Travel to Risk Designated Countries

The health, safety and security of students and faculty traveling abroad is a top priority at Ohio State. So that every Buckeye who wants to gain valuable international experience through study abroad, research, field work, internships or volunteer opportunities is able to do so safely, Ohio State has developed a travel risk rating for every country as well as specific regions of the world.

Ohio State risk designated scale

The scale puts in place a tiered risk level for countries and regions and defines parameters for travel. The system is based on guidance from numerous resources: U.S. Department of State, Drum Cussac, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Treasure Office of Foreign Assets Control.

 Ohio State Risk Designated Tiers

 Tier 5 Extreme Risk
 Tier 4  High Risk
 Tier 3  Moderate Risk
 Tier 2  Specific Risk
 Tier 1  Universal Risk

When assigning a risk rating to a country or region, Ohio State also may factor in additional criteria from government, insurance and in-country resources. These resources are weighted by Ohio State so the university’s tiered scale may not be comparable to the risk ratings of other organizations.

  1. U.S. Department of State – Issues travel advisories for every country, including four standard levels of advice, risk descriptions and actions that U.S. citizens should implement to help ensure their safety.
  2. Drum Cussac Country Risk Ratings - Issues an overall country risk rating based on a scale of 1 (negligible) to 5 (extreme) using .25 increments. Drum Cussac is Ohio State’s current provider of the Political Emergency and Natural Disaster (PEND) evacuation insurance.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices – Issues travel notices to inform travelers about current health issues related to specific designations and are categorized by warning level 3 (avoid nonessential travel), alert level 2 (practice enhanced precautions) and watch level 1 (practice usual precautions).
  4. U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – Issues comprehensive sanctions against countries that prohibit all direct or indirect imports/exports, trade brokering, financing or facilitating against most goods, technology and services.

Updates to the risk designated scale

Updates to the risk designations will be posted at the beginning of each month, however Ohio State may make immediate adjustments if conditions in a country change significantly. Travelers should always monitor advisories for their intended location by registering in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

International Travel Policy Committee

The International Travel Policy Committee (ITPC), appointed by the provost, develops guidelines and policies to maintain the health and safety of Ohio State students, faculty and staff studying abroad or conducting research or business in another country.

The committee is also responsible for reviewing petitions by students planning to study in risk designated countries and provides approval (in consultation with the provost) for university-related travel to these locations. The ITPC approval process evaluates the academic value of travel balanced with the current health, safety and security conditions of the intended destination.

 

Tier 5 - Extreme Risk

Factors:
  • Any country assigned U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel
  • Any country assigned CDC Warning Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
  • Any country assigned Drum Cussac risk rating above 4.0
General travel implications:
  • Travel is highly discouraged and may be restricted
Education Abroad programming:
  • Ohio State does not administer undergraduate education abroad programs in Tier 5 - Extreme Risk countries
  • Graduate education programming requires submission of an International Travel Policy Committee Travel (ITPC) Assessment to demonstrate significant academic imperative and stringent security protocol
Undergraduate student travel:
  • Restricted
Graduate student travel:
  • Requires submission of ITPC Travel Assessment
  • Requries review and consensus by the ITPC committee

 Tier 5 Extreme Risk Countries

 Afghanistan  Libya  Syria
 Burundi  Mali  Yemen
 Central African Republic  North Korea  Venezuela     
 Iran  Somalia  
 Iraq  South Sudan         

 

Tier 4 - High Risk

Factors:
  • Most countries assigned U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel
  • Countries often have regions assigned a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel
  • Countries typically assigned a Drum Cussac risk rating of 3.50 – 4.00.
General travel implications:
  • Certain forms of travel may be restricted
  • University supported travel may be confined to specific locations and require significant stipulations for safety and security
Education Abroad programming:
  • Travel to Tier 4 countries requires completion of anInternational Travel Policy Committee Travel (ITPC) Travel Assessment and is subject to substantial vetting
  • Authorized travel will be site specific to locations critical to the academic rationale for approval; extracurricular or independent travel is restricted
Undergraduate student travel:
  • Limited to Ohio State ITPC approved education abroad programming including Office of International Affairs education abroad programs or on-site faculty directed research
  • Individual undergraduate travel is restricted
Graduate student travel:
  • Individual graduate travel requires submission of ITPC Travel Assessment and review and consensus of the full committee

 Tier 4 - High Risk Countries

 Algeria  Honduras  Pakistan
 Burkina Faso  Lebanon  Papua New Guinea
 Chad  Madagascar  Sudan
 El Salvador  Nicaragua  Zimbabwe
 Guinea-Bissau  Niger  
 Haiti  Nigeria  

