General Health and Safety

Health and Safety first!

Exploring your host country and culture  and taking advantage of new opportunities during your time abroad is highly encouraged. We will be there to support you should an emergency arise. However, it is important to remember that you are responsible when it comes to your health and safety overseas. Make wise choices.

Before you leave, please check on the Center for Disease Control website and make an appointment with either your healthcare provider or a travel medicine clinic to find out if you need any vaccinations. It is important to do this early, as some vaccinations require a three month period prior to arrival.

If you have pre-existing conditions, be sure to take documentation and medicine with you, and inform a local health care professional about these when you arrive.

It is also a good idea to bring extra contacts, glasses, and copies of any prescriptions (medical and eye) that you have with you, or might need. In some counties, you may not be able to get certain medications, so try to bring the amount you will need for your program. Please talk to a travel health professional about your particular medication, so that there are no surprises while you are abroad.

You may also want to bring a letter from your doctor that confirms you are under his/her care while on your medications.

Hear it from an Alumna: Melissa Edberg, European Experience. 

“Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, always have your address and phone number on a card in case you get lost, but don’t be afraid to go on an adventure. Bring a friend and get lost somewhere; I did in every city I visited, even if it was just for a couple hours, and I saw so many things and met a lot of awesome people.”

The drinking age in your host country may be lower than in the U.S., so please be cautious and careful. Alcohol, specifically beer and wine,  may be a part of everyday life, and drinking may be the norm when it comes to entertainment. Keep in mind that binge drinking and excessive consumption of alcohol are not okay and are not the norm. Alcohol use may also alter the effects of prescription medication.

Know your limits, because nothing turns off a local more than a loud, drunk American.

CISabroad does not condone this type of behavior. Excessive drinking and problems arising from it, during any part of the program, are grounds for dismissal.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
We highly recommend that all US citizens enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) when traveling outside of the United States. The STEP program is administered by the bureau of consular affairs. After enrolling in the program, the local consulate or embassy will keep US citizens informed about local safety concerns in the region where they are traveling. The embassy will reach out to help individuals who are enrolled in the event of a crisis or emergency. For more information and to enroll please visit: