Purdue Policy on Security

Purdue University is committed to developing a wide variety of international study, research and work opportunities for its students. At the same time we recognize that there are times and places where personal security issues may outweigh the advantages of exposure to international experiences; therefore, we have developed a very careful and considered approach to the safety of our students.

Our approach to safety includes careful monitoring of U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories. In addition, we have implemented an emergency preparedness and crisis response plan for our overseas programs by providing key individuals (on-site faculty and host institution administrators) with guidelines to follow under a variety of circumstances. The response plan calls for working with overseas contacts as well as Programs for Study Abroad, the Vice President of Global Partnerships and Programs, the Dean of Students' Office, and ultimately the Provost and President of Purdue University.

U.S. Government Advice

A. Country Specific Information is available for every country of the world. This includes such information as the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host country, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbance, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. Country Information documents generally do not include specific advice but present information in a factual manner so the traveler can make his or her own decisions concerning travel to a particular country.

B. Travel Advisories from the U.S. Department are available for all countries using several differentiations of four "levels." For Purdue - WL purposes, please see differentiations on world map. 

[i] Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.

[ii] Level 1 - Exercise increased Caution - Contains Areas with Higher Security Risk.

[iii] Level 2 -Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. Also, note that individual Level-3 locations/regions sometimes exist within Level-2 countries which are referenced as containing areas with higher security risk. 

NOTE: Purdue-WL students are permitted to travel to "level 1 and (mere) 2 locations without additional approval processes, providing that students sign the Statement of Responsibility (form RM-55) which references related expectations to follow advice of all Travel Advisories.

[iv] Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution - Contains Areas with Higher Security Risk: This level of Travel Advisory is not considered by Purdue-WL as "2" but "2+" for purposes of reference.

[v] Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory, conditions in any country may change at any time.

[vi] Level 3 - Reconsider Travel - Contains Areas with Higher Security Risk.

[vii] Level 4 - Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.

How Purdue Uses Government Advice

At a minimum the following always applies:

Purdue University's Office of Global Partnerships and Programs will not send students to any location for which a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory of "Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution - Contains Areas with Higher Security Risk" or higher (i.e. see B [iv] above) has been issued if the itinerary includes geographic locations named in the text of the Travel Advisory unless approved in conjunction with the Purdue Risk and Security Assessment Committee (see GPP website for more detail)

This includes study abroad programs, travel by student organizations, athletics, Purdue Music Programs and others. A Purdue unit proposing an ongoing group program should consult this resource and/or contact the Director of Programs for Study Abroad to initiate the process: studyabroad@purdue.edu

After the request is approved, leaders will be advised to implement related tasks for the other independent international activity; for study abroad programs, most tasks will be in place via normal planning.

Note: Decisions about sending or withdrawing students from areas (regardless of the Travel Advisory Level number) will be made in the context of current world situations and after consulting with responsible officials of foreign host universities or overseas providers, Purdue University administrators, and other experts who are well-informed on issues related to the region in question.

The Office of Global Partnerships and Programs and Programs for Study Abroad also reserve the right to cancel any program when we believe that the security of our students may be threatened, even if the United States Department of State has not yet issued a relevant Advisory. Purdue will not assume any financial responsibility for such involuntary withdrawal.

The following information is provided to participants and their parents regarding the range of aspects of participants' overseas experiences that are beyond Purdue's control. Purdue:

  • Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments.

  • Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.

  • Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous or unwise activities.

  • Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings or provide or pay for legal representation for participants.

  • Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by Purdue for events that are not part of the program; or that are beyond the control of Purdue and its subcontractors; or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.

  • Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.