Study Abroad

Health and Safety

There are many factors to consider when preparing for your safe and healthy experience off-campus. The outline below provides a general outline of questions to consider and a timeline to help organize priorities in the planning process.

There are specific health and safety resources in your URIAbroad account under Learning Content. Please review all of the materials prior to your pre-departure orientation.

Planning for good health abroad

Are you healthy and do you take precautions to stay healthy? Do you have any minor health problems? Or, are you managing a health issue in your life? No matter whether you regularly take care of your health or you manage significant health issues daily, everyone needs to make plans for good health abroad.

Why it matters

Education, internship, and travel abroad make for a total experience–body, mind and spirit–with demands on all three. It’s better and easier to think ahead and start planning now, before you travel overseas, for as many possibilities to assure a healthy education abroad experience. It’s challenging. It’s exhilarating. It’s exciting. And, it’s even better when you are the healthiest and strongest you can be.

Where can you find what you need?

Some information and help you can only get here in the United States, often through medical services in your own community. And, there are some things best learned when you arrive in your new home, information frequently given at your pre-departure orientation. You should start now to create an ‘info file’ that will stay with you in a safe, but easy-to-get-to place, throughout your entire education abroad experience.

What do you need to know to make good health plans?

  • What your health needs are before you go
  • What to expect in the region(s) of the world where you are traveling
  • What the best information resources are

This easy, multi-step planning guide is designed to help be in good shape to travel, learn and live abroad healthfully.

How do you do it?

You can do your planning in four essential stages and twelve basic steps:

Stage I: Before you Travel

  1. Consider your health issues as you make your choices. In doing so, complete the health self-assessment in URI Abroad. This self-assessment will help inform you in going abroad at this time is the right decision for you.
  2. Find experts and resources before go abroad. URI’s insurance partner, CISI, can support you in identifying local resources that will be available to you during your time off-campus. Review the CISI policy and download their app to your phone. Note: This CISI policy is provided to all students participating in a URI education abroad program
  3. Research your destination
  4. Collect essential information for safe-keeping
  5. Schedule health exams
  6. Pack a health records file and a health safety kit to take with you

Stage II: Travel and arrival at your new home

  1. Travel safely
  2. Take good care of yourself from the day you arrive

Stage III: While There

  1. Follow a good health plan while you are abroad
  2. Stay safe to stay healthy
  3. If you are feeling unwell, reach out to local support for assistance. As always, you can also reach out to the Office of International Education.

Stage IV: When you return home

     12. Stay healthy as you come home

Enroll in STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Enroll in STEP

Some of the information above may be found in NAFSA’s Easy Planning Guide for Good Health Abroad (Gore, 2005).

Contact Information

Office of International Education and National Student Exchange
Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST
37 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI, 02881

Phone: 401.874.2395

Advising Appointments
To schedule an appointment, log into Starfish, search for International Education and National Student Exchange and select the advisor based on your college.