Health and Safety
and safety of our participants is a major concern for the BSU Study Abroad
Office. Every effort is made to ensure that our students, faculty and staff
traveling abroad have the resources and information they need for a successful
study abroad experience. Though absolute safety cannot be guaranteed abroad just
as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States, BSU is committed to taking the
necessary steps to maximize student safety at every program site.
We have certain protocols and guidelines in place to minimize risk to our
We monitor U.S. government advisories, considering both those issued by
in-country embassies and consulates and by the Department of State in
Our staff are in contact with all students abroad, and
students are kept updated on travel warnings or potential threats in their area.
We maintain an emergency telephone number for students abroad. The phone line is
open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Students attend mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions during which health
and safety issues are covered in detail.
Health Services Intake Form
abroad program participants will be covered by a mandatory, comprehensive
insurance plan. Information on your specific program is available from the staff
in the Study Abroad Office.
Health, Physical or Learning Difficulties
If you have
health, physical or learning difficulties which would require special assistance
you should contact your health care provider, your study abroad advisor and, as
appropriate, Disability Resources at BSU. You must inform the Study Abroad
Office in writing at least 60 days before your program departure date about any
health, physical or learning difficulties for which you may need accommodation.
If special assistance requests are not received by the Study Abroad Office at
least 60 days prior to the program departure date, the request may not be
accommodated. Even if requests are received within 60 days of your program
departure date, in all cases there is no guarantee that request can be
While You're Away
thing you should do when you arrive is to contact your family and/or friends to
let them know you've reached your destination. We have frantic parents calling
our office every semester, winter and summer to find out this exact information!
benefit of many of our programs is the opportunity to travel to other
destinations in your free time. However, if you plan to do any extra traveling
ask your faculty leader/program/on-site director about travel procedures. Your
faculty leader/program/on-site director may want to know where you are going,
where you are staying and when you are returning.
If you are
required to take medications for medial or psychological conditions, please be
sure that you have adequate supplies of these items for your program. Brand
names and measurements differ and you may have difficulty finding your specific
medication. Prescription medication must be labeled with your name, your
physician's name and the generic (not brand) name of the medication. We
encourage students with medical conditions to wear a medical alert bracelet or
participating in all BSU study abroad programs are required to follow the laws
of the country in which they are traveling, including laws relating to traffic,
trespass, alcohol and weapons.
Students are also subject to the BSU Student Code of Conduct while on programs.
While participating in BSU study abroad programs, students are representing both
BSU and the United States, and should conduct themselves well within the
applicable laws and policies as well as with respect for cultural expectations
for the countries in which they are traveling.
Useful websites and publications
SAFETI Clearinghouse (Safety
Abroad First Educational Travel Information):
- Don't flaunt wallets, purses, or cameras. Wear a money belt concealed under clothing.
- Learn local conditions of the region before traveling.
- Avoid making eye contact with strangers. Making eye contact makes you memorable. Do not make eye contact with anyone in a crowd. However, you should make momentary eye contact with security guards to avoid raising suspicions.
- Have phone numbers of program contacts handy at all times.
- Dress in clothing that is common or typical for the area. Avoid looking like a tourist.
- Be extra cautious of your surroundings at night
- Have sufficient funds or a credit card on hand for emergencies.
- Leave expensive or expensive-looking jewelry at home.
- In case your wallet or backpack is lost or stolen, keep a copy of your passport, airplane tickets, health insurance card, driver's license, student ID, etc.
- Use alcohol sparingly and be aware that drinking even a small amount could increase your vulnerability to crime. Drink responsibly!
- Tell someone where you are going, especially if traveling alone (but really try to stay with a group)
- Avoid political demonstrations, large crowds and gatherings.
- Arrange to have a physical (and dental) check-up before you go abroad.
- If you take prescription medications regularly, bring a supply to last throughout your time abroad, if you can.
- Some countries will require immunizations to enter. It is important to determine the requirements of your host country.
- While your stomach is still adjusting to foreign meals, you may wish to include some familiar foods in your diet.
- Find out before you go whether the local tap water is drinkable. (In most Western European countries, it is.) If it isn't, drink bottled water.
- If you drink alcohol, drink wisely and responsibly.
- In some countries, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is a widespread health problem. Take the same steps to avoid this disease as you would at home.
Comprehensive Medical Coverage for International Study tours
Wide range of video guides on health and safety while abroad
(external link on youtube.com).
Last Modified: November 29, 2012