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Student Responsibilities for Health & Safety Abroad

Students play an important role in managing their own health, safety and security, beginning with preparation prior to the program and continuing throughout their time abroad. While there are some situations that are out of anyone’s control, by being knowledgeable about the host country, making responsible decisions, knowing the resources, and asking for assistance when necessary, students can prevent a number of possible issues. 

Please review the following student responsibilities and guidelines:

  • Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the Rice Study Abroad Office, your individual program, the U.S. Dept. of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International SOS, and your personal doctor, about issues or recommendations that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in your host country.
  • Consider your health and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program. Medical care abroad can be very different than it is in the U.S. You should be sure that you are very comfortable handling any personal health concerns while in your new environment abroad.
  • Disclose to your specific program leaders and the Rice Study Abroad Office accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.
  • Assume responsibility for your own personal preparation for the program and participate fully in pre-departure and on-site orientations.
  • Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by the carriers.
  • Inform parents, guardians and any others who may need to know about your participation in the study abroad program. Provide them with emergency contact information on-site, and keep them informed on an ongoing basis.
  • Follow the program policies for keeping host country program staff informed of your whereabouts and well-being.
  • Understand and comply with the terms of participation and codes of conduct in your program, as well as those at Rice, and obey host country laws.
  • When making daily choices and decisions, be aware of local conditions that may present health or safety risks. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the program director or other appropriate individuals.
  • Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others.
  • Accept responsibility and consequences of your own decisions and actions.
  • Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and law enforcement services in the host country.