Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

Health and Safety Abroad

Health and safety are our highest concerns for Clark study abroad participants. Before departure, we help prepare students for their time away from Clark, addressing such topics as health awareness, cultural difference and adaptation, and academic and social support services. Our goal is for each student to have a safe and rewarding experience abroad.

In what is still a time of heightened international tension, the Study Abroad Office also monitors the world situation closely, maintains a Crisis Management Plan, and urges parents and students to be diligent and self-aware. We have assembled this part of the Parent's web site to address these issues, provide resources, and give information. Please let us know if you need additional support or have any questions.

Please note that we generally do not support studying in a country which is listed on the U.S. Department of State's Travel Warning/Advisory List at the time of or before the student's departure. Also, please be aware of any Public Announcements which are published by the U.S. State Department to warn U.S. Americans traveling abroad. We also discourage participation in countries for which the U.S. State Department issues Consular Information Sheets containing safety warnings. Specifically check any section entitled "Areas of Instability".

We want you to be aware of these obstacles to studying abroad, but we understand that the final decision regarding participation is the student's to make. Students who nevertheless want to study on a program in a location which is listed on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning List, may in certain instances do so by taking an approved foreign leave of absence. Transfer credit must be pre-approved by the Study Abroad office, and Clark financial aid currently cannot be applied to these programs.

General Preparation

Most of the information on general health and safety preparation can be found in the Clark Study Abroad Handbook, which is given to all students at least 2-4 months before departure. Again, we encourage you to support and guide your student through the preparation stages, while at the same time realizing that the student will need to be responsible for his or her welfare abroad. Please contact us if you would like a copy of the handbook.

Medical Insurance

As enrolled full-time Clark students studying abroad, all students are subject to the same insurance regulations that affect them while on the Clark campus. They must therefore retain their U.S. health insurance, even when they are abroad. This will cover them both before they leave and after they return from their program.

In addition, all students who study abroad must have adequate international sickness and accident insurance. We are committed to ensuring that all students have solid coverage while abroad and that they will be able to receive good medical care should the need arise. If Clark University determines that a study abroad program does not provide comprehensive international sickness and accident coverage, the student will be required to purchase the Clark HTH Worldwide Insurance plan. The HTH plan is a comprehensive plan especially designed for study abroad students. We cannot evaluate individual or family insurance plans to determine if they meet similar standard. If the student's program does not provide comprehensive international sickness and accident coverage, they are required to purchase coverage through Clark's HTH Worldwide Insurance at a cost of approximately $40 per month. The total amount will be billed to the student's account prior to their departure.

Data File

Students and parents are recommended to each keep a back-up file of critical information while away. This would include:

  • Contact information for Clark staff and overseas program staff
  • Contact information for the US embassy/consulate closest to the program
  • Insurance policy information
  • Extra copy of passport
  • Flight Information
  • Medical history/immunizations/prescription medications
  • Copies of credit card numbers

Helpful Tips for Safety Abroad

  • Discuss how you and your family plan to address any emergencies that may arise. You might draft a general plan of how to get in contact, listing methods of communication to use and the order in which to use them depending on the time of day or week. Make a small card with all your contact information that your son or daughter can carry in their wallet.
  • Advise your student to keep a low profile. Try not to be conspicuous in dress, speech, or behavior. Avoid crowds, protest groups, or other potential volatile situations. It is also a good idea to avoid places (restaurants, clubs) where Americans are known to congregate.
  • Register online with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
  • When traveling, always make certain the program, foreign university international student office, host family, and family back home in the U.S. know where the student is going and when they are expected to return. Have them provide program and family members (including host family) with an itinerary as well as emergency contact information.
  • Makes sure your student attends the orientation programs run on-site by the study abroad program and/or foreign university—at these sessions the programs/universities will provide region-specific information regarding health and safety issues, with the latest updates.
  • Although Clark maintains a Crisis Management Plan covering all of its programs, Clark does not administer any of its programs on-site. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact the program provider or host university directly to get up-to-date emergency and safety plans.

Further Resources: