A message from the U.S. Department of State

Dear CLS Advisors,

Below please find a message from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs for those who may currently have students or scholars in Ukraine. If you have any questions, please be in touch with Stephanie Newman, whose contact information is included below.

All my best,

Natalie Spencer
Assistant Manager, Outreach & Selection
Critical Language Scholarship Program

Dear campus advisors,

The State Department has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas, including those who are studying abroad.  We kindly ask your help in passing on the following message to any of students or scholars from your institution currently in Ukraine or who are considering traveling there:

The State Department issues travel advisories and security alerts to U.S. citizens to inform them of the latest health and security risks in order to make informed decisions regarding travel plans.  On January 23, the State Department elevated our Travel Advisory for Ukraine to Level Four – Do Not Travel due to the increased threat of Russian military action.  The Travel Advisory was already at Level Four – Do Not Travel due to COVID concerns.  We also authorized the departure of some U.S. Government employees and ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. Government employees at our embassy in Kyiv.  Our recommendation to U.S. citizens currently in Ukraine is that they should consider departing now using commercial or privately available transportation options.  To be clear, President Biden has said military action by Russia could come at any time.  The United States Government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens in such a contingency.  U.S. citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly, including by availing themselves of commercial options should they choose to leave the country.

We encourage any American students in Ukraine to do the following: 

  • Read the State Department’s Travel Advisory for Ukraine.
  • Fill out this form (also linked from the Travel Advisory) so that we may better communicate with you. This is especially important if you plan to remain in Ukraine.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the U.S. Embassy about safety conditions and help the Embassy contact you in an emergency. Once enrolled, you will automatically receiving security alerts via email when they are issued by the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Follow the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.

If your institution is interested in a more in-depth briefing on these issues, please contact Stephanie Newman in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs at NewmanSR@state.gov

Stephanie Newman - Outreach Unit Chief
Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
Bureau of Consular Affairs - U.S. Dept of State

The CLS Program is a program of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education
Sent by American Councils for International Education
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036