The health and safety of study abroad students is of primary concern for Illinois
Wesleyan and for the program providers. We each take great care to ensure that your
son or daughter is not placed in dangerous or potentially dangerous situations; that
students receive adequate pre-departure and on-site orientations to prepare them for
challenges and equip them with information to help them acculturate and succeed; and
that strong support mechanisms are in place to help in case there is an emergency.
The information that follows gives a quick overview of some of the resources used
to prepare students for their time abroad and to support them while they are away
All study abroad students are required to attend a 2-3 hour Pre-Departure Orientation,
held each semester, in which health and safety guidelines are covered. At that orientation,
all students are provided with an updated copy of the Illinois Wesleyan Study Abroad Handbook, which covers policies relating to health and safety, offers guidelines on health
and safety practices, and contains campus emergency contact information. Students
are strongly encouraged to take their handbooks with them abroad, but an online version
is also available to them should they forget or misplace the book.
When students arrive overseas, they will participate in an on-site orientation that
provides an introduction to the location and the staff, covers location-specific health
and safety issues, and drills students on emergency procedures. All of our affiliated
programs have staff on call 24-hours to assist students in the case of an emergency,
whether it be medical, personal, or other.
In case of emergencies, Illinois Wesleyan provides all students studying abroad with
Foreign Travel Accident and Sickness medical coverage through EIIA and AIG insurance
companies. This policy provides accident and sickness coverage and, in the case of
serious illness, medical evacuation, emergency family travel, and medical repatriation
coverage. Most of our affiliated programs also provide insurance for their students,
and students who purchase an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) receive even more coverage.
The Illinois Wesleyan policy comes with Travelers' Assistance Services that can aid
students with such things as passport replacement, help in tracking lost luggage,
emergency translation services, and general travel assistance. IWU also has a 24-hour
emergency contact service that students can call while abroad.
The International Office staff, the faculty and staff of Illinois Wesleyan, and our
affiliated program providers are committed to the well-being of students studying
abroad, and the measures outlined above are only a part of what we each do throughout
the study abroad process -- from application through pre-departure preparation, the
students' time overseas, and their return to the US and campus. Ultimately, though,
it is also the duty of study abroad participants to take responsibility for their
own health and safety: to take care of themselves physically and mentally and to act
responsibly. The greatest dangers that a students may face while abroad stem from
their own behaviors. Common sense, caution, and preparation are key to a successful