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Student Health and Safety

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The Study Abroad Office at Arizona State University offers study abroad programs all around the world, offering students a truly unique opportunity.  We hope you share our enthusiasm for what is sure to be one of the most significant academic experiences of your student's career.  We also hope you share our concern for your student's well-being while abroad.  SAO takes Participant Health and Safety very seriously. 

The Study Abroad Office works diligently to minimize the risk of danger to ASU students, though total safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad just as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States.  ASU is committed to taking all necessary steps to maximize student safety at every program site. We have a number of protocols and guidelines in place to minimize risk to our students:

Preventative Safety and Security Measures

  • SAO staff monitors U.S. Government advisories, considering both those issued by in-country embassies and consulates and by the Department of State in Washington. D.C.
  • SAO staff monitors detailed health, safety, and security information provided by a third party travel intelligence organization.
  • SAO staff monitors news reports from around the world, in order to stay current on important events that may impact the safety and security of ASU study abroad students.
  • SAO International Coordinators are in contact with all students abroad, and students are kept updated on travel warnings or potential threats in their area.
  • The Study Abroad Office maintains an emergency telephone number for students abroad, in partnership with ASU Campus Police. The emergency phone line (480-965-3456) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students can place a collect call to this number (pressing "0" or "9" when prompted to be immediately connected to an ASU Police dispatcher).
  • Students attend mandatory pre-departure and on-site orientation sessions, during which health and safety issues are covered in detail.

If you would like to receive copies of safety materials or program information distributed to students, we would be happy to send them to you. Please feel free to contact our staff with your questions and concerns or ask your student to send you the materials.

Student Health and Study Abroad

Living abroad may impact your student’s health. Changes to daily habit and exposure to new areas can have health-related outcomes that will affect the student's ability to enjoy the experience.  Please encourage your student to be honest with him or herself when assessing their health needs and in choosing a suitable study abroad program. 

After being accepted to participate in an ASU study abroad program, students will be required to complete a brief health form within their online application.  Any information disclosed by students in this form will not influence eligibility for the program, but will be used to ensure that any necessary accommodation for health-related issues will be available in the program location.  The Study Abroad Office urges students to disclose any information they feel may be relevant to their experience overseas. This includes: a history of mental health, past or current eating disorder, etc.

Students should visit any health care practitioners that they regularly see before departure, such as a dentist, gynecologist or optometrist.  The Travel Medicine Clinic, within ASU Health Services, can also help students to obtain any needed immunizations, provide thorough advice on managing any pre-existing medical conditions abroad, and discuss any health concerns unique to the region. In some cases, an appointment with the ASU Travel Medicine Clinic may be required.

If a student needs regular medical care abroad, the student should speak to a travel medicine specialist for recommendations on managing their condition internationally. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the student to make practical arrangements that address any special medical needs, such as dietary restrictions, allergies, medical prescriptions, psychological treatments and physical disabilities.

In addition, students should verify that any needed medical supplies are available in the host country and if not, make plans to carry supplies with them. Students should travel with medications in their hand luggage, in their original bottles/packaging, along with a copy of their prescription. Knowing the generic names of medications can help students fill a prescription overseas.  It may also help to take a letter from a doctor at home that includes details about a medical treatment.

Student should have a plan for getting medical care and emergency attention abroad.  Medical facilities can vary greatly by region. The U.S. Department of State and GeoBlue Insurance  both provide helpful information on international medical facilities.