Health & Safety


Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Many students and their families have concerns about safety abroad, particularly in today’s world. Whether traveling abroad as a tourist, student or intern, you will likely be entering an unfamiliar environment and, as with most other things in life, studying abroad does involve the possibility of risk. As a participant in an Oregon University System International Program, you have the advantage of a program infrastructure and/or individuals on-site to orient you to local safety issues and to support you in the event of a security or safety emergency. You will also be encouraged to take personal responsibility for your own safety and security. OUS International Programs cannot guarantee your safety and security but does make every reasonable effort to assure a safe environment while you are overseas and takes commonsense measures to alert students to concerns and manage emergency situations should they arise.

Emergency Information Back to Top

In an emergency where you require immediate assistance:

1. Contact Europ Assist:

As a participant in an OUS study abroad program, you will be enrolled in international health coverage provided by Gallagher Koster. This insurance has two distinct components: a medical insurance policy and global emergency assistance services.  Medical insurance reimbursement claims may be filed after service and payment are rendered. Global emergency assistance services, however, must be arranged by Europ Assist before services are rendered.  These services include English language medical consultation, hospital admissions guarantee, medical evacuation, and more.  Please familiarize yourself with the services of Europ Assist. The contact information for Europ Assist is:

1-609-375-9190 (Collect from outside the United States)
1- 888-870-2947 (Toll-free within the United States/Canada)

Use Policy Number: GLB 9130672


2. Contact (or have your site or parents contact) the OUS International Programs office to inform them of situation.

Office of International Programs: 541-737-3006

Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific time zone.

24-hour emergency contact: 541-737-3010

In case of an after-hours emergency, call this campus emergency number to reach the OSU Department of Public Safety. They will contact the International Programs staff for you.

When you call, ask the name of the person to whom you are speaking, then give that person the following information, speaking slowly and clearly:

1) Your name;

2) Your location (including the name of country, province, city or town, and location within the city, such as street address);

3) How we can contact you (telephone number, fax number, e-mail address);

4) A brief explanation of the problem, and the type of help you are requesting.

We will try to contact you and arrange help for you as soon as possible.

Safety Precautions Back to Top

Whenever you travel abroad, you should take certain precautions that will maximize your safety in the event of a natural or political crisis. Although you are unlikely to experience an earthquake, be involved in an accident, or find yourself caught in a difficult political situation, you should have a plan of action to deal with these improbable events. Even though as a student the risk of your being involved in a dangerous situation is statistically low, we advise you to take certain precautionary measures against any risk. Your security will – as always – depend on your own conduct.

We recommend the following precautions anytime you travel abroad:

  • Register with the nearest U.S. Consulate or your home country embassy (if not a U.S. citizen) so that in-country staff know how to contact you should the need arise. Click here to register on-line with the U.S. Embassy.
  • Keep up-to-date on U.S. travel advisories or warnings for the country in which you reside or to which you might be traveling.
  • Try to maintain a relatively low profile and integrate into the host culture as much as possible. Avoid political demonstrations and large groups or gatherings. Do not advertise that you are a U.S. citizen and avoid American hangouts.
  • Keep your local program leaders (program director, regional coordinator, or resident director), host organizations, host families/roommates, your family back home, and your instructors informed of your whereabouts if you plan to travel.
  • Keep informed and alert of local issues/news. Stay informed by reading newspapers and magazines. In times of political turmoil, stay tuned to the British Broadcasting Corporation, and Voice of America, and the Cable News Networks broadcasts for U.S. State Department information.
  • Do not carry baggage or parcels for other persons.

Incidences of either verbal or physical attacks toward Americans are relatively rare, yet they do occur. You can protect yourself with some common sense and the simple tactics noted above. Keep in mind that any comments directed at you are rarely personal. Don’t take them personally!

No one can guarantee your absolute safety while you’re abroad any more than we can guarantee absolute safety on your home campus. Be assured, however, that we have taken precautions and routinely monitor information about the issues and conditions in the locales where you will study or work. We have communication procedures in place so that if an emergency occurs, you will know whom to contact for information, counsel and assistance.

U.S. State Department Student's Abroad website

The U.S. State Department maintains this website for U.S. citizen students who are, or will be, studying abroad. The site is a great resource on many topics including:

Centers for Disease Control, CDC Travel Information

Official US government information about health conditions worldwide, including recommendations for immunizations, recommended standard precautions students should take and country/region specific information.

International Travel and Health

A recently updated publication providing information on a broad range of travel health issues that is published by the World Health Organization.

US State Department Consular Information Sheets

Information sheets with in-depth summaries of everything from road conditions to security issues to location of US Embassies and Consulates.

Mobility International USA

Resources for students with disabilities, including the National Clearninghouse on Disability and Exchange.

One World - Nations Online

This site pulls together travel advice from 10 different national governments plus the World Health Organization for a more global view of travel and safety issues.

Tips for Traveling

U.S. State Department publication with tips on a variety of topics for anyone planning to travel internationally

What is Oregon Abroad?

The Oregon University System International Programs are cooperative programs to which all students in public and private universities in Oregon have access. Learn More! >

Pictures & Video

Students who have particpated on Oregon Abroad programs have shared hundreds of photos from their time abroad. Now let us share them with you! View photos! >

Apply Online Now!

Begin your journey today! Click here for the application and instructions. Apply Now! >