Skip to main content
Center for Global Education
Center for Global Education

Safety and Security Abroad

As recent world events have made very clear, there are times when it is difficult to assess the impact of world events on various study abroad locations. The Center for Global Education (CGE) does its best to help you and your parents assess these situations, whether they occur before you leave for study abroad or while you're there.

Butler University wants students to have international experiences that are educational, life-enriching, and eye-opening. At the same time, we will take all reasonable steps to attempt to ensure the safety of students traveling abroad. However, we must remind both students and their parents that ultimately the decision to study abroad and their safety while traveling abroad is their responsibility. Butler cannot guarantee or ensure students' safety either at home or abroad, but the University will attempt to provide students with as much relevant information as possible to help them make their best decision for studying abroad. We will be pleased to work with you toward that end.

We receive all routine and emergency postings from the U.S. Department of State's listserv, which issues periodic "Alerts" and explains changes in their country-specific "Travel Advisory" levels. The U.S. Department of State's new Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which was implemented in January 2018, provides many services to U.S. citizens who are preparing to travel, live, work, or study abroad, including:

  • International Travel Country Information Pages for every country in the world, each of which contain a Travel Advisory, any issued Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you. Additionally, they list the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to decide whether traveling to that country is right for you.  You will also find the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Take those with you in case of an emergency.

  • Travel Advisory system, which issues advisories for every country in the world to alert Americans to a variety of conditions or concerns. 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. If a U.S. Department of State level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory is in effect for a particular destination, students are urged to consult the CGE.

  • An Alert system, which informs U.S. citizens of country-specific safety and security concerns, such as demonstrations, crime trends, and weather events. Alerts include the location and description of the event, actions to take, and ways to find assistance.

We strongly recommend that you consult the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website on your own as you plan your study abroad or when you make travel plans while you're abroad. In addition to reviewing the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website, we highly encourage you to enroll in the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment System (STEP), which is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You may also find it helpful to view other governments' opinions on world events. Canada, Australia, and Great Britain have English language sites that provide a slightly different perspective on international affairs. Additional views are provided worldwide on the BBC and CNN, and in newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald from Australia and the National Post in Canada.

SAFETI Clearinghouse

Travel Warning on Drugs Abroad

Tips for American Students Abroad