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Travel Advisory Policy

Saint Louis University recognizes the risks to the safety and security of students who travel internationally, and particularly to students who travel to countries, or regions within countries, in which the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Travel Notice Level 3.

U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Levels 

The U.S. Department of State issues a Travel Advisory for each country of the world.  Travel Advisories follow a consistent format and use plain language to help U.S. citizens find and use important security information. Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, give a description of the risks, and provide clear actions U.S. citizens should take to help ensure their safety. 

Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.   

Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution:  Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. 

Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. 

Level 4 - Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.  

Varying Levels: The U.S. Department of State issues an overall Travel Advisory level for a country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. For instance, they may advise U.S. citizens to “Exercise Increased Caution” (Level 2) in a country, but to “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3) to a particular area within the country.

*Information provided by the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs (Travel.State.Gov)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Advisory Levels 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues different types of notices to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health. 

Notice Level Traveler Action Risk to Traveler
Level 1: Watch Reminder to follow usual precautions for this destination Usual baseline risk or slightly above baseline risk for destination and limited impact to traveler
Level 2: Alert Follow enhanced precautions for this destination Increased risk in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors; certain high-risk populations may wish to delay travel to these destinations.
Level 3: Warning Avoid all non-essential travel to this destination. High risk to travelers

*Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 Saint Louis University reserves the right to suspend approval of any program of study, research or service by Saint Louis University students in a country, or region within a country,  under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Level 3 or for any other reason or condition that, in the University's sole determination, presents unnecessary or significant risk. SLU’s international travel advisory committee will determine if program suspension or cancellation is warranted.

Written Appeals to Amend Suspended Programs

Departments, units or individual students who wish to administer or participate in student international travel in a country, or region within a country, under a current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Level 3 may request to appeal the program suspension through the international travel advisory committee.

The department, unit or individual student requesting the appeal must submit a special petition to travel to restricted regions to the international travel advisory committee, through the Office of International Services. Departments or units administering programs in a country, or region within a country, which has the above mentioned advisory or notice and requesting an appeal may complete the special petition on behalf of the group or program. Individual students requesting an appeal for independent program participation in a country, or region within a country, which has the the above mentioned advisory or notice must complete the special petition individually.

The international travel advisory committee will review appeals on a case by case basis, in light of all of the surrounding facts and circumstances in a given country and any other information which the committee may deem relevant in determining whether or not to suspend the program or permit students to go abroad and study independently or for credit.

As a condition of granting the appeal, each student participating in the program must complete and sign the safety and security assessment and statement of understanding, risk and responsibility, assuming all the risks and releasing the University from any future liability for his or her personal choices.

Please note that travel advisory or notice waivers are granted to individual programs and not countries. Each program within a country under a travel advisory or notice is required to submit a formal appeal.

Travel Warnings Implemented Once a Program is Underway

If a program is currently underway when a change in travel advisory or notice is announced, and there are circumstances that pose an immediate threat to student health or safety, the international travel advisory committee has the discretion to suspend a program and begin evacuation proceedings immediately.

If a program is currently underway when a change in travel advisory or notice is announced for the first time, but there are no circumstances that pose an immediate threat to student health or safety, the international travel advisory committee will monitor the situation and evaluate whether a waiver may be warranted or if the program needs to be immediately canceled or altered.

Canceled Program Refund Policy

If Saint Louis University cancels a program prior to departure, the University will make every effort to retrieve any recoverable costs. Unrecoverable expenses, such as airline tickets, however, cannot always be refunded. As refunds are not always possible, students may want to consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance that can be obtained through many travel or insurance agents.

If Saint Louis University cancels a program after it has commenced due to safety or security concerns, refunds will be determined on a case by case basis.