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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.

Pre-Departure Preparation
  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation for All Program Participants
    • Learn about the country/locations/organizations/universities that you will be at.
    • Be aware of your obligations (rules – below, as well as country laws, CCU expectations, etc.)
  • Insurance Coverage
    • Education Abroad Medical Repatriation Policy (AIG)
    • International Advantage Foreign General Liability Policy (This executive assistance policy provides personal assistance services 24 hours a day anywhere in the world to CCU staff and faculty traveling on university business. Coverage is provided for bodily injury/property damage (including commercial auto liability damage to others), personal and advertising injury, medical payments, kidnapping/extortion/ransom (some limitations apply), employee benefits liability, and legal representation accompanying medical, legal, and/or personal emergencies when such matters happen while abroad and acting in the scope of their CCU employment.
    • Student Accident Policy - All CCU students are covered by an annual accident policy for up to $10,000 ($0 deductible) that runs from August 1 – August 1 annually. Students participating in any CCU programs abroad are covered by this policy if they were full-time students (12 hours undergraduate in a semester or 9 hours graduate in a semester) in the semester of participation abroad or, if a summer program, in the academic year prior to the summer of participation. This policy will serve as a secondary policy in the event of other insurance coverage. For more information, visit:
    • Other Considerations:
      • Consider adding a Travel Cancelation Policy
      • Prepare for a Healthy and Successful Experience
      • Make copies of all your key documents (ETC> from the lists that we provide)
      • Manage your health before going (Get medications updated, be aware of travel restrictions for any prescriptions, etc…., get rest, be aware of food and other issues….etc.)
    • Provisions for Support While Underway
      • Register with the STEP (Smart Travel Enrollment Program)
      • Monitor Conditions along Itinerary and Stay in Contact with Family, Friends and CCU
      • Share your great stories of involvement abroad.  Visit:
      • Designated Contact Person for All CCU Students, Faculty, and Staff Abroad
      • Ongoing Contact for Students Participating in Study Abroad and International Internships – A Career and Personal Development Focus for Students!
      • International Crisis Response Team for Immediate Emergency Response

Other Resources to Consult:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Information about immunization information and travel health notices

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.

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.