Information for Parents of Students Studying Abroad
Health and Safety
At Utica College, your child’s safety is our top priority. Rest assured, we regularly review all our programs to make sure that the safety of our students is in excellent hands. We communicate regularly and openly with our partners abroad to make sure that our students have quality care. Every program has on-site staff who conduct orientation and go over specific protocols that are set in place to ensure the safety of your son or daughter. Students are given a Health and Safety Abroad booklet upon acceptance to the program, which they are strongly encouraged to read. Please ask your son/daughter to share that with you!
Students are required to buy supplemental international health insurance coverage through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), our international insurance provider. This ranges from $150-$200 per semester. Unlike the regular college health insurance plan, this charge cannot be waived. CISI’s coverage provides additional international benefits, which provides benefits that domestic insurance does not. This includes access to doctors all over the world, travel assistance in medical emergencies, and emergency evacuations. Please note that some programs abroad also require students to purchase in country health insurance in compliance with the regulations of their country.
In today’s society, we always need to be prepared in case of an emergency. During the pre-departure orientation at Utica College, students are informed about emergency procedures and given emergency contact numbers. This information is also reviewed by the program staff when they arrive on-site. Students should register in the US State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) as soon as they have their residence address abroad, to help US Embassy officials get in touch with them as quickly as possible if an emergency in the country arises, or if they need to get in touch with their family in the US in the event of a crisis.
The Office of International Education monitors daily alerts from the U.S. Department of State and our insurance company that shows any warnings for areas that our students may be in.
There’s no denying that there is easier access to drugs and alcohol in some foreign countries than in the United States. Students are also potentially vulnerable to other crimes if impaired. Please talk to your child about the importance of drinking responsibly, especially in a foreign country.
Students are held to the laws and rules of whatever country they are residing in. The vast majority of students who study abroad do just fine, but it is important to stress to your son or daughter that they must comply with the laws of the country they are visiting. If they do get into legal trouble, there is nothing that Utica College can do, and there’s little that the U.S. Embassy can do other than visit them in jail.
You may be worried about how your child will occupy their free time on the weekends. Many programs offer weekend excursions available to the students. Most programs also require students to inform them of their travel plans if they are staying overnight in another city or country. That way, in case of an emergency, program staff will know of their whereabouts and give them the proper help if needed.