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Education Abroad Office

Destinations of Higher Risk

Your well-being is our first priority. If you are interested in traveling to a country or region subject to a University Travel Warning, you will need to submit a Higher Risk Travel Safety Plan to help you think through how you are prepared to navigate your destination country and to gain university support. 

COVID-19 Pandemic Update: The below list of countries considers all risk indicators aside from those created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Due to the pandemic, all students (no matter their destination) are required to submit the COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan. If your destination is on the list below, you need to submit a regular Destination of Higher Risk petition as well as the COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan.

If you are traveling abroad for university-related purposes to a country on the University Travel Warning List, you need to follow the instructions below. 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.

  1. Contact the Education Abroad Office to discuss travel to a country currently subject to a University Travel Warning.
  2. Thoroughly research your destination with a variety of sources, including those lsted in the 'Resources' column.
  3. Submit your Higher Risk Travel Safety Plan using the form on the website. You should submit your Higher Risk Travel Safety Plan in conjunction with the regular EAO education abroad application/registration requirements outlined listed here.
  4. After submission, your Higher Risk Travel Safety 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.

Undergraduate Students

Term You Intend to Travel
Summer (travel beginning from May to July) February 1
Fall or Academic Year (travel beginning from August and lasting until or after December) February 15
Spring (travel beginning from January to May) September 15

Graduate/Professional Students

Any term At least 90 days prior to departure

The University Travel Warning (UTW) List is compiled of destinations deemed to be higher risk areas for travel by the University of South Carolina. UTW 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 (WorldAware), 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 UTW List if it meets any of the following criteria: the area has a DoS advisory of Level 3 or 4; WorldAware assigns an overall risk rating of 4 or 5 to the country; the country carries a CDC Level 3 advisory.  SITOC may also determine that is appropriate to include or exclude additional areas based on other factors.

In some cases, the UTW applies to an entire country. In others, the UTW applies only to a specific region(s) or area(s) of the country; in these cases, the traveler is only required to submit a DoR petition if traveling to the UTW region or area.


UTW Region(s) or Area(s)

Afghanistan Entire country
Algeria Areas near the eastern and southern borders and areas in the Sahara Desert due to terrorism
Armenia Nagorno-Karabakh due to armed conflict
Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh due to armed conflict
(The) Bahamas  Freeport, Grand Bahama due to Hurrican Dorian
 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
 Benin Park Pendjari, Park W and adjacent hunting zones, and areas around the northern border with Burkina Faso due to terrorism and kidnapping
 Brazil Entire country
Burkina Faso Entire country
Burma Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk- U, Ponnagyun, and Rathedaung townships in Rakhine State; Paletwa township in Chin State; Hpakan, Momauk, Sumprabum, Tanai, and Waingmaw townships in Kachin State; and Hseni, Hsipaw, Konkyan, Kutkai, Kyaukme, Laukkaing, Matman, Mongmao, Muse, Namphan, Namtu, Pangsang, and Pangwaun townships in Shan State due to civil unrest and armed conflict. Hpapun township in Kayin State due to civil unrest.
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
Colombia Entire country
Cote d'Ivoire Entire country
Democratic Republic of Congo Entire country
Ecuador Carchi, Sucumbíos, and the northern part of Esmeraldas provinces, including Esmeraldas city, 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
Haiti Entire country
Honduras Entire country
India The state 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.
Indonesia Central Sulawesi and Papua due to civil unrest.
Iran Entire country
Iraq Entire country
Israel, The West Bank and Gaza Entire country
Jamaica Some areas of Kingston, some areas of Montego Bay, Spanish Town due to crime
Kenya 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 civil unrest
Lebanon Entire country
Liberia Urban areas and public beaches due to crime
Libya Entire country
Madagascar Entire country
Malawi Entire country
Mali Entire country
Mauritania Entire country
Mexico Entire country
Mozambique Some northern districts in Cabo Delgado Province due to violent extremism
Nepal Entire country
Nicaragua Entire country
Niger Entire country
Nigeria Entire country
North Korea Entire country
Oman The Saudi Arabia and 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, due to crime and terrorism.
Philippines The Sulu Archipelago, including the southern Sulu Sea, due to crime, terrorism,  civil unrest, and kidnapping; and Marawi City in Mindanao due to terrorism and civil unrest.
Republic of the Congo The southern and western districts of the Pool Region due to civil unrest.
Russia The north Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to civil unrest, terrorism, and kidnapping; and Crimea due to foreign occupation and abuses by occupying authorities
Saudi Arabia Within 50 miles of the Yemen border
Somalia Entire country
South Africa Johannesburg
South Sudan Entire country
Sudan Entire country
Syria Entire country
Thailand Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla provinces due to civil unrest
The Bahamas Freeport, Grand Bahama due to Hurrican Dorian
Togo Entire country
Trinidad and Tobago Laventille, Bettham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime
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 Entire country
Ukraine Crimea due to arbitrary detentions and other abuses by Russian occupation authorities; and the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, especially the non-government controlled areas, due to armed conflict.
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 on September 28, 2020.


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