Health and Safety
Health and safety is one of the top concerns for students and parents, as well as a top priority for Fresno State. SAIE regularly monitors and reviews the health and safety of our students abroad; however, while safety cannot be guaranteed while abroad (or here at Fresno State), there are a number of tips and resources available to help students stay as safe as possible while abroad. We encourage students to use their best judgment and take the necessary steps to enhance their safety and security abroad. Additionally, all students are required to carry special international health and travel insurance for study abroad through the California State University approved insurance provider. Instructions for completing the insurance quote request form is available online.
Students and parents are encouraged to read the information available on this site, as well as other resources highlighted throughout this section. It is a requirement that all Fresno State students participating in study abroad program enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). There is no cost to enroll in STEP. Furthermore, Fresno State adheres to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warnings and may suspend, postpone, or cancel programs in countries or regions that have travel warnings issued.
Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation
All students studying abroad, either on a Fresno State program or through an outside organization, are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation prior to starting the program. Orientations are typically held during dead days (or Final Exam Prep Days), or as a group for faculty-led programs, and students will receive detailed information about orientation after completing all the required paperwork for studying abroad.
Staying Healthy and Safe
For most students, studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be immersed in an exciting new culture. It also can be a time to be exposed to a new list of possible diseases, food and drink that may or may not meet U.S. standards, and other health risks. Whether it’s new allergies, food poisoning, or something more severe, planning ahead to stay healthy can make a study abroad experience more enjoyable. However, it can also be a time to be exposed to petty theft, earthquakes, hurricanes, political upheavals, and acts of terrorism. The large majority of students have a safe experience while traveling abroad, information and resources available in this section are devoted to helping students have a safe study abroad experience.
Travel and Health Insurance
All Fresno State students are required to purchase special international travel and health insurance for study abroad through the California State University approved insurance provider. This insurance goes beyond what the traditional U.S. health insurance policies cover. Cost of the insurance can range from approximately $40 for the summer to $700 for a full year. It is important to keep this cost in mind when budgeting for a study abroad program. Instructions for completing the insurance request form is available online.
Students who participate in faculty-led programs will be covered automatically and will not need to order an insurance quote.
Tips for Staying Healthy
- Keep hydrated!
- Eating on a timely basis, minimize skipping meals, and keep a snack handy.
- Eat variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins – Keep meals balanced
- Introduce new dishes and spices slowly to your meal plan, be aware of ingredients (in the case of allergies)
- Pack a small first aid kit (find tips on what to bring on the CDC website)
- Find out about taking prescription medications abroad
- Research required/recommended vaccinations for different locations
- Check out the CDC’s “Can I eat this?” and other apps for your mobile device
- Use common sense
- Stay sober
- Know the area/be aware of surroundings
- Put away the camera/phone
- Try to blend in
- Read the Consular information sheets before traveling
- Register through the Smart Travelers Enrollment Program
ResourcesHealth and Safety
- Center for Disease Control - Travelers Health
- Center for Global Education - SAFETI
- Department of State Travel Warnings
- Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP)
- Students Abroad - Smart Travel