the 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety
danielc7(at)msu.edu
Office Tel: +1 (517) 884-9418
24/7 International Assistance Tel: +1 (517) 353-3784

 


Special Statement on International Travel
Updated March 3, 2016
On November 23, 2015, the U.S. Department of State issued a Worldwide Caution Alert. Travel Alerts are issued for short-term events that the U.S. Department of State thinks you should know about when planning travel. Alerts are less severe than Travel Warnings. This Travel Alert was updated on March 3, 2016.

Special Statement on International Travel

November 14, 2015 
Updated December 7, 2015

To all MSU travelers,

On November 23, the US Department of State issued a Worldwide Travel Alert. Travel Alerts are issued for short-term events that the US Department of State thinks you should know about when planning travel to a country. Alerts are less severe than Travel Warnings. This Travel Alert expires February 24, 2016.

Following the recent tragic events in Beirut, Lebanon; Paris, France; and Bamako, Mali, we would like the MSU community to know that the Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) is diligently monitoring events overseas and working closely with the Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC). We are also in direct communication with our evacuation and security information provider, the U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, and peer universities.

MSU is prepared to respond to incidents abroad. Some of the ways OIHS and OSA keep students and program leaders safe while they are abroad include established emergency procedures and protocols, pre-departure orientation for students, pre-departure Critical Incident Management Training for program leaders, medical and evacuation insurance, and MSU’s 24/7 International Assistance Line. We also recommend registration in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Due to the state of heightened alert and the possibility of disruption to travel plans, we recommend the following: 

  • MSU's 24/7 International Assistance Line at +1-517-353-3784 should be called if you have an emergency situation.
  • Faculty, staff, and students traveling internationally on MSU business, who are not part of a study abroad program, must register in the Travelers Abroad Database
  • U.S. citizens should register with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts.
  • Non-U.S. citizens should check if their local embassy/consulate offers a similar service and take steps to be registered.
  • Stay in contact with your family members and loved ones in the United States.
  • Diligently monitor local media for the latest news.
  • Follow the advice of local governments where you are traveling.

If you require any non-emergency assistance related to your travel, do not hesitate to contact me directly via email at danielc7(at)msu.edu, or our International Health and Safety Coordinator Maureen Handrahan at handraha(at)msu.edu. Our office is available 24/7.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety

Office Tel: +1 (517) 884-9418 
24/7 International Assistance Tel: +1 (517) 353-3784


Travel Health Advisory for Zika Virus
Updated April 6, 2016
Any MSU travelers going to Zika-affected countries should carefully read the statement below and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Travel Health Advisory for Zika Virus

January 26, 2016
Updated April 6, 2016

Dear MSU Travelers,
  
The CDC has issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. 

Travel to these areas may continue, however, the CDC “recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to areas with Zika. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.”

All travelers should take extra care to avoid mosquito bites. It is possible that Zika virus may be sexually transmitted therefore travelers should also follow CDC advice in this regard. 

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

Specific areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health website for the most updated travel information.

More information may be found below and at the CDC's Zika website.

Mosquito Bite Prevention

Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
  • Always follow the product label instructions
  • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
  • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.

Products containing the following active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

  • DEET - Products containing DEET include, but are not limited to, Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon.
  • Picaridin - Products containing Picaridin include, but are not limited to, Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan (outside the United States).
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD - Products containing OLE and PMD include, but are not limited to, Repel and Off! Botanicals. This recommendation refers to EPA-registered repellent products containing the active ingredient OLE (or PMD). “Pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus (essential oil not formulated as a repellent) is not recommended; it has not undergone similar, validated testing for safety and efficacy, is not registered with EPA as an insect repellent, and is not covered by this recommendation.
  • IR3535 - Products containing IR3535 include, but are not limited to, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
  • Treat clothing and gear with Permethrin or purchase Permethrin-treated items.
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
  • Do NOT use Permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

For more information see the CDC's Zika prevention page.

Zika and Sexual Transmission

Zika virus can be spread during sex by a man infected with Zika to his partners. Couples with a male partner who lives in or traveled to an area with Zika that are concerned about sexual transmission of Zika should consider using a condom every time they have sex. To be effective, condoms must be used correctly.

For more information see the CDC's page on Zika and sexual transmission.

Zika and Pregnancy

Until we know more, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. If you must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.

For more information see the CDC's page on Zika and pregnancy.

Please direct any further questions to your primary care physician or the MSU Travel Clinic.


Special Statement on Brussels
March 22, 2016
Read the Office of International Health and Safety response to the March 22 terrorist attacks that occurred in Brussels, Belgium, including updated travel safety guidance for MSU international travelers.

Special Statement on Brussels

March 22, 2016

To all MSU Travelers,

The Office of International Health and Safety (OIHS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) are closely monitoring the results of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. We offer our sincere condolences to the people of Belgium and those elsewhere in Europe at this very difficult time. MSU had only one non-student international traveler in Belgium and we have confirmed the safety and well-being of that traveler. At this time, there are no plans to recommend the suspension of Study Abroad programs or cancellations of future travel to Belgium or other countries in Europe.

We ask all MSU travelers heading to Europe to review the Travel Alert issued by the U.S. Department of State in the wake of the attacks in Brussels.

Questions about international travel safety may be addressed to OIHS. Emergencies should be reported to the 24/7 International Emergency Line at +1-517-353-3784.

Safe travels,

Christopher C. Daniel, MA, CEM
Director, International Health and Safety
danielc7(at)msu.edu
Office Tel: +1 (517) 884-9418
24/7 International Assistance Tel: +1 (517) 353-3784