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Preparation

IPS Support

  • Pre-departure and while abroad support
  • 24/7 Emergency phone number
  • International Crisis Management Team
  • Comprehensive insurance plan
  • Policies and procedures to encourage health and safety
  • Communication plan and protocols for health and safety incidents

Preparation Before You Go:

Through Study Abroad Advising you have prepared for your academic, personal, and professional goals, as well as program finances related to your program. It is also important to review health & safety considerations specific to you and your host destination(s). To have a productive experience, be honest with yourself about all of these issues, putting your health & safety a priority.  
 
Attend the Study Abroad Orientation programming:
- Orientation Part 1 - Heath & Safety Video and Assessment: This is location on your application and required before your departure. 
- Orientation Part 2 - The Launch Party: IPS will host an event for students about to depart. This event will be a time focused on cultural readiness. 

Study Abroad Orientation is mandatory. The date, time and location are determined in advance and provided to participants so they can take off from work, notify supervisors, and rearrange plans if necessary. This orientation is crucial to prepare participants for going abroad and is required for all participants. 

Sign up for MU's International Health Insurance.

Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Review the Health & Safety resources on this website. 
On your application you may have disclosed and communicated to an IPS Education Abroad Advisor of your known physical or emotional/mental health conditions, including medical or environmental allergies and dietary requirements, and prescription medication. If anything has changed, IPS encourages you to update your Physical & Mental Health Form on your account.  

Reflect on any health requirements you may have to ensure that your specific needs can be prepared for and addressed. 

Consider scheduling health exams, whether or not your program requires them, to ensure any existing concerns can be address prior to participation. Consider making appointments for the following: 
- Annual physical exam 
- Prescription updates 
- Vision check-up 
- Dental check-up 
- Gynecological exam 

Do you have a disability that could require accommodations in order for you to be successful in the classroom, at your placement, or while traveling? Put this on your Physical & Mental Health Form so that IPS can work with the Office of Learning Services to assist. Some countries may not have accommodations available for certain disabilities, so do your research well in advance.  

Will you be comfortable with the daily physical challenges of some locations such as walking long distances, uneven terrain, or others? 

Will you need to bring your prescription medication into your host country? Some medication is not permitted through certain countries’ airport customs and may place restrictions on specific medications or specific amounts. Make sure you have a backup plan in case medication is lost or stolen, you do not bring enough, or if they are confiscated by customs. Do not assume that you can ship medication to your host country as there are strict regulations for international mailing.  

Do you have any dietary restrictions that will need to be considered? Some regions present more dietary challenges than others. Be sure to do research on your host city to be sure you can access the foods you need to maintain your diet and/or lifestyle.  

Are you currently receiving any counseling or therapy services that you will need to continue abroad? If so, find out f you will have access to these services in your host country. Work with your counselor to create a plan for the length of your study abroad term.  

Understand what is included on your international health insurance plan. What are you covered for?
 
  1. Seek out literature and other resources regarding your host location. 
  2. Access the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control web resources for up-to-date information on and health advisories.  
    1. The U.S. State Department's Before You Go website. 
    2. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Information for International Travel (“The Yellow Book”) is a comprehensive prevention and health guide for international travelers, covering a broad range of health topics from infectious disease to jet lag.
  3. Learn about all of the required or recommended immunization/vaccinations for your host destination.  
  4. Research the larger known risks including news of disease, food and water safety, and others.  
  5. Identify areas in the country, region, or host city where it may not be safe to visit.  
  6. Familiarize yourself with local laws. 
  7. Research cultural norms or socially accepted behavior.
  8. What is the current political and security climate in your host country? 
  9. Is your sexual orientation or identity a cause for concern in your host destination? Familiarize yourself with both the laws and attitudes in your host country. 

Preparation While Abroad:

Regularly check your Marauder email: This is how all important information is communicated by MU and IPS. so don't forget to check it on a regular basis!
Keeping a blog or journal? Don't forget to tell us about your fun experiences as well. We love to hear from you!
Stay Connected to Millersville! #MUGlobal

Complete the following items on your Portal
- Arrival Confirmation
- Provide your Local Emergency Contact Information
- Submit: Return Flight Itinerary (if you did not provide previously)

Check in with your friends and family

Assess campus and housing safety information:
- Fire escape plan; emergency meeting locations
- Safety features: Fire extinguisher, fire alarms, smoke detectors, door/window locks, security guards, 
- Locate the international office at the host university and/or your on-site emergency contacts
- Attend host university or host provider orientations

Locate pharmacy, doctor's office, police station

Complete a Travel Notification Form if you travel overnight from your host destination.