Health and Safety

The Office of International Programs (OIP) ensures safety precautions are met for all study abroad programs.  All study abroad participants are required to have health insurance coverage for the duration they are outside the United States, whether through a parent/guardian plan or by purchasing a health plan for the study abroad term.  Students are given a Pre-departure Orientation that helps prepare them for responsible behavior and decision-making abroad as well as and procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.  Furthermore, VU staff and faculty are trained and prepared to respond to emergency situations abroad.  The OIP encourages students and their families to review the following information on health and safety.


All students are required to have health insurance coverage while participating in a VU study abroad program. The Office of International Programs requires that all students purchase the $22 International Student Identity Card (ISIC), which includes basic emergency medical assistance. (Students can purchase this card at the Office of International Programs). However, a more comprehensive medical insurance policy is suggested.

For a list of international health insurance providers:

NAFSA: Insurance and Medical Assistance


Traveling abroad can be a wonderful experience; however, students must take certain precautions to ensure their own safety while participating on a study abroad program. The links below provide excellent advice on precautions:

The Office of International Programs urges you to read all of these materials carefully and to begin using the Department of State website now--before you leave the U.S--so that you are completely familiar with it and able to use it regularly while abroad to check updates on safety conditions and travel advisories for the country in which you are studying or traveling, as well as for those countries to which you are planning to travel.

We also want you to check with your resident director abroad as soon as you arrive about registering with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This should be done for each group studying/traveling abroad, unless the U.S. Embassy or Consulate indicates otherwise. You should also make sure that you have the U.S. Embassy or Consulate telephone number, together with other emergency telephone numbers, while you are traveling.