While spending a semester abroad is full of excitement and new experiences, it is important to remember that you are in a foreign country, with different customs and laws. Consult with your school’s study abroad program office to find out what you need to know before you decide on or head off to your study abroad destination.
The study abroad office will likely evaluate the safety of each of the study abroad programs administered by your institution. It is also popular for students to enroll in a study abroad experience organized by an outside organization. Students are usually given 24-hour emergency contact numbers and are informed of emergency procedures from local professionals, and students are asked to keep on-site staff aware of their travel plans. When students travel independently, they are usually asked to make local program staff aware of their plans.
Before deciding on your study abroad location, you can check out some resources from the U.S. government on any travel or safety advisories in place for that country. Some countries may be off limits completely, while other countries may just have additional safety tips. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to follow the advisories and notices of the host country.
If you are traveling as part of a trip through your institution, your school policies may still apply, even if you are outside of the United States. This applies to things like sexual assault and alcohol and drug use. Check with your student conduct office or study abroad office to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a student while studying outside of the U.S. If you are doing a study abroad trip through another institution, you may need to comply with the policies for that school. Check with the student conduct office on that campus to get more information.
- Monitor travel warnings and alerts.
- Use CDC Travelers’ Health Mobile Apps to help plan your trip.