Health and Safety
Health and Safety
Your safety and security is our top priority.
Overview | Risk Management Program | Independent Programs | Health Guidance and UMD Requirements for Study Abroad
While we cannot guarantee the safety of participants, we firmly believe that the risks can be significantly reduced when faculty, staff, students, parents, and University partners work together. In any emergency it is always best to be prepared. Use the right hand sidebar to find basic health and safety tips and important information on staying healthy while abroad. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the insurance coverage offered through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) that is required for all UMD students and non-UMD students attending our programs.
As part of our commitment to providing safe and well-managed study abroad opportunities, we endorse and adhere to the Standards of Good Practice as outlined by the Forum on Education Abroad as well as those outlined by NAFSA: Association of International Educators in its Responsible Study Abroad: Good Practices for Health and Safety report. Extremely helpful and student-friendly travel guidance and advice is also available on the U.S. State Department's Students Abroad website.
Risk Management Program
The International Risk Management Committee (IRMC) provides health, safety and security guidance and policy recommendations for Education Abroad programs. The IRMC’s recommendations are made to the Associate Vice President, International Affairs and Provost. The IRMC is chaired by the Director, International Risk Management who monitors the global risk environment and brings location and/or program specific issues to the IRMC for discussion and guidance. The ICRMC meets at least twice each academic year to discuss health, safety and security trends in international destinations, the travel advisories of the U.S. State Department and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, other non-U.S. government advisories, on-campus subject matter experts, and UMD’s intelligence assistance providers.
Furthermore, all students who travel abroad for credit or for university sponsored non-credit programs are automatically enrolled in our risk management program. The risk management program includes the following safety measures:
- Tracking dates and location of travel in case of an emergency
- Comprehensive international health insurance (students are responsible for the cost)
- Access to Alert Traveler with Local Resources & Emergency Support System
- Collection of travel warning waivers if students are traveling to a country with an active travel warning
- Review of student conduct files and follow up with students who have records of concern
- Review of students' self reported physical and mental health and follow-up communication with recommendations from the UMD Counseling Center and UMD Health Center as needed
Students who pursue independent international programs that are not sponsored or supported by Education Abroad are advised to review the Statement for Students on International Independent Programs and follow the guidance provided.
Health Guidance and UMD Requirements for All Study Abroad Students
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
UMD requires that you be vaccinated and have a booster against COVID-19 unless you qualify under an exemption. Being fully vaccinated and boosted significantly reduces the risk of contracting and/or becoming seriously ill from the virus. Your host country(ies) may also require that you show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and/or a booster within specified days or hours of your entry and/or departure. You must meet all entrance requirements in order to travel to that location.
Take a moment to review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for international travel. It is very important to also follow the public health requirements of your country(ies).
You can also review UMD’s COVID-19 safety guidance here.
See Your Doctor
See your doctor before you depart. Discuss the implications of study abroad with your medical and/or mental health providers. Even mild physical or psychological disorders can become serious under the stresses of life in an unfamiliar environment. Be sure to make them aware of the location in which you’ll be studying abroad so that they can advise you appropriately with regard to maintaining your health and well-being. This is especially important if you are immuno-compromised or manage a chronic health condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
You can use the Study Abroad & My Health conversation guide resource to facilitate these discussions.
Accessing Medications while Abroad
If you require medication, please plan to bring a supply sufficient for your entire time abroad. You may not be able to have medication shipped to you overseas and obtaining exact prescription equivalents abroad can be extremely challenging. You should travel with your medications in your carry-on luggage, and all of your medication should be in original prescription bottles. If you are carrying a large quantity, we suggest you also carry a signed note from your physician, explaining that you need a full supply of the medication for your time overseas. Some medications, legal in the U.S., may be illegal in your host country. If you are concerned this may be the case, you should contact Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to ask if your medication is available, or legal to possess. The University Health Center may also be able to assist you with this. You can call them at 301-314-8115. If your medication is not legal in your destination, please work with your physician on an alternate treatment plan well in advance of your departure.
If you need accommodations, please contact the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) to acquire the documentation you will need to share with your host institution. Your UMD Education Abroad Advisor can provide you with program and/or location specific information to include in your request to ADS, and they can also help with communicating your needs to your host institution.