Incident in the United Kingdom

23 May 2017

The Georgetown University student studying through the Office of Global Education in Manchester (United Kingdom) is safe and accounted for after a terrorist attack Monday evening (May 22) at the Manchester Arena.

56 Georgetown students are currently studying in England and Scotland on 13 programs.  Our staff are following up directly with all students to check in on their well-being.  The vast majority of students have been located.  As it is the end of the semester, we are confident that students who have not yet confirmed their location are either traveling or unable to respond to us at this time.  We will continue to reach out to them to verify their safety.   

Georgetown continues to monitor the events in Manchester through the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, International SOS, the Greater Manchester Metropolitan Police, and our other security providers.  

Travelers and Georgetown University students studying abroad are reminded of the advice and protocols for maintaining safety while traveling internationally.  

U.S. Department of State Issues Travel Alert for Europe

2 May 2017

On May 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for Europe.  This alert replaces the previous Travel Alert for Europe which was issued on November 21, 2016.  As with all Department of State warnings and alerts, the caution is reviewed and renewed approximately every six months.  The context of the Europe Travel Alert and Worldwide Caution is related to the outlook and concern for global terrorism.  It does not address political instability due to reasons other than terrorism or safety issues related to health concerns.  The issuance of this Travel Alert, in addition to the Worldwide Caution, is a good reminder for heightened vigilance and situational awareness while traveling.

The statement by the U.S. Department of State specifically alerts that militant groups "have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe."  The alert warns of credible information indicating that terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks and that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.  We encourage all OGE student travelers to review and be aware of the content of the region in which they are studying or intending to travel.

For additional information, please consult the Travel Warnings and Alerts section of travel.state.gov.  You can also view security and safety information on the country information sheet for your current location by using the Learning About Your Destination feature.  If OGE students need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information may also be found on Georgetown's International SOS Portal website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the ISOS website to enroll to receive notifications:

Telephone: +1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com
Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

Students are encouraged to review the travel advice available on the OGE Health and Safety website at http://studyabroad.georgetown.edu/safety.

New Security Protocols - Electronic Device Restrictions

4 April 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has recently announced new security protocols that may impact OGE students studying abroad as well as other Georgetown University international travelers. 

Travelers and students studying abroad can find guidance on the new restrictions on the Georgetown University Office of Emergency Management website  under the International Traveler Advisory section. 

Incident in the United Kingdom

23 March 2017

Georgetown University students studying in through the Office of Global Education London are safe and accounted for after a terrorist attack Wednesday (March 22) at the Westminster Bridge and the British Houses of Parliament.

Twenty-three Georgetown students are currently are studying in London at five local universities.  An additional three students studying at British universities outside of London were also in London at the time of the incident.

Georgetown continues to monitor the events in London through the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, International SOS, the London Metropolitan Police, and our other security providers.  

Travelers and Georgetown University students studying abroad are reminded of the advice and protocols for maintaining safety while traveling internationally.  

 

U.S. Department of State Issues Travel Alert for Europe - Reminder of Worldwide Caution (11/22/2016)

22 November 2016

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Alert for Europe.  This alert is in addition to the previously issued Worldwide Caution which was renewed on September 9, 2016.  As with all Department of State warnings and alerts, the caution is reviewed and renewed approximately every six months.  The context of the Europe Travel Alert and Worldwide Caution is related to the outlook and concern for global terrorism.  It does not address political instability due to reasons other than terrorism or safety issues related to health concerns.  The issuance of this Travel Alert, in addition to the Worldwide Caution, is a good reminder for heightened vigilance and situational awareness while traveling.

The statement by the U.S. Department of State specifically alerts "U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season."  The alert warns of credible information indicating that terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks and that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during the holiday period with little or no warning.  We encourage all OGE student travelers to review and be aware of the content of the region in which they are studying or intending to travel.

For additional information, please consult the Travel Warnings and Alerts section of travel.state.gov.  You can also view security and safety information on the country information sheet for your current location by using the Learning About Your Destination feature.  If OGE students need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information may also be found on Georgetown's International SOS Portal website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the ISOS website to enroll to receive notifications:

 

  • Telephone: +1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
  • ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com
  • Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

Students are encouraged to review the travel advice available on the OGE Health and Safety website at http://studyabroad.georgetown.edu/safety.

