How safe is Study Abroad?
While some parents and students focus their concerns about study abroad on the cataclysmic- acts of terrorism, violent crime, or natural disasters- the truth is that, just as in the United States, much of student’s safety abroad depends on his or her exercising mature and responsible behavior and on making good decisions. Traveling with companions rather than alone, especially late at night; using caution in interactions with strangers; staying away from dangerous areas or activities; not drinking to excess, and avoiding the use of illegal drugs; following the laws and knowing and respecting the customs of the country- these are the best ways your child can maximize his or her study abroad, just as at home.
Before your child goes abroad, talk to him or her about any concerns you may have about his or her safety and give them a chance to express theirs. If there are specific concerns you have about the country in which your student is traveling, talk about them with the program provider. Although they cannot guarantee your student’s safety, or anyone’s, in most cases these professionals will be able to give you a good sense of what the real risks are, how to minimize dangers, and what your student can do to keep him or herself safe and healthy while abroad.
What do I need to know about health concerns abroad? What should I do to help prepare my child for their time abroad?
As will all other aspects of planning for study abroad, when it comes to your child’s health issues, the sooner the planning begins, the better.
Students can begin by researching country specific health issues by visiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travelers Health website. The CDC offers comprehensive and up-to-date international health information and also has a travelers’ hotline accessible from within the U.S. at 1.877.394.8747.
Here are a few very general things to keep in mind:
*adapted from NAFSA Education Abroad Series
Puget Sound students are automatically enrolled in the EIIA Insurance Plan, although this plan is not intended to be a student's primary insurance while abroad.
EIIA Insurance/Europ Assistance
Group ID #: C2EII. Activation Code: 150424