Health, Safety and Security Concerns in Study Abroad
Emergency Assistance line:
001-517-353-3784 (Details on accessing emergency assistance while abroad)
OSA's Policies regarding U.S. State Department Travel Warnings
State Department's Homepage
MSU is dedicated to offering a wide variety of study abroad opportunities to meet the needs of a diverse student population. MSU has recognized the importance of establishing policies and procedures in the effort to protect the safety and well-being of study abroad participants, while acknowledging that no single plan can address all contingencies. Listed below are a few of the ways MSU strives to keep study abroad, before and during your participation, as safe as possible.
- The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) regularly and responsibly monitors safety issues in each of our program locations. A review of all study abroad programs at departmental, college and university levels is conducted in which safety, security and overall quality are measured.
- OSA is one of the few study abroad offices in the country to employ a full-time International Health and Safety Analyst responsible for overseeing health and safety concerns and serving as first responder to any emergency abroad involving MSU students, program leaders, assistants and other involved in a study abroad program.
- Each MSU program's safety and security conditions are evaluated by an independent committee. The Study Abroad Risk and Security Assessment Committee is headed by a senior university official appointed by the President and Provost. The committee has ultimate authority for approving the safety of programs and sites, and has the ability to cancel programs or revise them to address safety and security concerns.
- All participants are required to complete an online orientation that emphasizes safety issues and understanding cultural differences. Most programs also provide a country-specific pre-departure orientation in which safety precautions are outlined as well as an on-site orientation.
- Emergency procedures are in place, including medical and general emergency evacuation procedures. In any emergency, OSA has plans to be in contact with program leaders and students abroad. MSU's procedures for handling emergencies abroad have served as a model for other institutions.
- All program leaders who accompany MSU study abroad programs are required to attend the Emergency Preparedness and Response Seminar conducted by the Office of Study Abroad's International Health and Safety Analyst.
- All program leaders who accompany a study abroad program are required to carry an international cell phone to facilitate emergency communications.
- A collect-call phone number provides emergency assistance to members of the MSU community who are abroad on University business or study abroad. This number connects callers directly to the MSU Police Operations Desk. Calls are processed following a detailed emergency response protocol. The phone number and procedures, produced on a wallet-size card, are given to all students upon arrival.
- The Office of Study Abroad strives to keep students, program leaders, and parents informed of conditions and decisions related to student safety and well-being. However, in these changing times, it is necessary that each student take responsibility for his/her own safety by staying informed and conducting themselves accordingly. This website as well as the Study Abroad Student Guide and the Study Abroad Program Leader Guide are designed to provide tools and resources about a variety of such issues. Below are some specific sections of both guides that may be of interest:
- Specific health, safety and security Information for students (from the Student Guide)
- Specific health, safety and security information for program leaders (From the Program Leader Guide)
Also please visit the MSU International Studies and Programs international travel safety pages.
In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy & Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act, MSU has published an annual report to provide an overview of the University's security and safety resources, policies, and procedures. To learn more visit the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report .
If you have any questions regarding travel health, safety or security, please contact the International Health and Safety Analyst firstname.lastname@example.org, Office of Study Abroad, (517) 353-8920.