Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Many health and safety problems that students face abroad are similar to those that they find on U.S. college campuses. No one plans on getting sick while abroad, but that does not mean that your student will not get sick while in another country. Be sure that the student has enough of their daily medicine refilled before they leave. If they do take medicine with them, they need to be sure to take a copy of the prescription in case they need a refill. We do not recommend that a student begin taking a new form of medication before they leave, because there is no guarantee that there will be no side effects. It is recommended that you become aware of the nearest hospital or doctors office to your students' residence. It is also recommended that you get the local emergency numbers and have them documented somewhere. Also, contact your insurance company and make sure they cover overseas expenses.

Here are a few links that can help you in preparing for Health:

Centers for Disease Control for information on vaccines needed to travel and other health related safety issues
International Student Insurance for inexpensive Health Insurance while traveling abroad
ISIC Card for discounts and travel health insurance
Doctors/Hospitals Abroad

Safety is one of the largest concerns for parents, but study abroad tragedies are few and far between. It is important that the student informs themselves on ways to stay safe in another country. When students don't prepare themselves properly, ignore the advice and counsel of campus and overseas personnel, or act naively, they can get into a lot of trouble. This is true especially when they travel excessively on their own or engage in dangerous social behavior. Here are a few tips about safety that you can cover with your student to be sure they are aware of safety:

Students should be encouraged to utilize their "street smarts" while abroad. Advise them to take precautions they take at home, as well as new ones when being in a new environment. Be sure they know to avoid political demonstrations, take only official taxis, and protect their passports at all times.
Establish emergency procedures with your student prior to departure. Be sure to create a list of emergency contacts.
The student should avoid bringing locals back to his or her living quarters.
Here are a few links that can help you in preparing for Safety:

US State Department- Information for Parents
Preparing for a Crisis
Current Travel Advisories
Help for Americans Abroad
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) students studying abroad must sign up for this before departure

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