Health and safety
Helpful information for NAU students studying abroad
The health and safety of students abroad is our highest priority. We are constantly monitoring current events around the world to help assess the safety of all of our programs. While NAU cannot guarantee complete safety while students are abroad (just as we can’t within the U.S.), we do our best to ensure that students are participating in programs that prioritize safety and security along with providing culturally and academically rich experiences.
What you need to know
Information and resources for students with disabilities Accordion Closed
Students with disabilities are encouraged to study abroad through NAU. Students registered with Disability Resources who are eligible for on-campus accommodations may also be eligible for overseas accommodations when it can be arranged.
You may disclose your accommodation needs to Education Abroad staff and Disability Resources following admission to a program so that appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations can be made in advance wherever possible. Please be aware that some programs may not have the ability to offer certain accommodations.
Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way. Talk to your Education Abroad Advisor about what types of accommodations are available in your host country, and be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating your disability.
Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view disability and disability accommodations by reading and researching, talking with other students, and attending Pre-Departure Orientation sessions with your Education Abroad Advisor. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for your new environment. Our Students with Disabilities Success Abroad resource page provides additional information.
Immunization and health while abroad Accordion Closed
Visit a doctor or travel clinic before you go to discuss any immunizations you may need that are specific to your destination.
Research what health risks may be endemic to your destination. Can you drink the tap water? Can you eat the fruits and vegetables from the market? The Center for Disease Control is an excellent resource.
Prescriptions Accordion Closed
Some prescription medications may be difficult or impossible to obtain while you are abroad. If possible, work with your health care provider in the United States to get any prescriptions you may need abroad filed for the period of time you will be overseas.
Some countries do not allow certain prescription and non-prescription medications. If this is the case, and you bring those medications into the country, the medications may be confiscated as you enter. It is very important that you check with the embassy webpage of your host country to see whether your medications are permitted in your host country.
International health insurance Accordion Closed
All NAU students are required to have international health insurance overage while abroad. Most NAU students will be enrolled in GEOBlue international student health insurance. Others will have insurance provided by their host institution or provider. GEOBlue can provide a range of services including medical translation and a health care provider locator. Students will receive additional information (including policy details and coverage) in an email from GEOBlue after being enrolled. Please refer to these documents or your Education Abroad Advisor if you have any questions about coverage.
What we do to monitor safety Accordion Closed
Education Abroad Advisors monitor U.S. State Department travel alerts and warnings. If a travel warning is published by the State Department, a message is sent to students in the region so that they are aware of current events. Education Abroad also encourages students to stay informed about current events and developing situations in their region of the world. The best way to do this is by signing up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the State Department.
NAU Safe app Accordion Closed
All students will be required to download the NAU Safe app. The Education Abroad office will register your itinerary, and send emergency messaging based on your location and dates of travel. For more information visit the NAU Safe website.
What to do in an emergency Accordion Closed
NAU students have 24-hour access to an emergency phone line that they can call anytime that they are experiencing an emergency. Each student is provided with a wallet-sized card that includes this number along with the contact information of all staff within Education Abroad.
24-hour emergency line: 001-602-234-9105
Crime: how to protect yourself Accordion Closed
Crime is an unfortunate reality wherever you are in the world, including the U.S. There are several steps that can be taken to reduce your chances of being a victim of a crime:
- Whenever you are traveling after dark, don’t go alone and always travel with another person(s) that you trust.
- Blend in with the local population. The more you stand out as a foreigner through your clothing and behaviors, the more of a target you may become.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel that you are in an unsafe situation, remove yourself from that situation as soon as possible.
- Avoid large gatherings such as protests or political events, as these have the potential to become volatile and unsafe at a moment’s notice.
- Avoid substances that impair your judgement such as drugs or alcohol.
Sexual assault and harassment Accordion Closed
Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted sexual contact. If you are sexually assaulted while abroad, get yourself to a safe place as soon as possible and consider talking about your experience with someone you trust. This may include friends, family, staff at your host institution, your Education Abroad Advisor, or another person you trust. You may decide to report the incident to NAU, your host institution, or the local authorities in your host country. Of course, deciding whether or not to report an incident can be a stressful and confusing choice. Know that your EA Advisor and all of CIE is here to support you in whatever choice you make.
More information on this can be found on the NAU website.
Local laws Accordion Closed
When students travel to a foreign country, they are subject to local laws and penalties. While many students feel like all laws abroad are common sense, there are many laws abroad that would surprise Americans. Lack of familiarity with local laws is not considered an excuse and will not prevent you from being arrested and possible jail time. Please consult with your host institution’s local staff to determine if there are any laws that may be very different from the United States.
Political demonstrations Accordion Closed
While local political demonstrations can be very attractive to students looking to learn more about the culture of their host country, SA strongly advises students to avoid them. These events have the potential to escalate from peaceful protests to violent eruptions that puts everyone’s safety in jeopardy. Participation or observation (including taking photographs) in local political demonstrations can also lead to arrest and detainment by local officials.