We are committed to supporting your health and wellness while studying abroad. Health, safety, and security have been, and always will be, one of our top priorities. Temple University has more than 50 years of experience in supporting students abroad. While no organization or institution can guarantee the safety of participants, the risks can be significantly reduced if program staff, students, parents, and advisors at the host and home institutions all work together.
Temple University’s approach to health, safety, and security abroad is guided by our director of Education Abroad and director of International Risk Management. We follow best practices from our professional organizations, the Forum on Education Abroad and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and we are member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), a branch of the U.S. Department of State, that promotes security cooperation between the government and private sector interests worldwide.
Our on-site staff in Italy, Japan, and Spain and our program leaders worldwide are experienced in supporting students abroad, have location-specific emergency plans, and receive ongoing training. Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses thoroughly reviews any external programs or partners that we work with to ensure they meet the appropriate standards for health, safety, and security.
A prepared traveler is a healthy and safe traveler. It’s important to take ownership of your personal planning for study abroad to ensure a safe and successful experience.
- Research destination-specific information from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, and International SOS to understand health, crime and security concerns, quality and accessibility of healthcare, the location of the U.S. embassy and any consular offices, and how to contact emergency services in your destination(s).
- Carefully review any health and safety information from Education Abroad or your program provider and participate fully in any pre-departure or on-site orientations.
- Have a wellness plan for your time abroad and understand how to utilize your international travel medical insurance (see below) .
- Develop a communication plan with your family and a personal emergency plan.
- Ensure family members who would travel in case of an emergency abroad have valid passports.
Student health overseas
Your physical and mental well-being is a fundamental component of a successful and happy stay abroad. You should plan ahead and schedule a check-up with a physician, dentist, counselor, and eye-care specialist prior to departure. Even mild physical or psychological conditions can become serious under the stresses of life while studying abroad and away from regular support systems. If you have a pre-existing physical or mental health condition, please make a plan with your doctor and with the help of the medical team at International SOS (more below). Know how to access medical and mental health care before you go abroad. Share your plan with Education Abroad and your on-site staff; we are here to provide you with resources and support to stay well. If a health related issue arises while abroad, staff on-site are knowledgeable of local resources and are usually in the best position to help you resolve issues quickly.
International travel medical insurance and assistance
When you study abroad with us, you are covered by international travel medical insurance and the 24/7 support of International SOS, our international travel assistance company. International SOS offers pre-trip medical and security advice and assists with medical care and emergencies while you are on-site.
You can review a benefits summary for the travel medical insurance and resources International SOS provides on the International Travel website, and on the Temple University International SOS membership page. Temple University’s International SOS membership number is #11BSGC000017.
Safety and security precautions
You are your best resource for staying safe abroad. Here is a short list of tips to consider when studying abroad.
- Be alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or tourist areas, and trust your instincts. If something feels off, listen to your inner voice.
- Look out for each other and intervene when friends need help. Don’t go out alone, watch out for each other’s drinks, and come home with the same friends you went out with.
- Always carry a fully charged mobile phone and make sure you can use it on the cell network and not just wifi. Put the local equivalent of 911 in your contact list as well as the 24/7 contact numbers for your program. Let your program know when you will be away from your host city.
- Practice responsible behavior with alcohol, which can affect your judgment and lower inhibitions, and avoid drugs which can impair you and become a serious legal issue.
- Don’t drive abroad. It’s tempting, but driving in foreign countries is a top cause of serious injury and even death of U.S travelers overseas.
- Take precautions with outdoor activities like hiking and especially when it comes to water safety. That beach may look perfect for a swim, but be sure to follow warning signs and have a safety plan for swimming and other water activities.
- Above all, ask for help when you need it! Your program staff has seen it all and is there to help, discreetly, with whatever comes your way.
Students studying at Temple University Rome and Temple University, Japan Campus, Temple University in Spain, and on Temple Summer Programs receive the 24/7 contact information for a Temple Program Director or on-site staff member. Students on exchange or external program partners receive contact information for local support as well.
In the event of an emergency, students on site should call local emergency response or the on-site staff immediately. True emergencies require a phone call. If unable to do so, please contact us:
- During regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5 pm EST), call Education Abroad at (215) 204-0720.
- Outside of business hours, all Temple University Campus Safety at (215) 204-1234. Please leave your name, the name of the student and study abroad program, and a number where you can be reached. Campus Safety will contact the staff member on-call for international emergencies, who will return the call as soon as possible.