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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