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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 Treasury 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.

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 conducting a risk assessment for 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.

Current Ohio State Risk Designated List - All Countries 

Travel is highly discouraged and may be restricted to countries with a Tier 5 extreme risk rating. Some of the factors taken into consideration include a Level 4 travel advisory (do not travel) issued by the U.S. Department of State; a Level 3 warning (avoid nonessential travel) issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; risk rating above 4.0 assigned by Drum Cussac. 

Implications for student travel:

  • Ohio State does not administer undergraduate education abroad programs in Tier 5 extreme risk countries

  • Graduate student education abroad programs require submission of an ITPC Risk Assessment

Undergraduate student travel:

  • Restricted

Graduate student travel:

  • Requires submission of ITPC Risk Assessment and review and consensus by the ITPC Committee

Tier 5 Extreme Risk Countries
Central African RepublicMaliYemen
Democratic Republic of CongoNorth KoreaVenezuela
IranSouth Sudan