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Indiana University

Countries Under Travel Warnings

The Office of Overseas Study at Indiana University regularly monitors information relevant to the safety of all IU students abroad, from official sources as well as from our domestic and international partners and colleagues. The safety and security of IU students abroad is of the utmost importance to us. We work to ensure that students can make informed and wise decisions regarding program selection as well as their behavior abroad.

In addition to other sources of evidence of potential risk to students, we give primary consideration to Travel Warnings issued by the U.S. Department of State. The basic premise from which we operate is that, except in special circumstances, Indiana University will not offer or support study abroad in countries that are under a State Department Travel Warning nor approve transit through or stop-overs in these countries. Requests for exemptions based on "special circumstances" are evaluated on a program-by-program basis through a process established by the Safety and Responsibility Committee of the system-wide Overseas Study Advisory Council (OSAC). The Committee has the authority to make the final decision on such requests from program organizers.

Decisions for exemptions will be based on the nature of the Travel Warning, including the locations most impacted by the Warning, the experience and training of program organizers and local support staff, the importance and academic relevance of student involvement, what the program will do to minimize the risk to students, the extent of the safety and security orientation provided and the program's willingness to get the students' informed consent regarding participation, despite the Travel Warning.

This policy applies to graduate and undergraduate students on programs offered on all campuses of Indiana University, whether they are system-administered or co-sponsored programs through the Office of Overseas Study or unit-based programs that have been arranged by a campus, a school or a department.

Administered, Unit-Based and Co-sponsored Programs. As stated above, unless an exemption is granted by the OSAC Safety and Responsibility Committee, Overseas Study will not offer administered programs or send students on unit-based or co-sponsored programs in countries that are under a State Department Travel Warning. Should a Travel Warning be issued while a program is under way, Overseas Study will determine, following appropriate consultation with on-site staff, the OSAC Safety and Responsibility Committee, appropriate internal departments (such as University Counsel and/or Risk Management), peer institutions, other organizations that offer programs abroad and area experts, whether conditions warrant suspension of the program and/or departure of the student from the host country.

Affiliated and Non-IU Programs. Indiana University strongly discourages students from participating in affiliated and non-IU programs in countries under a State Department travel warning. IU will not provide support services that IU students going abroad normally receive. That is, IU will not register the students for the time they’re abroad nor will they authorize access to financial aid for the program. While we anticipate that students may leave IU to participate in a non-IU program and later seek transfer credit for their work, we reiterate that Indiana University discourages this course of action. A student's decision to do so is wholly voluntary and not the responsibility of Indiana University. Students who are traveling abroad independently of an organized program of study should adhere to IU's policy for individual travelers and access travel resources useful to independent travelers.

Approved by the Overseas Study Advisory Council, upon the recommendation of its Committee on Safety and Responsibility, on September 26, 2003 and updated on April 7, 2006.

Our daily lives are so different from people across the globe. To learn about how other people live their lives, it makes you think about how you want to live your life. It’s character building.”

-Maggie Brinley, IU Overseas Study Participant, Spain