Study Abroad Health and Safety Resources for Students and Parents
The Minnesota Secretary of State is required by Minn. Statutes § 5.41 to publish links to the United States Department of State's Consular Information Program which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security and links to publicly available reports on sexual assaults and other criminal acts affecting study abroad program participants during program participation. That information and other resources that students and parents can use to evaluate the conditions abroad that may affect the student's safety and security is included below.
If your postsecondary institution has dedicated study abroad staff, they represent an invaluable resource for ensuring a safe study abroad experience. Study abroad staff have specific knowledge on offered programs and program providers. Please see institutional webpages and contact the study abroad staff at your institution for additional health and safety planning information.
Country-Specific Study Abroad Information
- The US State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website allows you to search for country-specific travel information that includes travel advisories, passport and visa information, and entry and exit restrictions.
- The Center for Disease Control's Traveler's Health website generates country-specific safety reports - just click "Extended Stay/Study Abroad" under "What kind of traveler are you?" and select your country of interest. The custom report this produces includes recommended vaccines and a Healthy Travel Packing List unique to the selected country. The CDC also maintains a regularly updated Travel Health Notices page that issues detailed warnings about disease outbreaks in affected countries and associated precautions to avoid risk.
- The CIA World Fact Book provides country profiles. The Background section of World Factbook country profiles describes a country's historical US relations and any recent military conflicts, which may inform a student's experience abroad.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime allows users to perform in-depth country-based searches on a variety of metrics, including the prevalence of drug use and numbers and rates of crimes by category.
- The Forum on Education Abroad Incident Database Pilot Project, Preliminary Report is a 2010 publication wherein 29 participating study abroad institutions and organizations submitted detailed incident data. Incidents are separated into illnesses, injuries, and behavioral/psychological events, with specific breakdowns for each category. The report also identifies variables such as contributing factors for incidents (e.g. "Terrain," "Alcohol" etc.) and the type of staff who assisted in responding to an incident.
General Study Abroad Tips & Information
- The US State Department's Students Abroad website offers printable travel tools, tips for getting help in an emergency, and general health advice.
- The Center for Global Education at the University of California, Los Angeles maintains the website StudentsAbroad.com, whose online Health & Safety Student Handbook gives in-depth advice on many health-related aspects of studying abroad. The Handbook also contains many useful links to third party websites addressing specific safety-related travel subjects.
- The nonprofit group Abroad With Disabilities provides a comprehensive preparatory study abroad checklist tailored for students with disabilities, as well as an FAQ for parents.
- The University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center provides a helpful page on packing and flying for study abroad with tips and links to many important resources.
- Carnegie Mellon University provides a very thorough study abroad handbook that includes information on cross-cultural adjustment, culture shock, and reentry shock in addition to safety, travel, and finance tips.