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Health and Safety

The safety and well-being of students abroad is our top priority. Students will be provided with pre-departure information on their specific location, and it is important to read everything before leaving home.

We recommend that you check with your physician, a travel clinic, or Student Health Services to discuss immunizations and health precautions for your travel destination.Some immunizations are given in a series, so it's important to plan ahead. Helpful resources can be found on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or The World Health Organization websites.  

We want you to have a safe and enjoyable time abroad. Please take the time to read all of your pre-departure materials so you know what to expect and are prepared for any precautions you may need to take. Once you arrive at your destination, you will have an orientation with cultural and safety information specific to your location.

Medical Insurance
Before departing for your program overseas, it is important to thoroughly investigate your health insurance coverage. Most programs will provide you with travel medical insurance for the duration of your program. It's important to have 'evacuation' coverage included in your policy to ensure you have adequate coverage in the event you would need emergency transportation to medical facilities or return home for medical reasons. Check with the program provider and/or your parents’ policies to determine the type of coverage you will have while overseas. To avoid lapse in coverage, keep your U.S. medical coverage in place while you're abroad.

Travel Insurance
Most programs do not include trip interruption or cancellation coverage. Medical insurance will only cover you for medical expenses, so we strongly encourage you to consider purchasing additional travel insurance to cover trip cancellation prior to leaving or trip interruption after you depart. Travel insurance will also cover delays, lost or damaged baggage, emergency assistance services, and more. If you have to cancel prior to departure or leave the program and return home there may be program fees that cannot be refunded to you. Depending on the reason for your cancellation or return, these costs may be recoverable if you purchase additional travel insurance. To compare policies and shop for the best rates, two good online resources are InsureMyTrip and Travel Insured International.  

Additional Resources

Bartell Drug Travel Clinic:  Travel health consultations and immunizations. Multiple clinics in the Seattle area.
CDC - Travelers' Health: Country specific health information including immunization requirements.
SPU Health Services: Free travel health consultations for SPU students.
SPU Student Counseling Center
U.S. Embassy Abroad: Contact information for worldwide U.S. Embassies
World Health Organization: Country-specific health information 
Health & Safety Handbook Great tips for students going abroad