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Health and Safety

Student health and safety is one of USAC’s top priorities. The following are some important tips for staying healthy and safe in order to have the best experience possible while studying abroad. If you would like additional health and safety information prior to acceptance or once enrolled, contact


  • Meet with your doctor(s). Mention that you are planning to study abroad. Assess your overall health to determine your physical, mental, and emotional needs prior to choosing a program.
  • Read all pre-departure materials on your Student Gateway account. Specific topics covered will include health insurance, immunizations, medications, mental health, disabilities, and more.
  • Talk to USAC. We have a network of staff available to help answer your health-related questions.
  • Prepare a health plan for your time abroad. How will you maintain your physical, mental, and emotional health while on your program? What routines, support systems, or coping mechanisms will help you reach this goal?
  • Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the US Department of State.
  • Research your program site at the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and US Department of State.


  • Adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. Students are ultimately responsible for their own behavior and adhering to the USAC Code of Conduct will help ensure their health and safety. All students are provided a Student Toolkit which outlines the Code. It is also included in the Program Agreement.
  • Attend the mandatory on-site orientation. All USAC programs begin with a comprehensive, mandatory on-site orientation. These provide students with a general introduction to their program site as well as important health and safety information. They also build upon the pre-departure resources students receive, including the Student Toolkit (sent to all students and parents before the program), that details health and safety recommendations, pre-departure tips, and general travel advice.
  • Keep up your health and safety plan. Maintain your chosen routines and communicate with your support system to preserve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
  • Travel safely. Be vigilant and use common sense when traveling within or outside of your program site.
  • Talk to USAC. We’re here to help.

Upon return

  • Read the reverse culture shock materials sent to you by USAC.
  • Find ways to share your experience via blog, presentations at your university, webinar, and more.
  • Keep in touch!