University of Oregon



Steps to Take to Protect Your Health and Safety

1. The online application system will direct you through some health-related preparations, including a health self-evaluation, an appointment with a physician, and a Travel Clinic appointment that will help prepare you for the specific health challenges of your destination(s).

2. Read carefully the U.S. State Department’s Worldwide Caution. Note the webpage for state department travel warnings and check the status of the country to which you are traveling well before you depart.

Key things to do:

  • Register at the US Embassy/Consulate in the country(-ies) you will visit.
  • Keep an emergency card with key contact information.
  • Discuss emergency plans with your resident director or other on-site staff.

3. Discuss your feelings and perspective about traveling and studying abroad at this time with your family and close friends. Remember to remain in close communication with family while you are abroad. Most fears and worries are relieved by direct communication with you.

4. Educate yourself about the country to which you are traveling. What are the safety concerns specific to that country and neighboring countries? What is the political climate of the country? How do people of that country perceive US Americans? If confronted with anti-American sentiment, try to react non-defensively and see if you can learn to appreciate other points of view about the US.

5. Now more than ever it is important for you to take responsibility for your behavior and how it can affect your safety. Please note the following basic principles:

  • Seek the advice of the authorities in charge when needed.
  • Maintain a low profile, avoid US American clothing/fashion styles (such as university sweatshirts), avoid US American hangouts (McDonald’s, etc.), avoid speaking English loudly in public. This does not mean you should hide away, but you should exercise common sense in public places and not draw undue attention to yourself.
  • Remember to drink responsibly!
  • Avoid political demonstrations, large crowds and gatherings.
  • Report suspicious events and do not carry baggage or parcels for another person.
  • Let the resident director and/or on-site staff know if you are traveling during, before or after the program (when, where, how long).
  • Integrate into the host culture as much as possible - clothing, mannerisms, language.
  • Be careful not to give out information about your group to strangers (i.e., don’t carelessly discard information about your classmates’ addresses & telephone numbers, or chat about upcoming plans with new acquaintances).
  • Be aware of what is going on around you.

6. Incidences of either verbal or physical attacks toward US Americans are fairly rare, yet they do occur. You can protect yourself by using your common sense and the points noted above. Keep in mind that comments directed at you are rarely personal. Try not to take them personally. Never respond belligerently, even if the person says something that seems profoundly rude. Walk away whenever possible (this goes for you, too, guys!).

7. Be assured that we have taken precautions and routinely monitor the issues and conditions involving our study abroad sites.

New Smart Traveler App for iPhone/iPad

The U.S. State Department has developed a downloadable Smart Traveler app for iPhone/iPad.  The app is a tool designed to provide easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, and US Embassy locations.  For those who do not have an iPhone or iPad, the information is also available at the US State Department's travel website.

Take Action

Site Navigation