Health & Safety

The health and safety of Texas A&M students is the number one priority of Education Abroad. As part of our commitment to ensuring students have a positive learning experience, we have deployed resources to prepare students before they depart as well as to assist them while they are abroad.


General Recommendations

Outlined below are general recommendations to prepare for a healthy and safe international experience.
  • Consider making a Travel Consultation appointment through Texas A&M Student Health Services http://http://shs.tamu.edu/appointments/ to discuss preparation and potential vaccinations. It is also a good idea to verify that your standard vaccines are up-to-date (e.g. tetanus shot).
  • Verify recommended and/or required immunization(s) for your destination with your provider or institution and with the CDC -Center for Disease Control and prevention (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) Some immunizations need to be administered a few weeks or months prior to departure.
  • Complete a routine wellness checkups (medical, dental, vision, and/or specialist). 
  • Verify legality of prescription and medication in host destination(s) and request ample supply for the duration of your experience.
  • Research destination (e.g., cultural norms, local laws, health and safety risks, and water and food quality). Education abroad resources are available through your program leader, as well as Education Abroad Library Resources .
  • Inform your program leader of medical conditions, dietary restrictions, allergies, disabilities and/or other accommodation needs.. For details on the process to secure program adjustments and/or academic accommodations, please visit Disability Resources
  • Register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/) to receive travel notifications prior to departure and while abroad. Note: for some programs, students are automatically registered with S.T.E.P., please verify with your program leader.
  • Check with your education abroad advisor to find out if international health insurance is included in the program costs, or if you need to purchase it yourself. International health insurance will provide you with the necessary coverage should you need to visit a doctor or hospital while abroad. Refer to your program’s insurance policy for more details. If not provided, students may purchase coverage through the Texas A&M System policy, Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). For more information about international health insurance, review CISI Policy Brochure (pdf document download)

Pre-Departure

Education Abroad has developed pre-departure orientations and materials that include health and safety specific information. Pre-departure sessions may be delivered in person or electronically to groups and individuals going abroad. All students, regardless of experience, are required to attend an in-person healthy and safety session or review a pre-recorded session online. Students will be informed of their program specific requirement during the application or registration process.

While Abroad

Education Abroad supports students before and during their time abroad. If a TAMU student encounters any issues while participating in a program, they should contact their on-site program coordinator or support staff so they can be resolved quickly. Students are also welcome to reach out to the Education Abroad Office for assistance. Our office can be contacted at (979) 845-0544 during regular business hours and 24/7 for emergencies at (979) 255-6103. You may also email abroademergency@tamu.edu.

Participants in education abroad experiences are expected to serve as ambassadors for both TAMU and the United States. Students should be aware that behaviors with minimal or no consequences in the U.S. may have major implications for the study abroad program. This information will be covered in pre-departure programming and we also encourage students to do independent research so they are familiar with topics such as:

  • Local laws and customs
  • Gender dynamics and youth/elder relationships
  • Food and meal etiquette
  • Appropriate dress
  • How to recognize signs of displeasure on the part of host country nationals

 

Culture Shock

While abroad, students may experience culture shock and should be aware of the indicators. These can include: feelings of helplessness, loneliness, alienation, sleeping more than usual, depression, getting angry easily, decline in flexibility, stereotyping of host culture, increase of physical ailments, eating problems, inability to concentrate, and uncontrollable crying. Most students experience some level of culture shock and signs can vary greatly from individual to individual. If you are studying abroad and experience any of the feelings listed above, you are not alone! Please reach out to your on-site support staff or to Education Abroad.

 

Student Conduct 

As a Texas A&M University Student, you are bound by the Aggie Code of Honor and the Student Code of Conduct. While abroad, you will be an ambassador for the University. We expect that as an Aggie, you will exhibit superior ethical and moral behavior at all times, especially as a guest in your host country. You have the opportunity and responsibility to represent Texas A&M, Texas, and the United States in a mature and respectful manner.

In the event of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or the Terms of Participation, Education Abroad will be notified. Depending on the severity of the violation(s), the responses may include an incident report/verbal warning, an incident report/written warning, and/or an incident report accompanied by a termination report.