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Memo: Europe Travel Alert

Published: Friday, 03 Jun 2016
Author: Maureen Handrahan
Department: Office of International Health and Safety

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of State revised its Europe Travel Alert. We strongly encourage all students, particularly those with travel plans in Europe, to carefully read the alert and take note of the safety precautions outlined.

This summer, France will host several large scale events including the European Soccer Championship and the Tour de France. Poland will host World Youth Day. Given the especially large numbers of travelers to these events, it is extremely important that all travelers make smart, safe travel decisions. Student should prepare for increased security at airports, on public transportation, and at major events. While the U.S. Department of State indicates that they are not aware of any specific terrorist plots planned for the June-July period, Europe, and particularly France, is on heightened alert. Students who choose to take part in major summer events, such as the soccer matches and fan zones associated with the Euro Cup, are urged to be especially prudent.

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. Helpful links include: U.S. Embassy in France and U.S. Department of State Euro Cup website.
  • 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 France 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
MSU 24/7 International Emergency Tel.: 1-517-353-3784