International Travel Considerations

We are continually assessing and monitoring events in Israel and Gaza and the subsequent incidents spurred in areas across the globe. While international travel, in general, remains safe, the U.S. Department of State has issued this travel advisory: “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.”

These are some of the resources we use to monitor the situation:

  • Advice and on-the-ground security updates provided in real-time by Exlog Global;
  • Advice provided by the US Department of State, which regularly updates its travel advisories, including information on the availability of US embassy assistance to travelers;
  • Continuous monitoring of open-source media;
  • Advice provided by trusted on-site partners who develop Education Abroad programs in partnership with us and who can speak to the realities they are currently facing in their countries;
  • Continuous benchmarking with other similar universities who are considering these same things.

In addition to the resources referenced above, the other safety measures we have in place include:

  • Our international travel safety app, Safeture, which sends real-time alerts to travelers based on their location and what is occurring around them. The app also serves as a means of communication during an emergency between the Office of Risk Management and the traveler and permits us to know where individuals are and if they could be impacted by a particular event or incident. Lastly, the app also houses easy access to our 24/7 emergency assistance center and easy push-button access to all local emergency services;
  • Required registration with STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) which is the safety program associated with the Department of State so they are aware of US Citizens abroad;
  • Required travel registration. Each person traveling internationally with SMU is required to register their travel in our Risk Management system so that we can account for our travelers in the event of an emergency.

SMU students, faculty and staff travelling abroad should continue to pay close attention to what is happening in their host country. Access to 24/7 emergency assistance, medical, counseling and security assistance via ExLog through the Safeture App or by phone at +1 469-806-0682. We will provide additional updates as needed.