Health and Safety
Please remain healthy and safe while studying off-campus! The following information is meant to help you do just that. While some of the information pertains specifically to study abroad, much of it is relevant as well to domestic off-campus study.
MAIN THREATS, and ways to minimize them:
- Traffic accidents: know local traffic laws, safe public transportation, and pedestrian safety
- Alcohol-related incidents: drink responsibly, go out and return home in groups, avoid vulnerable situations while under the influence, watch out for your friends;
- Petty theft: do not carry more than you can afford to lose, spread items out on your body, be vigilant in crowded areas, know pick pocket techniques;
- Sexual harassment and assault: know local gender roles and assumptions, go out and return home in groups, learn which areas of the city require caution, see the compiled Safe Travel Resource List for Women, and the resources of the American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Also, watch out for your friends: Watch this short video on preventing sexual assault;
- Acute anxiety or acute depression: know the phases of cultural adjustment, know the signs of depression and anxiety (in yourself and in friends), gather resources for counselors and psychiatrists in your host city, arrange for prescription medication for pre-existing conditions for full duration of stay, alert friends and the OIE if you have prolonged mood changes or have any thoughts of harming yourself or others.
Cultural Adjustment Stress
The highs and lows of adjustment to new environments and experiences often are described as culture shock. Many people also experience reverse culture shock upon return home. Both culture shock and reverse culture shock are common; indeed, most students experience them when coming to college for the first time and then returning home.
Dealing with culture shock:
More information on culture shock.
Information on reverse culture chock developed by Gary Rhodes, Center for Global Education, Loyola-Marymount University.
“The Journey Home: Ways to Make Re-Entry Easier”, Jan Quarles, Transitions Abroad.
To study abroad you must have medical and hospitalization insurance that is valid internationally.
In addition, you must have insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation.
All students participating in programs that do not include health insurance will be automatically enrolled by the Office of International Education in an iNext insurance policy. The cost will be billed to the student's account.
Suggestions for reducing personal risk abroad.
More detailed information about specific countries.
U.S. consular sheets with information about health and safety.
Centers for Disease Control recommendations for immunizations and health and disease concerns.
U.S. embassy recommendations for medical care abroad.
Read blogs on road safety in your host country here.
U.S. State Department emergency Hotline for American Travelers: 202-647-5225202-647-5225