 

Tier 3 - Moderate Risk

Factors:
  • Any country assigned a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel (and not in a higher tier)
  • Countries often have significant regions assigned a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel 
  • Any country assigned Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) comprehensive sanctions (and not in a higher tier)
  • Countries typically assigned a Drum Cussac risk rating of 3.50 or less
General Travel Implications:
  • Travel to these countries may be limited
  • Travel to specific geographic locations and certain forms of travel and programming may be restricted
  • In addition, certain locations may have higher requirements related to the level of required in-country support, accommodations, transportation and logistics
Education Abroad programming:
  • Travel to Tier 3 countries requires completion of an ITPC Travel Assessment and is subject to a risk analysis and consensus of the committee
  • Travel may entail significant safety arrangements including specific on-site support, limitations on travel to specific regions and stipulations on accommodations, transportation and other logistics
Undergraduate student travel:
  • Available via Ohio State ITPC approved education abroad programming including OIA education abroad programs or on-site faculty directed research
  • Individual undergraduate travel is limited and requires submission of ITPC Travel Assessment and review and consensus of the committee
  • The travel assessment must include a statement of purpose and articulate relevancy of travel to the country to specific academic objectives
  • Due to the diversity of the security profiles of countries in this category, there may be significant variation in approved opportunities between locations
Graduate student travel:
  • Individual graduate travel requires submission of ITPC Travel Assessment and review and consensus of the committee

 Tier 3 - Moderate Risk Countries

 Bangladesh  India  South Africa
 Cameroon  Kenya  Tanzania
 Cote d'Ivoire  Mauritania  Togo
 Cuba  Mexico  Turkey
 Egypt  Republic of Congo  Uganda
 Eritrea  Russia  Ukraine
 Ethiopia  Saudi Arabia  
 Guatemala  Sierra Leone  

 

Tier 2 - Specific Risk

Factors:
  • Country assigned a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution (or lower)
  • Any remaining country with regions assigned a U.S.Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Travel Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel (and not in a higher tier)
  • Any remaining country assigned a Drum Cussac risk rating of 3.50 or higher (and not in a higher tier)
Travel Implications:
  • Travel to these countries is not restricted. However travel to specific geographic locations may be restricted or require significant vetting
  • In addition, certain locations may have higher requirements related to accommodations, transportation and logistics
  • In certain locations the prevailing logistical concern is inadequate health resources and a healthcare access plan may be requested
Education Abroad programming:
  • Travel to Tier 2 countries requires an initial IRM Itinerary Assessment
  • Travel will require limitations on travel to specific regions
  • Travel may entail specific safety arrangements including specific on-site support, stipulations on accommodations, transportation , a health care access plan and other logistics
  • Travel seeking exceptions to the stipulations of the IRM Itinerary Assessment will require completion of an ITPC Travel Assessment and is subject to a risk analysis and consensus of the committee
Undergraduate student travel:
  • Available via Ohio State ITPC approved education abroad programming including Office of International Affairs education abroad programs or faculty-led research
  • Individual undergraduate travel requires submission of an IRM Itinerary Assessment listing all destinations of travel in the country
  • Travel may require restrictions or limitations on travel to specific regions
  • Travel seeking exceptions to the risk management evaluation will require completion of an ITPC Travel Assessment and review and consensus of the committee
Graduate student travel:
  • Individual graduate travel requires submission of an IRM Itinerary Assessment listing all destinations of travel in the country
  • Travel may require restrictions or limitations on travel to specific regions
  • Travel seeking exceptions to the risk management evaluation will require completion of an ITPC Travel Assessment and review and consensus of the committee

 Tier 2 - Specific Risk Countries

 Antigua and Barbuda  Guinea  Oman
 Armenia  Indonesia  Panama
 Azerbaijan  Israel, West Band, Gaza   Peru
 Brazil  Jamaica  Philippines
 Burma  Jordan  Rwanda
 Colombia  Kosovo  Thailand
 Costa Rica  Kuwait  Timor-Leste
 Ecuador  Laos  Trinidad & Tobago
 French West Indies  Liberia  Tunisia
 Georgia  Mozambique  

 

Tier 1 - Universal Risk

Travelers should not assume that travel to Tier 1 destinations is devoid of risk. Hazards such as inadequate medical facilities, ongoing demonstrations, and exposure to tropical diseases do not necessarily result in a country being assigned to a higher tier. Travelers to these countries are still advised to read the country specific information in each country’s U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory and CDC destination profile prior to travel.