Identifying High-Risk Destinations
Categorizing or quantifying risk is difficult, particularly for individual travelers and unique locations. The university uses the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories as a baseline for initial identification of high-risk destinations.
The university values Department of State expertise. University staff review and consider advisories and warnings as an experienced source of information. At the same time, travel advisories address travel at a basic level. Consequently, the university assesses identified destinations on a case-by-case basis (see Approving Travel to High-Risk Destinations).
Understanding Department of State Advisories
The U.S. Department of State assesses destinations from Level 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions) to Level 4 (Do Not Travel). The levels are assigned based prevailing indicators and degree of risk. The country and regional advisories, as well as the risk indicators, are explained below. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Frequently Asked Questions.
Graduate and Undergraduate Students: Identifying High-Risk Destinations
The identification of high-risk destinations is the same for all University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students. International Safety and Security monitors insurance enrollments and attempts to assist students in identifying high-risk destinations but responsibility remains on the student.
- Open the Department of State’s Country Information webpage and select the advisory for each country to be visited.
- On each country page, observe two things:
- Color and Advisory Level. Observe the color of the country banner (blue, yellow, orange, or red) and the associated level (Exercise Normal Precautions, Exercise Increased Caution, Reconsider Travel, or Do Not Travel).
- Areas of Higher Risk. In the first two lines of the advisory, look for: “Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.”
- The country color and advisory level is Orange (Level 3) or Red (Level 4).
- The country color and advisory level is Blue (Level 1) or Yellow (Level 2) but the advisory for the intended destination (city or region) is Reconsider Travel or Do Not Travel.
Note: If a country is Level 1 or Level 2 with areas of higher risk (Level 3 or Level 4) that will not be visited, the travel is not to a high-risk destination and no further action is required. It is only travel to a high-risk destination if a traveler intends to visit a destination identified as Level 3 or Level 4. If unsure, the traveler should contact International Safety and Security to discuss the situation.
Faculty-Staff: Identifying High-Risk Destinations
The university encourages faculty and staff to review the risks associated with their intended destinations and plan accordingly. International Safety and Security is available to consult with travelers on any destination. While the university affords faculty and staff significant personal discretion for travel, some destinations have significant risk that makes travel of interest to the university for the well-being of the traveler.
Consequently, International Safety and Security works with faculty-staff to identify travel to high-risk destinations during enrollment in the university-approved international insurance. However, we encourage faculty-staff to review the travel advisory for each intended destination to plan their travel. Travel advisories can be reviewed at the Department of State’s Country Information webpage.
For questions regarding a Travel Advisory or university approval, contact International Safety and Security for more information.