Updated International Travel Advisories

October 26, 2023

Dear campus community,

As a result of increased tensions around the world, we want to update you about safety and security advisories and campus guidance to help you to make informed decisions and mitigate risks as you consider university-related international travel.

Late last week, the U.S. Department of State issued a significant "Worldwide Caution" alert, warning Americans around the globe to exercise increased caution and to be aware of their surroundings due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, (and) demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.” The UC Office of the President has subsequently shared an additional advisory on non-essential university-related travel to the Middle East/North Africa region.

The safety and well-being of our community is our top priority. We want to urge you to practice caution while traveling abroad, be aware of the risks associated with traveling to regions in conflict, and please read, in its entirety, the following UC Berkeley travel guidelines, requirements, and resources for university-related international travel.

  • Please review the Department of State Travel Advisory for your destination(s) in detail, and contact risk@berkeley.edu with questions or to request a travel briefing.

  • Trip registration is required for all international university-related foreign travel and is an important risk management tool to assist the campus in knowing the location of our community members who need to access travel insurance for emergency medical care or evacuation in the case of natural disaster or political unrest. The trip registration requirement applies to students, faculty, staff, and postdocs for all UC-related foreign travel.

    • University approved travel booked via ConnexUC is automatically registered for coverage, or travelers can self-register via UCAway.

    • Trip registration automatically enrolls staff, faculty, and students traveling on university-related business in the UC Travel Insurance program as well as enrollment in travel alerts from UC’s security provider, Crisis 24.

      • UC employees must be on approved university business.

      • UC students must be participating in a UC sponsored and supervised off-campus activity that meets the policy definition of a 'covered activity.'

  • Pre-approval is required for the following types of university-related international travel:

    • State Department Level 4 and other 'Do Not Travel' Destinations: All university-related travel to U.S. Department of State (DOS) Level 4 travel advisory (i.e., Do Not Travel) destinations listed on the Travel Advisories page requires a 2-step approval process, first from their Dean (or relevant equivalent ie Vice Chancellor for Research for an ORU) and then from the Vice Provost for Academic Planning. 'Do not travel' is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. These may also include specific regions within level 2 and 3 destinations. For further details, please refer to the International Travel Protocol for State Department Level 4 / 'Do Not Travel' destinations or contact geo@berkeley.edu.

    • Study Abroad or Group Student Travel for Coursework or Credit: Regardless of State Department advisory level, all study abroad and international group student travel for coursework or credit must be reviewed by Berkeley Study Abroad. This process ensures that study abroad programs are in compliance with risk management best practices, and that programs are counted in national IIE (Institute of International Education) Open Doors numbers. (Note: programs created by Berkeley Study Abroad or the UC Education Abroad Program/UCEAP have no additional required steps). For further details, please refer to Study Abroad and International Group Student Travel Protocol or contact studyabroad@berkeley.edu.

  • It is the responsibility of the traveler and approving department to ensure the financial, health, and safety risks associated with foreign travel are assessed before authorizing travel.

    • Please review the DOS Travel Advisory for your destination(s) in detail, and contact risk@berkeley.edu with questions or to request a travel briefing. Use the Worldcue Planner travel intelligence portal to research any location and obtain global travel trips.

    • Travelers and approvers are urged to avoid non-essential travel to destinations that are restricted to US Government personnel, cite a risk of Wrongful Detentions (indicated with a 'D'), or Kidnapping (indicated with a 'K') on the DOS Travel Advisories. These may also include specific regions within level 2 and 3 destinations. They can be found at the top right corner of the country's alert page.

    • U.S. Citizens and nationals should also register their travel with the U.S. Department of State STEP Program to receive timely notifications of safety and security concerns from the US government.

  • A trip to a foreign country presents unique data security challenges. The nature of international travel may require that you use your devices (laptop, tablet or smartphone) in unfamiliar places that may expose your data and device to malicious entities and software, and some countries do not have the same free-speech or data protection privileges as others. Carefully review the DOS Travel Advisories for your destinations, including guidance related to local laws and special circumstances. Refer to Security Tips for International Travel for general guidance on cybersecurity.

  • Please refer to campus resources for international travel for guidance on U.S. export and sanctions regulations, reservations/reimbursements, field research, risk services, and cybersecurity.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and wish you safe and productive travels.

Khira Griscavage

Associate Chancellor, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor and Chief Ethics, Risk, and Compliance Officer (CERCO)

Lisa Alvarez-Cohen

Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Senior International Officer