Steps to Study Abroad

Health & Safety

SU is committed to supporting students to have a healthy and safe experience abroad or away. SU supports students with disabilities, accommodations and/or health concerns to study abroad.   


SU carefully monitors locations around the world to ensure that locations and programs are safe for our students. Generally, locations with a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory of Level 1 or 2 are considered acceptable for travel. 

  • All students participate in a Health and Safety Orientation pre-departure and again upon arrival
  • Program Providers have safety plans in place, evacuation insurance and 24/7 emergency support on-site
  • The Department of State offers tips for students studying abroad
  • U.S. Embassies provide resources about countries around the world


Study Abroad/Away Health Handout

Before departure, students should have a general physical and dental exam and talk with their healthcare provider or counselor about their study abroad plans. Many Program Providers will require a medical release.

Tips for a healthy experience abroad:
  • Bring medications and copies of any prescriptions; some medications may not be available or legal in the destination country
  • Consider food allergies, special dietary needs and the local food customs and availability
  • Program Providers  assist students to receive health care locally, offer comprehensive health and evacuation insurance as well as 24/7 emergency support
  • Review information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organizations (WHO) 
  • Be up-to-date with routine vaccinations.
  • Follow the latest vaccination and booster protocols for protection against COVID-19, as well as current best practices for mitigation risk of exposure. External entities and/or authorities may require COVID-19 vaccination and booster documentation for participation.
  • Emotional support animals are rarely permitted


Studying abroad in a COVID-19 era demands flexibility and Southwestern University encourages students to purchase trip cancellation insurance with CFAR and/or IFAR (“interruption for any reason’) to safeguard against losses or penalties associated with withdrawal or program cancellations. SU assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties.