The health, safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority and considered in every decision about a given study abroad program.
Students and families can expect the following from DePaul Study Abroad:
- We enroll students in CISI international travel health and accident insurance, which covers medical expenses for injuries, illness and mental health concerns, conducts security monitoring for our program locations, and provides coverage for evacuation and repatriation.
- We consult with our experienced and knowledgeable partner institutions around the world on any issue of local health and safety.
- We implement our crisis management and emergency response plan to manage student health and safety incidents.
- We collaborate with other DePaul resources, including Public Safety, Dean of Students, University Counseling Services and Office for Health Promotion and Wellness.
- We prepare students to manage both routine and emergency situations through our pre-departure orientation, a requirement to register for the U.S. Department of State’s program, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and by sharing health and safety tips.
- We monitor security of all our program destinations constantly, relying on the U.S. Department of State and other resources.
- We provide documentation and support throughout students’ visa processes, when applicable.
Here is what students can do to care for their own study abroad health and safety:
Prior to Departure
- Log into your CISI student portal to download your insurance card, learn about your coverage, and search for medical providers in your area.
- Register yourself in U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This will ensure you receive important and updates alerts about your region during your time there. It also enables the U.S. Department of State to assist you in the event of an emergency. If you are not a U.S. citizen, check with your home country government agencies for equivalent services provided for its citizens.
- Consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for information for travelers to your destination(s). This includes recommended vaccinations, local health concerns, water and food safety, and more.
- Make a plan with your doctor regarding prescription medication, including how much medicine you can bring abroad, if there are any restrictions on that medication in your destination country(-ies), and how to safely transport it in your carry-on luggage. Check the International Narcotics Control Board Website, which lists regulations and requirements by country.
- Share health and safety concerns with your study abroad advisor or faculty director prior to departure so that they can help you understand your resources and make plans to use them.
- Pack a first aid kit with supplies for routine sickness and injury.
- Take care of yourself while you are abroad—sleep, drink water, eat healthfully, be active, keep your hands clean, and practice abstinence or safe sex.
- Monitor local and international news about your destination.
- Avoid all demonstrations and protests as it is difficult to determine when these events could turn violent.
- During any emergency situation, follow instructions from local authorities and local program staff.
- Always tell your program staff if you plan to travel away from your program site. That helps them and/or us locate you in the event of an emergency.
- In the event of a health and safety incident in your area, your local program staff and/or DePaul Study Abroad program may contact you to confirm your well-being. In that case, please respond as soon as possible and share any of your concerns.
- If you need to contact Study Abroad, reach us during regular business hours at (312) 362-6962 and 24/7/365 through Public Safety at (773) 325-7777, stating that you have a “study abroad emergency.”
- Consider these and other safety tips:
- Travel in groups and let others know where you are at all times.
- Know where you are going before you go. Look at maps ahead of time and walk with a purpose.
- Carry photocopies of important documents like your passport and leave the originals in a safe place.
- Make copies of your credit or debit cards so that you have the information in case they are lost or stolen.
- Try to blend in by wearing appropriate clothing, not speaking too loudly, and trying out local customs in public spaces.