Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I am injured or get sick while abroad?
It is important for you to be safe and healthy abroad. Please remember to watch your health closely and know your local resources to get prescriptions, local health clinic hours, and the contact of a local English-speaking doctor in order for you to be prepared.
Make sure to save all medical care receipts so you can file a claim for insurance. Most expenses fall under the reimbursement policy, so you will need to pay for your care then submit an insurance claim.
If you are involved in a major medical situation (accident, overnight hospital stay for an illness) or if you are a victim of a crime make sure you notify the on-site international office and/or your faculty leader(s) AND the Office of International Education right away.
If you are on a travel course: Notify your program leader right away so they can help you find a clinic, hospital, or pharmacy.
If you are on a semester/short-term exchange program: Notify the international student office (or if you live in on-campus housing your RA/supervisor if after hours) right away so they can help you find a clinic, hospital, or pharmacy. Information on local resources will be given at your on-site orientation.
What happens if there is an incident while I am abroad?
If there is a major incident while you are abroad (terrorist attack, major weather event, major strike/riot, etc.) the Office of International Education (OIE) will reach out to you by email or phone (this is why it is important to add your overseas address/phone number!) or to your travel course leader to ensure you and your group are safe.
All students are required to enroll in our "Alert Traveler" mobile application before departing (faculty leaders can enroll as well), this allows you to see incidents nearby and provides advice on next steps and local emergency information. The OIE can also send a check-in through this app to make sure you are safe and if you need assistance.
If you are unable to access your phone/internet, go to a safe location and contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. All UWGB students are registered with these local locations and they can contact the OIE and your family. Note that communication may be down in your area.
If you and/or your group need to be removed from the area the OIE will work with our insurance company to do so.
Can I withdraw from a program if I feel unsafe participating?
Please note that the Office of International Education (OIE) will do everything that we can to help ensure your safety abroad and monitor world situations while we have students overseas. We carefully consider destinations we offer programs to and continuously monitor local situations and make changes or cancellations if necessary.
Over 22 million Americans travel abroad (plus millions more from other countries) every year and incidents that you read about are not something to ignore but also keep in mind that they affect very small parts of the world. Statistically, it is still safer to travel abroad than to be in some cities in the U.S. Our world climate makes us be more vigilant and take more precautions, but should not be a hindrance to study abroad and to help bridge the information gap between our world’s many cultures.
If you choose to withdraw from a program, you are subject to our general withdrawal policies that state that after commitment to a program you are responsible for all non-refundable costs incurred by the date of your withdrawal. Since we book airfare and finalize accommodation far in advance for travel course programs we are usually unable to get any deposits back or cancel airline tickets without penalty. If you are a semester/exchange student be aware that any deposits you have sent for housing or other expenses you have paid may not be refundable.
That being said, if you withdraw please inform the OIE in writing (either to your adviser or to email@example.com). Your adviser will likely meet with you right away to discuss all of your options.
What additional resources can I have for health and safety abroad?
All students are required to attend mandatory pre-orientation meetings that cover additional health and safety information specific to your program location. In addition, all students are required to review online pre-departure materials that include additional articles, videos, and links about health and safety abroad. If you would like additional resources beyond these or have questions please contact your study abroad program adviser.