Health & Safety
We want to make every student’s study abroad experience as meaningful and smooth as possible, which also means that your safety and health are our highest priority. Given current world conditions, safety concerns are an important aspect to consider for students, parents and advisors when planning studying abroad. Our primary priority is to ensure safety and well-being of our students. This concern for safety is driving the development of our programs, from choosing study abroad destinations, to their planning and implementation.
While we cannot guarantee the absolute safety of any program participant, we are here to provide every student with thorough information on security and safety issues as well as health care system and insurance in each destination.
In order to ensure that every participant of our study abroad programs will be provided appropriate medical care and treatment, if needed, we require that all students take out a health insurance policy. The cost of enrolling in a medical insurance plan is not included in the program fee. Participation in a health insurance scheme is mandatory and you will be required to provide proof of a sufficient health insurance policy or plan to cover medical expenses during the entire period of study abroad in your chosen destination.
Medical Facilities Abroad
When arriving in the destination of your study, our international staff will provide you with the emergency medical contacts you might need while ensuring that you have access to quality medical care. The staff will also assist you in making arrangements with doctors and, whenever needed, also accompany you to appointments in case an English-speaking doctor is not available.
Vaccinations and Medical Check-Ups
One of the most important things to do before you travel is to double-check that all your vaccinations are up-to-date, in particular vaccine to protect you against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, but also vaccine protecting you hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Vaccinations against Japanese encephalitis, rabies and typhoid are also highly recommended, though not mandatory. Their necessity depends on your destination, length of your stay and your intention to travel to rural or very remote areas.
Get the appropriate shots and pills, and take the appropriate medications with you if your doctor thinks it’s necessary. Find out about any potential side–effects of shots and pills that you may take. You should also get a complete physical, eye exam and dental check–up before traveling abroad. While health care provided by international hospitals in our study abroad destinations is available and generally good, the quality of dental and medical care might be different in the various countries or regions you may visit.
Common Illnesses and Diseases
Find out about the various illnesses and diseases that might be more common in the country and region where you will be studying and others to which you plan to travel. Many travellers and foreigners living in more exotic places encounter illnesses such as dehydration, cold caused by the excessive use of air conditioning or stomach flu. You can avoid these illnesses easily if you drink only bottled water, choose restaurants carefully, re-consider buying food on the street and thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables you buy. Don’t drink tap water. However, if you struggle with minor illnesses, you can easily get non-prescription medicine at pharmacies.
Unlike what most people think, the real danger about mosquitoes in Southeast Asia is not really about malaria but about dengue fever. Dengue fever is a far more common disease carried by mosquitoes than malaria. Therefore, dress with common sense, use repellent, use a mosquito net and burn mosquito coils whenever needed.
Although much of Southeast Asia is a safe place to live in and travel around, theft does occur. In order to minimize the risk, choose government buses and official taxi. If possible, try to avoid travelling at night, consider catching a long-distance bus during the day or take a train instead. In any case, never put any valuables in your stowed luggage.
If you want to ride a scooter, a motorcycle or a car abroad, you must be a holder either of an international driving licence or a local driving license. Although you are likely to succeed in renting a scooter with a EU, US or Australian driving licence, you should bear in mind that in case of an accident, your insurance provider might refuse to cover the cost. Not to mention that local authorities expect you to have an international license with you, so you might also end up being fined for not having one.