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Health & Safety
Before you leave
Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation
Attend the pre-departure orientation conducted by the A-State Study Abroad Office to educate yourself on your program abroad. The session times are listed on the Advising Page.
Sign Up with U.S Department of State: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
This free service will give you information about the country you traveling to, including travel warnings and alerts.
Learn about the place you are going to: US Department of State: Students Abroad
Read about the city you are studying abroad in to familiarize yourself with the culture, customs and currency. Cultures and customs may differ vastly from your town, so learning them before you leave will lessen your culture shock.
Research online for vaccinations that may be required for the region you are visiting.
Download contact information using V-Cards
You will be able to download important phone numbers and websites to your phone contacts. Instructions will be provided during pre-departure orientation by the A-State Study Abroad Office
Watch this video
Learn about what you should do in case of a major or minor incident, and other online tools. (Source: AXA Insurance)
While you are Abroad
Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity to broaden your horizons and add value to your college experience. In order to make the best of this experience, you should also experience your stay abroad safely. There are many online resources that can help you understand travel safety abroad, and some are listed below as Additional Resources.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind while you are abroad.
1. Stay Alert
Trust your instincts when you are traveling abroad. Always stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and walk away from a place if you feel uncomfortable.
2. Blending In
This does not mean hiding. You are a foreigner in the country you are studying abroad, so use your judgement to not draw attention to yourself. Speaking loudly, and the clothes you wear make you stand out as a foreigner, and will draw the attention. Enjoy the local culture by blending in.
3. Alcohol Consumption
The country you visit may have a different attitude towards alcohol consumption. Research about the local culture and practices before you depart. Using good judgement is important. Never leave your drink unattended. Drink wisely, or not at all.
4. Keep in Contact
Always keep in contact or check-in at least once a day with someone in the host country, or at home. If you are studying abroad with students from your school, or are sharing an apartment with someone, let them know when you travel.
5. Be Informed by Reading the Local News
Find a local news organization to learn about events in the area you are living in. This will not only help you find interesting events in town, but also alert you about incidents so you can stay away from areas.
6. Identify a safe place
Find a safe place in the city you are living in, and learn the route to this place. Your school, hotel or your apartment are safe places that you should know the address of. If the predominant language of the city you are studying in is not English, learn to describe the way to your safe place in the native language.
7. Carry a copy of your passport
Carry a copy of your passport whenever you travel, and leave the original in a safe place. Make multiple copies of your passport before you leave.
Crisis Communication Plan
In case of an emergency, please see the Study Abroad Office’s crisis communication plan.
Study Abroad Insurance
At Arkansas State University, the safety of our students and faculty abroad is our number one priority.
A-State students and participants in A-State study abroad programs are required to enroll in the study abroad worldwide health insurance plan for the period of time they are abroad. Students studying abroad through ISEP will purchase insurance through ISEP. All other students will work with the study abroad office to enroll with our insurance provider AXA.
All faculty members leading a study abroad program are also required to purchase insurance prior to departure. Faculty members will work with the study abroad office to enroll with our insurance provider AXA.
The cost of a study abroad program offered through A-State includes mandatory international health insurance coverage. The coverage will begin on the first day of the program and ends on the last day of the program. The policy selected by A-State is a uniform policy that is specifically designed for students who are studying abroad and to help provide them with insurance worldwide. While some programs may require additional insurance policies, students will not be exempt from the A-State policy. Many times those policies are national plans that do not cover students when they travel to other countries, nor do they include important features such as emergency evacuation.
Students and faculty are required to maintain health insurance valid in the U.S. while they are abroad. The study abroad worldwide health insurance policy covers students and faculty ONLY while they are outside of the United States, and the policy terminates upon return to the United States. Claims not covered by the insurance policy will not be covered by Arkansas State University. That includes claims for: loss of property, theft of property, damage of property, etc.
Click here to learn about the AXA insurance plan for A-State Students
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