Health & Safety Information for Friends & Families
Health & Safety Information for Friends & Families Heading link
We understand that our students’ loved ones likely have concerns about the health and safety of their student abroad. The Study Abroad Office (SAO) is committed to providing study abroad programming that adheres to the highest levels of health and safety considerations, as denoted in the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice, among other important resources for the field.
The SAO maintains an active list of approved programs that have been vetted through a proposal process overseen by the university. We partner with qualified institutions and organizations that have ample experience in hosting U.S. college students abroad. In addition, we regularly consult trusted travel intelligence resources such as the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and others to inform our program decisions and pre-departure advice we give to students. In addition, here is a snapshot of some of the other practices we have in place to support the health and safety of our students:
- All students studying abroad are registered in an online database that contains information about their program and travel plans. This online database includes a tool called AlertTraveler which feeds real-time country and city-specific information to travelers about events which may impact their time abroad. In addition, it gives us the ability to check in and account for students using a corresponding mobile app that students are asked to download.
- During the application process, students are invited to disclose information to us that would be helpful in supporting them while abroad and we in turn work with our partners to ensure students have what they need in place to be successful. In addition, students are able to meet with the UIC Travel Clinic to receive tailored travel health information about their trip.
- All UIC students participating in a university-sponsored study abroad program are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation session in which we review important health and safety information, among other details. Students likely will have a program and site-specific orientation as well, both before they leave and once they arrive in country.
- All students are required to have a comprehensive international health insurance plan which includes emergency evacuation coverage as well as maintain their mandatory domestic insurance. UIC has a policy in place for the programs it runs and we work with partners who have policies with similar coverage in place.
- All UIC program leaders participate in required professional development related to supporting the health, safety, and wellbeing of students while abroad, including an emergency preparedness and response seminar. UIC maintains documented policies and procedures for responding to emergencies abroad, including maintaining a 24/7 emergency phone number participants can contact whenever they need emergency assistance: 1 (312) 355-5555.