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Health and Safety

druffelThe health and safety of study abroad students is of primary concern for IWU and for the program providers with which we work.  We each take great care to ensure that you are not placed in dangerous or potentially dangerous situations; that you receive adequate pre-departure and on-site orientations to prepare you for the challenges and equip you with information to help you acculturate and succeed; and that strong support mechanisms are in place to help you in case there is an emergency.

However, it is your duty as a study abroad participant to take responsibility for your own health and safety.  You need to take care of yourself physically and mentally, and to act responsibly -- to consider your actions and the impact they may have on yourself, on other participants, and on the program as a whole. 

With that in mind, read the pages on medical & health information (including information on insurance) and explore ways in which you can take responsibility for your personal safety.

Please download and review the NAFSA Health and Safety Guidelines. 

Living Abroad 

Choosing a program and applying to study abroad take a great deal of thought and effort.  Don't think, however, that once you are accepted into the program of your choice that you can sit back and relax until you depart --  or until you come home!  The acceptance letter marks your entry into the next stage, and to have a truly successful study abroad experience, you need to pay serious attention to the details of preparing for life abroad.

Photo: Yinzhe Lu, IWU London Program, Fall 2017.

Part of your pre-departure efforts will be directed toward taking care of business: completing post-acceptance paperwork for your program, securing necessary visas or permits, and attending the mandatory IWU Pre-Departure Orientation.  But don't let attending to those requirements keep you from preparing yourself intellectually, emotionally, and in practical terms, for your time abroad.

Two important resources for you as you navigate through your preparations are IWU students who have studied abroad, (so contact them for their advice) and the IWU Study Abroad Handbook.

And once you arrive in your host country, settle in, start classes, and begin navigating your way around your new home, don't completely lose touch with home.  Remember to:

  • Contact the International Office and provide your study abroad mailing address.
  • Notify your advisor and the International Office about any changes to your proposed schedule and to seek approval from the appropriate department chair, school director, or the Shared Curriculum director for any new classes you wish to use to fulfill a degree requirement.
  • Keep in touch! Let us know how you are doing -- tell us what's amazing, what's going well, and what's not so good.