Health & Safety
Forethought and common sense go a long way when preparing for a study abroad program, especially in regards to planning for your health and safety while abroad. You should plan ahead for any known health concerns that you may have during your time abroad. Please refer to the content on this page, as well as your OIE advisor and/or study abroad program. See the DU Study Abroad Handbook for more detailed information on Safety While Abroad and Health & Wellness.
Health & Safety links
- International SOS—DU students who are studying abroad are members of International SOS, a company specializing in protecting travelers while they are out of their home country. Look at your study abroad handbook for more specific information (including your member number), and take a look at the company’s website for more details.
- DU Student Health & Counseling Center
- Center for Disease Control—Info on immunizations and other travel advice relating to health.
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Culture Shock & Adjustment
- Disabilities & Study Abroad
- Diversity Abroad
- US State Department Travel Alerts
- US State Department Travel Warnings
- US State Department - Students Abroad
- US State Department Abroad
- US Consulates and Embassies
Health & Wellness Preparations Checklist
- Notify your DU OIE advisor and your study abroad program provider of any medical or psychological conditions that you have.
- Talk to your family and loved ones about a plan in case of emergency.
- Get a check-up with relevant healthcare providers
- General physical exam
- Dental check-up
- Optical check-up
- Counselor or psychiatrist
- Gynecological visit (for females)
- Get vaccinations for all regions you plan to visit (remember to allow six months for Hepatitis B vaccinations).
- Visit the CDC website to read about health risks in the regions to which you will be traveling. Read each section including Vaccines for Your Protection, Diseases Found, Other Health Risks, What You Need To Bring With You, Staying Healthy During Your Trip, and After You Return Home.
- Arrange for adequate international health insurance.
- Secure a supply of all prescription medication for your entire trip or figure out how you will procure your prescription medication abroad. Get a copy of the prescription in case you are questioned at customs or at airport security.
- Register with International SOS.
- Write down emergency numbers on your emergency contact card.
- Educate yourself on how to see a doctor onsite, should you need to see one.
- Activate your international health insurance (if applicable) and learn how to use it in case you need to use it abroad. Know how you will pay if your insurance plan is reimbursement-based abroad.
- Assemble a customized travel health kit, packing prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for the duration of your stay abroad.
Please see the DU Study Abroad Handbook for further information on Health & Wellness.
Before you leave home, learn about the safety conditions in your host country. After you are abroad, continue to monitor for updates and research any countries you plan to visit. The websites listed above are great resources.
A little common sense goes a long way. For the most part, if you wouldn’t do something in the U.S., don’t do it overseas.
When out in public, do your best not to be an obviously naïve tourist because tourists are targets for theft, harassment, and potentially assault. How do you blend in? While it varies by country, the following are some general guidelines:
- Adapt both your dress and mannerisms to the local mode
- Don’t wear baseball caps—they’re a dead giveaway
- Avoid wearing t-shirts and sweatshirts that seem uniquely American (e.g., your DU t-shirt)
- Speak the local language in public and avoid speaking too loudly
- Use your hosts, state department, and any other reliable and creditable source to determine what areas of town to avoid. Every city in the world has some dangerous parts of town that are best to avoid as a tourist.
Please see the DU Study Abroad Handbook for more detailed information on safety while abroad.Copies of "Sexual Health Abroad: A Guide to Healthy Practices During Education Abroad" are available at the Office of International Education.