Student Health & Safety Abroad

Your personal safety while you are away from home is very important to the staff of the Office of Study Abroad and to your family and friends. While no off-campus program can offer an absolute guarantee that students will be safe from injury or crime, there are many steps you can take to reduce your risks. It is our experience that most of the issues that arise from traveling in today's climate of uncertainty can be addressed by heightened awareness and common sense. 

For a comprehensive list of travel tips related safety, please consult your Pre-Departure Handbook. However, a few things to consider before you depart and a few steps to follow upon arrival that can help ensure your health and safety are: 

Before You Depart:

  • Determine if you need a travel clinic appointment.
  • Review the insurance information provided to you by the Office of Study Abroad or your program. Print and pack your insurance cards. 
  • Consider purchasing a money belt to safely transport your passport and credit cards. 
  • Research the city and country in which you will be studying. 
  • Prepare a list of emergency contact information you may need including your on-site program contacts, parents and St. Thomas Study Abroad. 

Upon Arrival: 

  • Attend your program's orientation and follow all directives of your program regarding safety and emergency procedures. Don't be afraid to ask questions. 
  • Know the emergency contact information for your program staff/program directors. Know the address and contact information for the hotel/residence hall/homestay family at which you are staying. 
  • Know the in-country equivalent of 911 and how to contact authorities if needed. 
  • Register with the U.S. Consulate in your destination city. Check with your program before registering, as they might have registered you. 

Throughout Your Program: 

  • Stay knowledgeable about current events in your country. 
  • Stay clear of demonstrations, protests and other large gatherings. 
  • Use the buddy system, especially when going out at night. 
  • Use your common sense to assess risk and consult with your program directors or on-site staff when you have questions.