Study Abroad Health and Safety Tips & More


Health and Safety




To study at any university comes with risks, no matter where you study. Students need to act responsibly and maturely whether they study in their hometown, another state or across the globe.

The ATU Study Abroad Office holds the health and safety of its students as its highest priority. We have made every effort to make our programs as safe as possible, and provide our students and faculty with the information they need to make safe and informed decisions. Trips can be canceled at any time by the university due to recommendations by the U.S. Department of State and/or the CDC.


Here are a few tips to keep you as safe as possible while abroad:

  • Live like a local. This not only enhances your cultural immersion, it also helps you stay safer. The more you “blend in”, the less likely you are to be a target of a crime.
  • Guard your possessions. It is always a good idea to keep your passport and credit cards in a passport wallet that you can wear under your garments. Do not leave your luggage unattended, especially in airports. Make multiple copies and/or digital scans of your passport and write down your credit cards and debit card numbers as well as the contact phone number on them. This will make it much easier for you to obtain a replacement if lost or stolen.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Be alert, especially in crowded areas, such as public transportation and popular sights. Pickpocketing is common in tourist areas, so keep your valuables, such as jewelry and phones, well out of reach and in a safe place. If you come across a demonstration or protest, steer clear. Often, seemingly peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little warning.
  • Know basic phrases in the host language. It makes it much easier to get around when you know a few key phrases in the native language, such as “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Where is the bathroom?,” and “I need a doctor.”
  • Use the buddy system. There is always greater safety in numbers, especially when travelling abroad. Avoid exploring on your own and never travel with strangers. Always inform someone you know well of your travel plans for each day. 


Here are a few tips on staying healthy during your stay abroad:

  • Get a complete physical, eye exam and dental check–up before leaving for your destination. While health care is generally good abroad, the quality of dental and medical care might be different in the various countries or regions you may visit.
  • Take your medications with you. To obtain a supply of medication for the duration of your study abroad program, talk with your physician.

The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The CDC is responsible for monitoring health and health problems, researching solutions to health problems, developing and implementing health policies, promoting healthful behaviors and providing training in the health field. For information on recommended immunizations for a particular country, you can reach the CDC at 1.800.CDC.INFO or visit the CDC Web site at  For up to date information on specific local conditions students should contact the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

It is also important for students to be aware of the US Department of State Guidelines concerning areas to which you may travel. These Guidelines prepare you for a safe trip abroad and are updated regularly by the U.S. Department of State. The Guidelines can be obtained through the Overseas Citizens Services automated telephone information line. From the USA or Canada, call 1.888.407.4747 or online at

Enroll in S.t.e.p

This is a program ran by the U.S. Department of State for international travelers to register their trips with the nearest embassy. This program's benefits include:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Enroll here

Health Insurance

Any students travelling abroad with an ATU-sponsored program are required to purchase international health and accident insurance as well as insurance that covers medical evacuation and repatriation.

pre-departure workshop

Students who plan to travel abroad with an ATU sponsored program are required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation Workshop during which health and safety information about their specific destinations is discussed. Please contact the Study Abroad Office at 479-964-0807 or email for more information.

Additional Resources for Safety: