The U.S. State Department issued a Travel Alert today, urging Americans traveling in and to Europe to be vigilant about possible terrorist attacks. A travel alert urges extra caution during a specific time. As opposed to a travel warning, a travel alert does not discourage Americans from visiting Europe or suggest that they return home.
Today's travel alert was issued in the wake of media reports in Europe throughout the last week of possible terrorist plots aimed at possible targets in Great Britain, France and Germany.
All IES Abroad European Center staff have instructed their students to do the following:
1. Remain alert, cautious and aware of their surroundings at all times;
2. Avoid crowded tourist areas and sights (e.g., the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye), as well as typically American locations such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe, etc.;
3. Keep their cells phones fully charged, turned on, and with them at all times;
4. Respond immediately to any calls or texts from IES staff as these are key components of our emergency and crisis management plans;
5. Walk away at the first sign of trouble (e.g., suspicious persons or packages) and report such activities and persons to authorities from a safe distance;
6. Complete IES Abroad travel forms in advance of all of their travel or log their travel into the online Travel Tracker system, which is available to all IES Abroad students;
7. Remember the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure such as public markets, hotels, restaurants and other areas frequented by tourists. In the past, terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.
IES Abroad has contingency plans and protocols in place to assist students in many different types of crises. We will continue to monitor any developments in Europe along with our global security consultants and will post updates here, in addition to the emails we share directly with our students, their parents, and the schools we work with.
Please contact the Dean of Students Office at 800.995.2300 with any questions or concerns.