Health and Safety

With more than 50 years of experience in study abroad, Temple University is committed to supporting your health and wellness while studying abroad. Student health and safety are our top priority. And while no institution or organization 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. 

How we support your health and safety abroad

Robust preparedness and incident response
  • Education Abroad & Overseas Campuses works closely with Global Health, Safety, and Security and with in-country staff to design programs with student health and safety in mind and to prevent problems from occurring whenever possible.
  • We conduct risk assessments, develop health and safety protocols, and maintain emergency plans, in line with best practices from the Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA, and other professional organizations.
  • Our staff at Temple University Rome, Temple University Japan Campus and at Temple in Spain have extensive experience supporting students on-the-ground.
  • Faculty program leaders receive robust training to lead programs and have the full support of the university's resources when issues do arise.
  • We thoroughly review external programs and partners' policies and protocols to ensure they meet the appropriate standards for health, safety, and security.
24/7 Global Assistance

Temple's global assistance provider, Healix International, offers 24/7 help to travelers experiencing medical and security issues around the globe. 

  • Contact Healix International for pre-travel medical advice or when you need to see a doctor while abroad. For immediate assistance outside the U.S., call +1 267-855-1884 (collect calls accepted). 
  • Download the Healix Oracle app for Apple/iOS or Google/Android and allow GPS tracking either when the app is active, or always, so that you’ll receive alerts related to your geographical location. 
  • Access to comprehensive and real-time information on general travel advice, vaccination requirements, hospitals, embassies, business and social etiquette for all countries and major global cities can be accessed at any point via Temple’s Travel Oracle webpage [Register using the Temple policy #TEMP2302233].
International Travel Medical Insurance

When you study abroad with us, you are covered by international travel medical insurance for the duration of your program.

  • The insurance benefits cover 100% of medically necessary care for accidents and emergencies abroad. 
  • Please visit Global Health and Safety's website for the summary of benefits and details about exclusions
  • Do not cancel your U.S. health insurance, as Temple’s international travel medical insurance only provides coverage outside of the U.S. Should you need to return to the U.S. for any reason, Temple’s international travel medical insurance will not provide coverage. 
  • To utilize the insurance, contact Healix International, as described above, or ask your on-site program leaders for assistance. There is no deductible or co-payment.
  • If you are planning to study abroad in the country of your permanent residence, please contact Education Abroad. International travel medical insurance exclusions include any and all expenses incurred for medical services or treatment in the Insured’s country of permanent residence. 
  • If you plan to travel abroad more than 7 days before or after your program, we strongly recommended purchasing international travel medical insurance coverage for your personal travel dates. It is advisable to include benefits for emergency evacuation/repatriation and repatriation of remains, which are typically not covered by U.S. health insurance policies. Temple University cannot recommend or guarantee the services of any specific travel insurance provider.   

How you can prepare for a safe and successful experience

Be an informed traveler

One of the best approaches to staying safe while traveling is to be informed.

  • Research destination-specific information from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, and Healix International 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.
Tend to your health
  • Consider your mental and physical health needs when choosing a program. Managing your health and wellness in a new country can look different than at home, and the same resources are not always available.
  • Talk to Education Abroad to ensure your program choice best meets your non-academic needs and plan well in advance if you anticipate needing ongoing treatment, require a specific type of housing or accommodation, have serious allergies, or other specific health needs.
  • Develop a plan for maintaining good physical and mental health, and for managing chronic conditions.
    • Prepare for your time abroad by having a check-up with your health care provider(s) (physician, psychiatrist, therapist/counselor/psychologist, specialists) prior to departure.
    • Discuss with your care provider(s) how a new environment, diet, climate, stressors, etc. might impact your health, taking into account the local conditions and accessibility of care abroad. Healix International can identify English-speaking physicians, psychologists, and specialty care, if available, in your destination, as well as assist with appointments and payment.
  • Ensure your routine immunizations are up-to-date and research required and recommended immunizations and medication for all overseas destinations on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers’ Health page.
  • Contact Education Abroad with any questions and concerns about healthcare abroad.
Traveling with medications

If you are currently taking a prescription medication, you will need to plan ahead to take enough of your medication to last the duration of your travel, or identify alternative treatment if your medication is restricted. Read below for important guidelines.

  • Work with your healthcare provider(s) and U.S. health insurance to obtain enough prescription medication to bring with you.
  • Do not plan on having medication mailed to you or having U.S.-based prescriptions filled abroad.
  • Keep in mind that certain prescribed medications, such as some that control attention-deficit disorder, may not be available or even considered illegal in some foreign countries. Refer to country-specific resources from the Overseas Advisory Council for information or contact Healix International for advice.
  • Discuss alternatives treatment with your physician, if necessary, far enough in advance of travel to arrange appropriate dosage as well as manage potential side effects.
  • When traveling:
    • Keep all medication in the original, labeled container
    • Bring a letter from your prescribing physician that provides a description of the medical problem, dosage, and generic name(s). The letter should indicate that the medication is medically necessary and for your personal use.
    • Pack all of your medication in your carry-on to avoid problems should your checked luggage be misdirected or lost.
Take safety 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.
  • 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.
Know how to access local health services

Know how to access (English-speaking) health services in your destination(s), including:

  • Routine care, such as treatment for minor illnesses
  • Emergency services (referred to as Accident & Emergency, or A&E, in many countries)
  • Mental health care

If you do need to seek medical treatment while abroad, contact Healix International to arrange payment for appointments, or make sure to request and keep any medical records and receipts for the treatment to submit them for reimbursement.

Have a plan
  • Always carry a fully charged mobile phone. Temple requires students to have a mobile phone while abroad that can make and receive calls on the local network (not just wifi).
  • Put the local equivalent of 911 in your contact list as well as the 24/7 contact numbers for your program.
  • 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
  • Let your family and program know when you will be away from your host city.
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. Utilize the contact information for your on-site staff when you experience any issues, big or small.

Emergency Contacts

Students studying at Temple University Rome, 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, 9 am - 5 pm ET), 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.
  • You can also call Healix International, Temple's global assistance provider, for medical and security advice and support 24/7 at (267) 855-1884.