 

U.S. Department of State Update on Worldwide Caution (09/18/2016)

18 September 2016

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of State has issued a renewal of the standing Worldwide Caution replacing the previous caution from March 3, 2016.  As with all Department of State warnings and alerts, the caution is reviewed and renewed approximately every six months.  The context of the Worldwide Alert is related to the outlook and concern for global terrorism.  It does not address political instability doe to reasons other than terrorism or safety issues related to health concerns.

The statement by the U.S. Department of State remains largely the same as the previous caution.  It provides a general assessment of terrorism concerns on a regional basis, with some instances of specific country concerns.  The caution is broad based, and does not identify specific threats.  You can review the entire caution at travel.state.gov.  We encourage all OGE student travelers to review and be aware of the content of the region in which they are studying or intending to travel.

For additional information, please consult the Alerts and Warnings section on the caution plage.  You can also view security and safety information on the country information sheet for your current location by using the Learning About Your Destination feature.  If OGE students need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information may also be found on the ISOS website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the ISOS website to enroll:

  • Telephone: +1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
  • ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com/
  • Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

Students are encouraged to review the travel advice available on the OGE Health and Safety website at http://studyabroad.georgetown.edu/safety.

 

Update on Worldwide Travel and Caution (03/22/2016)

22 March 2016

The attacks in Brussels today (March 22) are a reminder of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.  Combined with the recent attacks in Turkey, these events highlight the need for travelers to keep a low profile, maintain situational awareness, and report any suspicious activity to authorities immediately.  At this point, Georgetown is not curtailing or cancelling programming, but rest assured that we are continuing to closely monitor the global security climate through consultation with the U.S. Department of State, International SOS (our security assistance company), peer institutions, and GU experts.   

We would like to remind all OGE students that on March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of State updated their Worldwide Caution to include regional assessments for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia and Pacific.  The advisory does not indicate any specific threat to U.S. citizens; however, information suggests known terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in many regions. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that travelers need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

If OGE students need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information may also be found on the ISOS website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the ISOS website to enroll:

  • Telephone: +1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
  • ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com/
  • Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

Travel Advice:

  • U.S. citizens should enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  through the U.S. Department of State
  • Update personal travel plans in ISOS MyTrips, the University’s travel registration system
  • In the event of an incident where you are located (city, country, region), proactively communicate with your parents/family, OGE program advisor, and local program contact to let them know whether you are safe and secure
  • Always carry some form of communication equipment, such as a cellular phone programmed with numbers that would be useful in an emergency (police, embassy, International SOS Assistance Center, Georgetown contacts, etc.)
  • Be aware of your surroundings and respect local sensitivities over recent developments
  • Follow U.S. Embassy advice and stay tuned to media and local contacts
  • Consider carefully any information relayed on social media and ensure appropriate corroboration through reliable sources
  • Allow ample time for travel and for check-in procedures, especially if traveling by air or through a border crossing
  • Ensure you have travel documents (i.e., passport and visa) on you at all times for use in any identity checks.

As always, if you are abroad and in need of immediate assistance please contact:

  • Office of Global Education: +1-202-687-5867 - Emergency during regular office hours (M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm EST)
  • GU Department of Public Safety: +1-202-687-4343 - After Hours Non-Medical Emergency
  • CISI/Team Assist: +1-312-935-1703 - 24-hour Emergency Medical Assistance
  • International SOS (ISOS): +1-215-942-8226 - 24-hour Emergency Security Assistance

 

Safety and Security in Turkey (03/19/2016)

19 March 2016

In light of today's bombing in Istanbul, OGE would like to remind students of the increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey.  In a March 17, 2016 update to the February 29, 2016 Travel Warning for Turkey, the U.S. Department of State reminds travelers that due to threats from international and indigenous groups, U.S. citizens should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country.

Recent terrorist attacks from international and indigenous groups have targeted popular tourist sites, U.S. government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey.  The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast. There have been incidents of cross-border shelling from Syria into Turkey.  For your safety:

  •     Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
  •     Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations.
  •     Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
  •     Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
  •     Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  •     Monitor local media.

If students need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information for Turkey may also be found on the ISOS website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the website to enroll:

Telephone: +1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com/
Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

 

Worldwide Caution (03/08/2016)

8 March 2016

The U.S. Department of State has updated the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.  The advisory does not indicate any specific threat to U.S. citizens; however, information suggests known terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in many regions. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that travelers need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. 

The Department of State has updated the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016, to include regional assessments.  For more information please see, http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html

 

Zika Virus (01/29/2016)

29 January 2016

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel alert to highlight countries where the Zika Virus is prevalent.  The Zika Virus is spread by mosquitos and is, therefore, most prevalent in tropical environments.  Symptoms are generally mild and may include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), lasting several days to a week.  Currently there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. However, severe illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

Travelers can limit their exposure to Zika (and other mosquito-borne illnesses like Malaria, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya) by taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites including:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535. Always use as directed.
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
    • Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children aged >2 months.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself.
  • Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.

Zika is linked to a specific birth defect called microcephaly. This link is so strong that the CDC issued travel guidance for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant, warning them to avoid visiting places where the virus is currently circulating. Such travelers should regularly review the travel alert for updates as more countries are likely to be added to the list.

If you are concerned about a risk of exposure to Zika related to upcoming travel, contact a specialist in travel medicine.  Pregnant women, or women planning to become pregnant, should consult with their OB/GYN.

 

Incident in Turkey (01/12/2016)

12 January 2016

We are aware of the explosion which occurred in Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, Turkey.  An explosion targeting foreigners in a touristic hub is unprecedented in Istanbul in recent years.  We are monitoring the situation closely through the university’s security company and other resources.

 

Message of Support for Students in Western Europe (11/20/2015)

20 November 2015

As Western Europe continues to manage with increased security and potential travel disruption following the high-casualty terrorist attacks in Paris, we remind all OGE students in Western Europe to continue to communicate and connect with your family, friends, and peers on a regular basis so that they are updated as to how you are doing.  The high visibility of these operations may lead to some undue alarm.  This is especially important given that Georgetown will not be regularly communicating with your family as a group (due to privacy concerns and regulations).

If you need any security advice or referrals, please do not hesitate to take advantage of the International SOS (ISOS) resources at your disposal.  Specifics on the latest security information for Western Europe may also be found on the ISOS website.  Additionally, if you are not enrolled to receive ISOS email alerts you should go to the website to enroll:

  • Telephone: +215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
  • ISOS Website: https://www.internationalsos.com/
  • Georgetown Member #: 11BCPA000227 (use the member login on at the top of the page)

If you run into a situation that does not feel right, or see something suspicious, remove yourself from the situation and report it to the local authorities immediately.  After alerting local authorities, report it to International SOS. 

As another reminder, Georgetown recommends that all travelers avoid protests, large gatherings, and any potentially threatening situations.  There were reports on last weekend that showed several people who, after hearing gunfire and/or emergency vehicles, went outside to videotape what was happening.  Do not do this; your safety is paramount, so please remain safely indoors in any such emergency until authorities give the all clear.

Along similar lines, pay close attention to all security alerts you receive from the Embassy and International SOS in the coming days and weeks.  Georgetown does not feel there is a greater threat to Europe than to most areas of the world, but wants to ensure you receive and read vital information in case any other crises or attacks should occur.

At this point, you can expect to see increased security measures throughout most of Europe.  This will result in longer processing times at airports and border crossings.  Please carry your visa and passport information with you in case you are asked to show identification, and please do your best to comply with any directions from security personnel.  If curfews are implemented, follow all directive guidance.

Georgetown is not currently curtailing or cancelling any programming, but rest assured that we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and are regularly consulting with the U.S. Department of State, our security assistance company, peer institutions, and GU experts.  We are choosing to focus on the value of continuing these international cultural exchanges rather than lending any credence to such despicable acts of terrorism.  Our goal is instead to provide you all the support you need to be able to complete your programs successfully.  We also understand that each individual has a unique threshold for their personal safety standards, so anyone wishing to discuss options about returning home should connect with their OGE advisor. 

U.S. Department of State Worldwide Caution:  http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html

Travel Advice:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and respect local sensitivities over recent developments.
  • Check in with your academic program daily.
  • Enroll in STEP through the U.S. Department of State.
  • Follow U.S. Embassy advice and stay tuned to media and local contacts.
  • Update personal travel plans in MyTrips, the University’s travel registration system
  • There remains potential for short-notice travel restrictions and evacuations of transport hubs or other sensitive locations as a result of fresh security alerts. Consequently, be flexible in your itineraries.
  • Consider carefully any information relayed on social media and ensure appropriate corroboration through reliable sources.
  • Register for International SOS and U.S. Department of State (STEP) security alerts online and heed recommendations.
  • Allow ample time for travel and for check-in procedures, especially if traveling by air or through a border crossing.
  • Ensure you have travel documents (i.e., passport and visa) on you at all times for use in any identity checks.