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Health and Safety

Study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to travel, meet people, visit new places, and experience a new culture.  We do, however, understand that we are living in uncertain times. While we expect you to have a safe and fulfilling experience, it is your responsibility to be mindful of your behavior while abroad, to keep yourself and your family informed of safety issues, and to take necessary precautions.  

Health
You should have a complete physical and dental checkup before departure. Be certain to fully disclose on any and all medical forms required by your program. These forms are completely confidential. The program wants to ensure that all services are in place that are needed by the students, so you must inform them of any physical, mental, or emotional services that you might need.

Click here for Dean Beth Wallace's Health and Safety Considerations. 

Onsite Orientation
Each program will offer onsite orientation. The information offered during these sessions is very important. The program staff will discuss emergency procedures, how to deal with medical issues, and other logistics. Moreover, you will receive a cultural orientation that will be vital in learning the cultural "norms" of the host country. Respecting these cultural codes can often aid in your safety (norms regarding appropriate dress and behavior, especially). You are urged to ask any questions of your program staff regarding these issues to clarify any ambiguity and to maximize your experience overseas. Also, be careful to follow the program director's advice on safe areas (neighborhoods, restaurants, shopping) for foreigners and those areas that are considered unsafe. You are ultimately responsible for your own safety, so when in doubt, ASK your resident staff!

Prescription Medication
If you require special medication, you should talk to the doctor who prescribed the medication about your plans to study abroad. Take a photocopy of your prescriptions (for glasses as well as for medication). Take an extra pair of glasses.

Illness
If you are sick, inform the resident director, who will help you find a doctor. Be sure to fully disclose! If you have any special needs please make the program aware of your requirements. They can only help you if you let them know.

Insurance
Wofford College requires international insurance provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Please see CISI's website for coverage information and claim forms.


Safety when you travel

  • Do not agree to carry, look after, or store any package, parcel, or suitcase for anyone. Do not leave your bags unattended at anytime and be sure no one puts anything in your luggage.  In all public places, remain alert; get away from any package or bag which appears to be unattended and mention it to employees or the police. Also, do not leave your own bags unattended at any time.  
  • Don't stand out as a target. Do your best to blend in with your environment. Be aware of where you are going. If you look like you know what you are doing, you are less likely to stand out as a target. Try to fall in with your surroundings. Dress appropriately.
  • Have your cell phone charged and ready to use. Program it for emergency phone numbers, including the number of the local police, the hospital/ambulance service, your resident director, the number of the American Embassy, your home phone number, etc.  
  • If you travel on the weekends or during breaks, you are required to leave information with your director, so that they know where you are and that you may be reached.
  • If you need directions, be aware of whom you ask. In airports and train stations there are usually information desks that are good sources of information. If necessary, ask an employee at the ticket counter, in a restaurant, or a store.
  • Be cautious when you meet new people. Don't be careless when giving your your phone number or address. Don't leave or give away your orientation materials, address book, or schedules that may describe your personal activities, or the activities of your program. 
  • Be mindful of safety precautions your program director and leaders may give you. They know the country and city you live in well and it is their job to help you be safe. For example, if they tell you it is never safe to walk alone in your location, don't do it!