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Travel Warning

Russia

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution in Russia due to terrorismharassment, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
  • Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

Terrorist groups, transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel, who are visiting or residing in Russia have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained by Russian officials and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce the law against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity.

Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Russia nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals, and preventing their departure from Russia.

Due to the Russian government-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government may have delayed ability to provide services to U.S. citizens, especially in the Saint Petersburg area.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on news information.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Russia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations and a plan to contact family to let them know you are safe. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Crimea – Level 4: Do Not Travel

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

Last Update: Reissued after a periodic review with minor edits.

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