Staying Healthy & Safe
The well-being of our faculty, staff, and students abroad is top priority. Learn about the resources available to support you while abroad and what you can do to prepare yourself to stay safe overseas.
Health and Safety Abroad Video
Viewing the Health and Safety Abroad video is required of all students going abroad on Texas Tech approved study abroad programs. This video should be viewed prior to completing the Assessment of Preparing to Go Abroad.
After reviewing the Health and Safety Abroad video, review the enclosed resources:
Program Monitoring/Risk Management
Texas Tech's priority is to keep students and program leaders safe while abroad. We have measures in place to assist with safety before travel and while students and program leaders are abroad, including Global Safety and Security Resources maintained by our Assistant Director of Global Safety and Security.
International Health Insurance
All students, faculty, and staff who are traveling outside the United States on university business with university funds or with a university organization are covered by Texas Tech's international health insurance. Learn about the insurance coverage and where to access information.
If you experience an emergency while traveling abroad, immediately seek local assistance. You can contact Texas Tech and the University's international insurance provider 24/7 for help.
Preparing to Go Abroad
Through planning and research, you can prevent or be prepared for many of the common issues you might face when adjusting to a different environment overseas. Review the resources available to you to prepare for your time abroad.
Ensure You Understand the Responsibilities
As a student, it is your responsibility to understand the responsibilities of those supporting you in your journey overseas.
Texas Tech Study Abroad Office Responsibilities
- Communicating with contacts from the U.S. Department of State, host institutions, and program providers to constantly monitor security situations abroad, obtain accurate information, and make appropriate, timely decisions regarding Texas Tech student travel to countries where study abroad programs exist. See the OIA's Global Safety and Security Resources for more information.
- Making sure that every study abroad student is registered with the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
- Enrolling every study abroad student in an affordable and comprehensive international health insurance policy that includes health and accident coverage, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, and political and security risk coverage.
- Requiring every study abroad student to participate in a mandatory pre-departure orientation where they will learn to recognize the health and safety challenges of traveling and living abroad in order to be able to adapt, learn, and excel in their new environment.
- Mitigating risks appropriately in all locations where we place students by ensuring that host families are thoroughly vetted and student accommodations are safe.
Texas Tech Students' Responsibilities
- Listening to the information provided by Texas Tech Study Abroad staff as well as the tips shared during pre-departure orientation so that you can recognize health and safety challenges of traveling and living abroad in order to be able to adapt, learn, and excel in your new environment. This includes doing research on your host country so that you understand the laws and cultural attitudes and minimize negative interactions with others.
- Disclosing any needs you have that might affect your health, safety, or wellness abroad to Texas Tech Study Abroad staff, appropriate Texas Tech campus offices, and/or the program staff in your host country. Examples include but are not limited to interest in accommodations for accessibility, studying abroad while taking prescription medications, studying abroad while pregnant, feeling ill, feeling unsafe, bodily injury, self-injury, suicidal ideation, having been the victim of a crime, extreme homesickness, allergies, struggling with classes, etc..
- Making sure that you check your Texas Tech email account regularly for messages from the Study Abroad Office about accessing your international health insurance information, security issues and emergencies, study abroad courses and credit, etc.
- Communicating with the Study Abroad staff as well as the on-site program staff about any additional travel and activities you have planned which are independent of your study abroad program.
- Developing a communication plan with your loved ones such as parents or guardians that addresses when and how often you will be in contact while studying abroad (e.g., a first call home upon arrival in your host country).
Recommendations for Parents & Guardians
Parents, families, and guardians can play an important role in the health and safety of study abroad participants by helping them make smart decisions and by influencing their responsible behavior overseas. When appropriate, loved ones can support their student by:
- Asking your student to share health and safety information related to their study abroad program. Although our office provides much of this information on the Texas Tech Study Abroad website, it may also help to read and carefully evaluate the information that is sent directly to your student.
- Being involved in the decision of your student to enroll in a particular program.
- Engaging your student in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.
- Being responsive to requests from the Study Abroad for information regarding your student.
- Keeping in touch with your student.
- Being aware that some information may most appropriately be provided by your student rather than the program.
For more information, please visit our Parents & Guardians webpage.
- TTU Student Wellness Center
- TTU Student Disability Services
- TTU TravelMed: Clinical medical service that provides consultation and immunizations for persons who will be traveling in other countries; recommended for students who are studying abroad in non-traditional study abroad locations (areas outside of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand).
- Students Abroad Travel Information: The U.S. Department of State offers advice and information targeted to students planning to travel and study abroad.
- Center for Disease Control: Geographic health recommendations and information on diseases transmitted by insect, food, water, and people.
- World Health Organization
- The SAFETI (Safety Abroad First – Educational Travel Information) Clearinghouse Project: Creates and disseminates resources about health and safety issues related to study abroad. While the website's aim is to provide resources for study abroad professionals, students and parents will find some of the information relevant.
- Safety Abroad Handbook: Background information on health and safety, as well as relevant questions, a checklist, a sample emergency card, and useful words and phrases to know.