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Health and Safety in Education Abroad 

One of the chief concerns students and parents have as they begin looking into studying abroad has to do with safety and security beyond the borders of the United States. While no one can guarantee the safety of students in any location (the United States or any other country) or eliminate all risks from traveling and studying abroad, Coastal Carolina University is committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure that students are not placed in locations or situations that expose them to undue risk.

To that end, we carefully monitor the U.S. State Department travel warnings and public announcements and communicate with our overseas partners about safety and security concerns or issues. Further, we carefully monitor recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control regarding health concerns worldwide and recommend that students follow these recommendations for their study abroad destinations. In addition to monitoring security, safety and health issues and concerns worldwide, we require that students be insured with health and travel accident insurance coverage (emergency, evacuation, repatriation). Each and every student who plans to participate in a study abroad program MUST participate in pre-departure orientation sessions which include information on safety, health, legal and cultural conditions in the host country.

Participants can have a major impact on their own health and safety through the decisions they make before and during their program and by their day-to-day choices and behaviors.

Participants should:

  • Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation for the program and participate fully in orientations;
  • Conduct their own research on the country(ies) they plan to visit with particular emphasis on health and safety concerns, as well as the social, cultural, and political situations;
  • Consider their physical and mental health, and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program, and make available accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience;
  • Inform parents/guardians/families and any others who may need to know about their participation in the study abroad program, provide them with emergency contact information, and keep them informed of their whereabouts and activities;
  • Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct and emergency procedures of the program;
  • Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks when making daily choices and decisions;
  • Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the program staff or other appropriate individuals before and/or during the program;
  • Accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions;
  • Obey host-country laws; behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others, and encourage others to behave in a similar manner;
  • Avoid illegal drugs and excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol;
  • Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts and well-being; and
  • Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system services in the host county.

Helpful Websites 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Information about immunization information and travel health notices
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

U.S. Department of State – U.S. Passports & International Travel
Information about travel warnings and notices, embassy information, passports, and other helpful tools to be prepared while travelling abroad.
http://travel.state.gov

For more information about semester exchange and third-party programs, contact Lori Patterson

Lib Jackson Student Union A-109A
Tel: +1 843-349-2684
Email: lori@coastal.edu