Health and Safety
With more than 1,000 students studying abroad every year, the University of Arkansas is committed to providing the safest possible learning environment.
Following Best Practices
The University endorses the recommendations and best practices established for health and safety in the field of education abroad by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Forum on Education Abroad. Our professional staff and faculty participate in risk management training, give conference presentations and hold leadership positions in a variety of professional associations in order to create policies and practices reflecting the industry’s best practices and standards.
The U.S. State Department provides an excellent source of information about travelling abroad, visa and entry requirements for U.S. citizens, local laws and special circumstances of each country, travel tips, travel alerts and advisories. Its resources include:
- Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
A free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Enrollees receive important alerts and messages from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Provides important traveler information travelers country on required/recommended vaccinations; tips of staying healthy, packing lists, and travel health notices/alerts.
Preparing Students to Stay Safe and Well
Student preparedness and behavior in country are the most important factors affecting health and safety while studying abroad.
All students should consult with their healthcare provider to discuss any medical conditions that may need to be monitored while abroad and a provider specializing in travel medicine for accurate, up-to-date pre-travel advice, and to learn which immunizations are required or recommended. Some countries require proof of vaccinations prior to entry. The Pat Walker Health Center Travel Clinic has medical staff trained and ready to consult with students, staff, and faculty preparing to go abroad.
All students must sign a study abroad student code of conduct which outlines the expectations for student behavior while abroad. Multiple pre-departure orientation meetings are held each semester to prepare students for a positive study abroad experience. Students discuss how to stay healthy, make good decisions, and watch out for each other. Country information and cross-cultural tips are shared by faculty experts, exchange students, and past study abroad participants. Resources are made available through the students’ HogsAbroad portal.
Insurance While Abroad
All students studying abroad need comprehensive international health insurance in addition to maintaining their U.S. health insurance. The Office of Study Abroad contracted with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to provide insurance coverage to students that includes 24-hour emergency telephone assistance service, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, and security evacuation.
The CISI policy is usually included as part of the required program fees paid to the university for study at U of A administered programs. Most study abroad (external) program providers include international health insurance as part of the program fees. Students participating in a study abroad program that does not include international health insurance may enroll themselves directly in the CISI policy. It is important that students understand their coverage before departure.