Health and Safety

The best way to achieve a healthy and safe global learning experience is to inform yourself about basic health and safety issues before leaving California or the U.S. and make informed and responsible decisions once in your host community.

You should:

  • Carefully read all pre-departure materials.
  • Register your trip with the US Department of State.
  • Review State Department health and safety information for your specific country.
  • Become familiar with on-site emergency contacts and plans.
  • Stay abreast of local developments.

Before you travel, research safety issues in the specific locations you will be visiting by consulting U.S. State Department reports on those locations, and register your trip with the State Department so that they can better assist you in case of emergencies.

In case of an emergency, please follow your program-specific emergency guidelines.

Important Safety Tips

  • Carry a cell phone with pre-programmed emergency numbers and an emergency contact card with phone numbers for program leaders and local emergency resources at all times. Research backup means of communication for areas in which cell service is unavailable.
  • Learn and follow local traffic rules and practices and avoid dangerous modes of transportation, including mopeds and sub-standard buses. Travel accidents, whether as a pedestrian or driver/passenger, are one of the main sources of injuries and fatalities on study abroad programs. See the Department of State’s Resource for road safety overseas.
  • Avoid areas known to have a high incidence of crime and do not walk or travel alone, especially at night to reduce becoming a victim to crime, harassment, or assault.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol, which increases the risk of becoming a victim of a crime or accident.
  • Learn basic terms related to safety and emergencies in the host country language, such as “help” and “police.”
  • Dress and behave like a local as much as possible If you are in an area in which Americans are viewed negatively or as prime targets for crime.
  • Loss arising from participation in high-risk activities such as scuba/skin diving, skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping is not likely to be covered by insurance.
  • If you’re unsure about something, reach out and ask your program staff. No matter what the question, it’s better answered than assumed.
Last modified: Jun 04, 2024