Health and Safety Abroad 

Health Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions

  • What prescriptions can/should I bring? How much should I bring?

    Each country sets its own regulations regarding prescription medications, so it’s important to do your research and consult with your doctor well before you depart. A good place to start is the CDC’s guide to Traveling with Medicine and the FDA’s Traveling with Prescription Medications video. You can also contact the U.S. foreign embassy in your host country with any questions. 

    You and your doctor should discuss: 

    • Whether any medications you currently take are banned in your host country. If any medications you currently take is not permitted in the country, discuss your other options. 
    • How much medicine you will need while abroad. You should contact the foreign embassy in your host country to see if there are any limits to the quantity of prescription medicines you can bring across the border. In general, you should bring enough prescription medication for the entirety of your time abroad plus extra in case you stay longer than initially intended. You will likely be able to get a travel override from your insurance company to be able to get a larger prescription ahead of time. 
    • It may be important to also bring a letter from your doctor explaining your need for the prescription in order to pass through customs.
  • Do I need to buy international health insurance?

    All Wesleyan students studying abroad are provided international health insurance free of charge either through their program or through Wesleyan. If you need physical or mental health support while abroad, you should first call your international insurance provider to find an in-network doctor. Failing to do so may result in avoidable out-of-pocket costs.  

    If your program does not provide international insurance or provides a limited insurance, Wesleyan will provide you with International SOS insurance. If your semester study abroad program charges for insurance, Wesleyan will cover that expense for you. 

    Print your insurance card information before you leave and keep it with you at all times. For students receiving International SOS insurance from Wesleyan, you will be sent an insurance card and summary of benefits via email before you depart. 

  • Do I need to keep my U.S. insurance while I'm studying abroad?

    We strongly recommend that you keep your U.S. health insurance while abroad. This is because you won't be abroad for the whole enrollment period, and you will need coverage while you're in the U.S. Also, if you got sick and had to go home, you would need your U.S. insurance.


    PLEASE NOTE: If you normally enroll in Wesleyan student health insurance, you will not be automatically enrolled while you are abroad. It is an opt-IN rather than opt-OUT; you will need to enroll to keep your coverage.

  • How can I see a doctor abroad?
    If you need non-emergeny physical or mental health support while abroad, you should first call your international insurance provider to find an in-network doctor. You can also speak with your program provider for help. In emergecy health situations, always call emergency services first.
  • Do I have access to Wesleyan’s health services while abroad?

    You will have limited access to Wesleyan’s health services while abroad. You can contact Davison Health Center while you are abroad for assistance, but they will not be able to write any prescriptions for you. Similarly, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is unable to offer counseling sessions while you are abroad, though they may be able to direct you to resources which you will have access to outside of the United States. 

  • What steps should I take to be prepared for any health emergencies?
    It is a good idea for everyone to carry a card which lists, in the local language, your blood type, any medical conditions, any medications you are taking, and any allergies you have should you not be able to communicate these yourself in the case of an emergency. If you have any serious chronic illnesses or disabilities, consider wearing a MedicAlert bracelet specific to your illness or disability. 
  • I have a question that's not answered on this page. Who should I contact?

    If you have a question about caring for your specific health needs abroad, make an appointment at Davison Health Center, with your primary care physician, or with a specialist familiar with your needs.  

    If your question relates to healthcare or accessibility in the country to which you are traveling, contact your program provider. Their Health and Safety, Accessibility, and/or Student Life team will likely be the best resources to answer your question.  

    If you are not sure who to contact, contact the Office of Study Abroad at, we will be happy to help point you in the right direction.  

Safety Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I do if I experience an emergency while abroad?

    If you are involved in an emergency abroad, follow all program-specific emergency procedures. Once you are out of harm's way, be sure to contact the Office of Study Abroad. If you are calling outside normal business hours, contact the Office of Public Safety. The Office of Public Safety will be able to get you the help you need at any time and can get in touch with the on-call Dean and another member of the Wesleyan staff. 

    Office of Study Abroad – 8:30am-5pm EST 

    +1 (860) 685-2550 

    Office of Public Safety - 24 Hours 

    +1 (860) 685-3333 

    The Office of Study Abroad can help with many emergency and non-emergency issues you might experience abroad even though we are far away. In addition, we have reporting responsibilities for certain incidents that happen abroad. Please contact us as soon as you can or verify that your on-site program staff will follow up with us. 

    U.S. embassies also have a 24/7 emergency contact number. Visit and select your host country. Once you are on the embassy’s webpage, hover over “U.S. Citizen Services” to see the emergency contact information. Wesleyan domestic and international students may take advantage of this service, though not all emergency services (such as repatriation flights) are available for international students. If you are an international student, you should contact your country of citizenship’s embassy for any needed support. 

  • How can I keep myself safe abroad?

    While no place in the world is free from danger, there are measures you can take to keep yourself as safe as possible. In addition to your program’s own health and safety suggestions, here are some general tips for staying vigilant while abroad: 

    • Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The U.S. embassy in your host country will contact you in the event of an emergency. 
    • Always carry your phone with you and make sure it’s charged. Always keep a list of emergency contacts with you including the local emergency number, program contact, U.S. embassy, and contact back at home. 
    • Consider how much money you will carry at one time and how you will store it securely. Don’t carry a large amount of cash. Pickpocketing is common, especially in tourist destinations. If you must carry cash, do so in small amounts and keep it in a secure place.  
    • Follow the U.S. embassy in your host country on social media to stay informed about in-country happenings. 
    • Avoid walking in unsafe areas and never walk alone at night.  
    • Keep your program staff and family aware of your general whereabouts. If you plan to leave the program site, make sure they know when you’re leaving and when you expect to return. 
    • Check out CIEE’s Staying Safe While Abroad video for more tips. 
  • Will I be targeted in any way because of my identities?

    Certain aspects of your identity may be more or less salient in your host country than they are in the U.S. or your home country. It’s important to not only research your host country’s culture and context, but also identify sources of support should an identity-related incident occur while you’re abroad. 

    Here are some resources to aid your research and reflection: 

    • The CIA World Factbook contains country-specific information including a People and Society section which outlines statistics regarding ethnicity, religion, gender, and more.  
    • The State Department’s Students Abroad webpage includes a “Learn about your destination” search function. On your host country’s webpage, explore the Local Laws and Special Circumstances section. 
    • The State Department maintains Country Reports on Human Rights Practices which cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights. 
    • Stonewall’s Global Workplace Briefings shine a spotlight on the situation for LGBT people in different countries. 
  • What should I do if I feel unsafe in a particular situation abroad?

    You first step in any situation where you feel unsafe should always be to contact your program leadership. If your gut is telling you something it not right, don’t ignore that feeling. If you continue to feel unsafe after speaking with the program staff, contact Wesleyan’s Office of Study Abroad or Office of Public Safety.  

    Office of Study Abroad – 8:30am-5pm EST 

    +1 (860) 685-2550 

    Office of Public Safety - 24 Hours 

    +1 (860) 685-3333 

  • Can I participate in protests or other forms of activism while abroad?
    While it is understandable to want to get involved in activism in your host country, we generally advise that you do not attend protests or large political gatherings. Different countries have different laws regarding activism and protest, and a protest that seems peaceful can often turn out otherwise. If you feel you must participate, make sure you research thoroughly before you go, and speak with your on-site staff about where you will be. If they also advise against participating, do not participate.