February 17: Reviewing U.S. State Department Travel Advisories

Dear Spring Semester Study Abroad Students, Parents, and Guardians,

We are following news reports of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and we hope for a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to this situation.  If escalations do continue, this will not impact the health and safety of your program site, or the ability of your program site to continue to offer academic programming.  We would like to take this moment, however, to remind you to review governmental travel advisories prior to your independent travels.  Specifically, please be sure to review the U.S. State Department Travel Advisories before your independent travel.  Due to COVID-19, most of the country travel advisories are Level 4: Do not travel due to COVID-19.  As stated in our last communication, CSB/SJU are allowing independent travel to other countries due to the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Nonetheless, it is important to note that CSB/SJU students on semester study abroad program cannot travel to country destinations at a U.S. State Department Level 3 or Level 4, if that Level is given for something other than COVID-19.

For example:

France Travel Advisory – Level 4 Do Not Travel

Do not travel to France due to COVID-19.

Compare this to:

Moldova – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to Moldova due to COVID-19, and the unusual and concerning Russian military activity around Ukraine, and the unresolved conflict between the breakaway region of Transnistria and the central government; U.S. citizens in Transnistria should depart immediately via commercial or private means.

While both France and Moldova are under “Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisories,” it’s very important to note if there are  “do not travel” factors in addition to COVID-19.  In other words, you can travel to France but you cannot travel to Moldova due to the noted military activity.

The Center for Global Education (CGE) closely follows updates from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease ControlZurich Insurance/Crisis24 intelligence reports, and host country governmental health ministries for your program countries.  We are unable to follow updates for all the countries you may choose to travel to independently.  Please be sure to research these advisories if you plan to travel outside your program country.


Kevin Clancy, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Global Education

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University

  • [email protected]
  • 320-363-3300 (general questions)
  • 320-363-5370 (medical questions related to COVID-19)