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Study Abroad Health and Safety Report


To provide the public with a more accurate understanding of the risks of studying abroad, the Office of Higher Education (OHE) reports study abroad health and safety incident data along with student participation data. This information is submitted annually to OHE by Minnesota postsecondary institutions whose students studied abroad in the prior academic year.

The following data reflects study abroad participation and incidents of Minnesota students that occurred between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2021.

Study Abroad Key Takeaways

  • Since 2015, 66,649 Minnesota students have participated in study abroad programs.
  • Of the 67 thousand students who have traveled abroad, only 178 incidents have occurred.
  • None of the incidents have resulted in a student death.
  • Europe continues to be the preferred continent of study abroad students. The United Kingdom (7,362), Italy (5,636), Spain (4,215), and France (3,203) are the most popular study abroad destinations.
  • Ecuador, Italy, Spain, and India have had the most recorded incidents involving hospitalizations but their incident rates are only 1.12%, 0.20%, 0.26%, and 0.82% respectively.
  • The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities sends the largest number of students to study abroad (17,749). The next largest institution is University of St. Thomas (7,218).


    Tableau User Guide

    Study Abroad Reports

    2021 Study Abroad Report
    2020 Study Abroad Report
    2019 Study Abroad Report
    2018 Study Abroad Report
    2017 Study Abroad Report
    2016 Study Abroad Report
    2015 Study Abroad Report

    About Study Abroad Data

    According to Minn. Statutes § 5.41, postsecondary institutions offering credit for study abroad must:

    • report deaths and hospitalizations that occurred during, and as a result of, program participation
    • report country, primary program host, and program type of each incident
    • request, but not mandate, incident disclosure from students upon completion of their program
    • report whether the institution is committed to complying with the health and safety standards set by the Forum on Education Abroad

    Forum on Education Abroad Standards

    The new Forum on Education Abroad Standards which went into effect July 1, 2020 are included in annual survey of Minnesota study abroad participants conducted by OHE. Most institutions reported meeting all the standards. Additional information about the standards can be found on the Forum's Standards of Good Practice webpage.

    Data Privacy

    OHE adheres to current federal and state data privacy laws and best practices to protect the privacy of individual students. Reports and data required by Minn. Stat. § 135A.15, Subd. 6 are prepared and published as summary data, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 13.02, Subd. 19, and are consistent with federal and state laws governing access to educational data and student privacy.

    OHE's policy for complying with federal and state laws governing access to student records is to suppress student data in the cells containing fewer than ten students. This year's report introduces changes in the student data suppression. Beginning with the 2021 report, suppression of the participant counts no longer occurs if fewer than ten students appear in a table or chart as the report contains no student demographics or other potentially identifying information. However, the suppression of incidents counts still occurs if participant counts are fewer than ten.

    Other Study Abroad Health and Safety Data

    Minnesota law also requires the Minnesota Secretary of State to publish links to the United States Department of State's Consular Information Program informing the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Also other links to publicly available reports on sexual assaults and other criminal acts affecting study abroad program participants during program participation are available. That information and other study abroad resources are available at Study Abroad Health and Safety Resources for Students and Parents.