Each Columbia staff member is responsible for identifying safety and security threats in the location to which they will be traveling and taking action to reduce harm and risk to him/herself, his/her colleagues, University property, and the people and institutions with whom Columbia collaborates. This includes raising concerns within their departments in advance of travel, and discussing and implementing ways to mitigate potential risk. If sufficient measures cannot be taken to mitigate potential serious risk, it may be appropriate to explore rescheduling, postponing, or cancelling the planned travel.
Factors to be considered in the assessment of risk could include but are not limited to:
→ Location and contact information for closest Columbia Global Center or other programs
→ Local health concerns and health care resources
→ Local weather
→ Local travel
→ Road conditions and public transportation
→ Availability and quality of local accommodations
→ Cultural and legal differences
→ Political climate
→ Economic conditions
→ Holidays or election days
→ Location of the nearest U.S. embassy or your home country’s embassy
Suggested Resources for Assessing Risks
Your best resource for research could be the group lead or trip organizers and Columbia staff at your travel destination. Additionally, the following sites can be helpful:
International SOS (also has a free app for smartphone)
Travel - U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions - U.S. Department of State
International Travel and Health - World Health Organization (WHO)
Travel and Living Abroad - British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Traveler's Health - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
In addition to the websites listed above, a variety of news sources can be consulted before and during the period of travel. These include the websites of newspapers and television networks of the destination city and country, but also the websites of such international news outlets as The New York Times, the The Guardian, and the BBC. Google Alerts and other RSS feeds can also help keep the traveler informed.
For further details regarding traveler safety, refer to the Plan section of the Global Travel website.