Well-being for your study away experience
Your health and safety are our highest concerns, and it’s our goal for your to have a safe and rewarding experience. Before departure, we help prepare you by addressing health awareness, cultural differences and adaptation, and academic and social support services.
Most of the information on general health and safety information is located in the Clark Study Abroad Handbook, which all students receive at least 2 to 4 months before departure. Be aware you’ll need to be responsible for your own welfare abroad.
In addition to domestic coverage, all students must be enrolled in international health insurance while abroad. Clark Study Abroad partners with GeoBlue Travel Insurance or any student not already covered by a program plan. Unless attending a program with CIEE, CET, CAPA, Augsburg, Euroscholars, or in the United States, students will automatically be enrolled in GeoBlue insurance and will be billed to their student accounts (approx $50/month abroad).
You should also familiarize yourself with the Clark University Risk Management resources, including the Clark University International Travel Policy, emergency procedures and health insurance policies.
It is important to be aware that academic accommodations that you currently receive or have received in the past may not be widely available at your program location. If you have a disability that impacts your educational learning, we encourage you to register with Support Accessibility Services (SAS) if you have not already. By working with SAS, students can receive documentation to give to their abroad program to support the request for accommodations. Students should also be in touch directly with the program for information on accommodations on site.
- If you require accommodations, you should be in touch with your program as soon as possible (even if you have not been accepted yet).
- You will need to obtain a letter from your physician and Clark’s Director of Accessibility Services outlining your accommodation needs and bring them with you overseas.
- Certain prescription medications may be illegal or unavailable in your host country. It is your responsibility to discuss this with your physician and your program health insurer early on, and to find out whether these medications can legally be brought into the country or can be prescribed locally.
Studying abroad provides participants with meaningful opportunities to get out of their comfort zone and gain a new world view. As part of your study abroad experience, you may be challenged in only only physical, but also philosophical, personal and emotional ways that you didn’t expect. While not on campus, you will not have access to counseling at CPG, but you will have additional layers of support for mental health, including access to on-site professionals and health insurance resources.
We encourage you to be aware of the following resources for how to prepare for social-emotional issues that may arise.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinations for host countries of many Clark study abroad programs. Your host institution’s handbook will provide health recommendations/requirements information prior to departure.
- To find out more about country-specific vaccination recommendations and health data, visit the CDC website or call 1-404-332-4565.
Your well-being abroad includes being smart about keeping yourself safe. Read the following to prepare to do so while in a foreign country.
We recommend you and your family each keeps a back-up file of critical information while away. This includes:
Clark University recommends that you register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) on the U.S. State Department website, where you will find additional useful information for traveling abroad. If you are not a U.S. citizen, register with the Embassy/Consulate of your home country.
- Have a communication plan. Discuss how you and your family will address any emergencies. You could 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 your emergency contact’s information to carry in your wallet.
- Keep a low profile. Try not to be conspicuous in dress, speech or behavior, and to avoid crowds, protest groups or other potential volatile situations.
- Keep informed. When you’re traveling, make sure the program, foreign university international student office, host family and your family back home know where you’re going and when you’re expected to return. Consider providing your program and family members (including host family) with an itinerary as well as emergency contact information.
- Orientation. Make sure you attend orientation programs run on-site by the study abroad program and/or foreign university. These sessions provide region-specific information regarding health and safety issues with the latest updates.
- Make contact. Although Clark maintains a crisis management plan for all its programs, we don’t administer any of the programs on site. Therefore, you should contact the program provider or host university directly to get up-to-date emergency and safety plans.