International Studies & Programs

International Travel Safety and Heightened Tensions in the Middle East

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Published: Thursday, 09 Jan 2020 Author: Office of International Health and Safety

In light of recent events in the Middle East, Michigan State University (MSU) would like to remind all travelers – regardless of destination – to exercise increased caution and heightened situational awareness. 

Please be sure to:

MSU prioritizes the health and safety of our traveling community and continually monitors world events. Internal risk assessment committees (RSAC for students, FASTR for faculty and staff) convene regularly and as needed to meet and discuss changes in the world that may impact our travelers’ health, safety and security. Committee recommendations, along with advisories and guidance issued by the US Department of State and International SOS, inform decisions on educational program locations; these committee discussions also consider what requirements or restrictions may apply for certain international destinations. In cases where risk is determined to be too high, programs and travel may be abbreviated or suspended. At this time, we are not recommending any program cancellations, while continuing to closely monitor events in the Middle East Region and throughout the world. 

General tips for safety 

  • Carry your International SOS card with you at all times
  • Be aware of your surroundings (for example, don’t walk with your attention on your phone)
  • Keep a low profile and don’t display valuables
  • Follow local laws and respect the local culture
  • Stay alert in public places, including schools, hospitals, government facilities, places of worship, tourist locations, and transportation hubs
  • Avoid crowds and demonstrations/protests
  • Use the Buddy System
  • Carry proper photo ID including a copy of your passport
  • Keep your phone charged 
  • Monitor your local media for local news and updates