Health and Safety

At Syracuse Abroad, the health, wellness, and safety of our students are our highest priorities. To that end, there is also a level of personal responsibility integral to your achievement and learning. Our programs have extensive health and safety measures in place to support a successful experience abroad. These measures are reliant upon your cooperation and adherence to the guidance outlined in the following sections.

Further, Syracuse Abroad participants are held accountable to the Syracuse University Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Code of Student Conduct, and the Syracuse Abroad Standards of Behavior while overseas.

Health Preparations

To ensure that you maintain your health while abroad, we remind you to be prepared for your travels. Complete the Medical History questionnaire (a part of your post-acceptance materials), if you have not done so already.

If you have any general health inquiries as you think about your semester abroad, contact Health Care- Barnes Center at the Arch at (315) 443-8000. Additional contacts for the office can be found here: Contact – Barnes Center at The Arch.


If you take medication regularly:

  • Contact your prescribing physician to ensure you have enough medication for the duration of your stay abroad. You cannot mail medication abroad. Please bring enough for your entire time abroad.
  • If you need a letter of support to provide to your physician/insurance company regarding a semester’s duration of medication, please contact Katie Shaw, Coordinator for Student Support and Inclusion Services:
  • You should contact ISOS for information and rules governing the transportation of medication in the country (ies) where you will be traveling. The Syracuse University membership number is 11BCPA000177.


  • All students studying at colleges or universities in the United States are required to have all their immunizations up to date.
  • Travel to other parts of the world may require additional immunizations. We recommend that you consult your physician regarding your immunization needs for any of the countries to which you may travel. There are no immunizations required to travel between the United States, Western Europe, or Santiago.
  • For additional information regarding recommended immunizations, please contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at or; ISOS at 215-942-8478; or your local county health department, physician, or student health services for additional information. 

Medical & Dietary Accommodations

We frequently have students in our program with specific health and medical requirements. To properly accommodate medical and dietary needs, we request advance notice. The health information and housing questionnaires included in the online application are voluntary and invite students to share this information.

Managing conditions can become more challenging in new and unfamiliar environments, so the more preparation Syracuse Abroad can help you do in advance, the better.

Medical Diagnoses

Being informed about medical diagnoses helps us to best prepare and assist with local resources if ongoing support is needed. Consult with your medical/mental health practitioner before traveling abroad if you have any questions and be sure that Syracuse Abroad has received all the necessary information when completing the medical history (and if applicable, housing) questionnaires.

It is not possible for programs abroad to provide the full range of psychological services that are available on your home campus. The more information you disclose, no matter how minor, can help staff best prepare and connect you with resources so that you can have a successful experience abroad.

Diets and Allergies

To provide for a successful housing placement abroad, please let us know about any dietary or health-related restrictions that may impact your living arrangements. (e.g., allergies to foods, pets, or cigarette smoke, or special dietary needs such as salt-free, vegetarian, etc.) Enter this information on your housing preference form as well as on your medical history questionnaires. Though all needs cannot be fully met, we make every effort to accommodate them when possible.

Disabilities and Support Abroad

If you plan to receive disability-related accommodations abroad, complete the voluntary online questionnaire, Accommodations for Students with Disabilities on your OrangeAbroad portal. Disclosure of a disability is not required, however, doing so will improve our ability to connect you more efficiently to resources abroad.

All accommodations, housing and academic, must be vetted through Syracuse University’s Center for Disability Resources (CDR) office. This is an interactive process between you as the student, and their expertise. Instructions for registering with CDR are available on the Accommodations for Students with Disability form in OrangeAbroad.

Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; therefore, planning for this prior to the beginning of the semester is necessary.

Syracuse University students: Your accommodations information is not automatically transferred from the Center for Disability Resources to Syracuse Abroad, so unless you disclose it by using the accommodations questionnaire, center staff and faculty will be unaware of your potential need for support.

Visiting students: it is essential to make sure any accommodations you receive are on file with your home university. Student services will then verify and work with our own Center for Disability Resources to have those accommodations on file with SU. You will be able to use existing documentation from your home institution to register with Syracuse University’s Center for Disability Resources office.

Contact the Student Services team at Syracuse Abroad for questions about this process.

For more information about university services to assist students with disabilities, contact the Center for Disability Resources, at 315-443-4498 (voice) or 315-443-1371 (TDD/TTY).

Insurance Abroad

We ask students and their families/guardians to carefully review their personal medical and insurance situation. Frequently asked questions regarding insurance can be found on our website.

Personal/Family Insurance:

  • Assess your personal medical situation, and decide what level of insurance protection best meets your individual needs while studying abroad.
  • Contact your current insurance company to ask about obtaining medical care overseas. You or your parents/guardians may already have coverage through an HMO, PPO, or similar plan, and it may be possible to add a rider to that policy that would also cover some overseas care.

NOTE: You may be required to pay for medical care out of pocket initially. Students and their parents/guardians are responsible for any costs and expenses that medical insurance does not cover.

Personal Property Insurance

  • Syracuse Abroad insurance does have limited coverage for loss of personal property. However, many students bring valuable equipment such as laptop computers and cameras overseas, and the limited benefits provided by this insurance may not be adequate to cover these items.
  • To protect your possessions against fire, theft, vandalism, or other casualty, you may want to consult your parents’/guardians’ homeowners insurance as you may already have coverage available.
  • Consider the possibility of obtaining additional coverage to protect the value of your possessions.

Overseas Center Staff Support

Should you need one, you should consult Syracuse Abroad staff about medical referrals to local clinics, hospitals, and specialists. In the case of an emergency, you should contact the Syracuse Abroad center staff as soon as possible (if after hours, call the center’s emergency phone number).

Filing a Claim While Abroad

Most foreign hospitals do not recognize U.S. insurance and will not bill your insurance company directly. Therefore, in most cases you will have to pay for services upfront and then file a claim for reimbursement:

  • The Student Services team can provide assistance with filing a claim through the Syracuse Abroad emergency insurance included in your program fee.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills and have them translated to English.
  • Keep your receipts for any payments you make.
  • You are responsible for follow-up on any insurance claims, both with your primary insurance provider and the Syracuse Abroad insurance provider.

International SOS Member Services

International SOS is a medical referral service that provides 24/7 medical consultation and emergency services while you’re abroad.  You will receive an ISOS membership card once you arrive on site. Carry the card with you at all times. More information about ways to utilize the ISOS membership can be found here.

Syracuse University’s membership number is 11BCPA000177: it will be used to access the ISOS website; parents/guardians should record the membership number and website address so they also have access.

Membership includes 24 hour ISOS information services (web or phone) at no charge including:

  • Country risk ratings, State Department postings, medical travel recommendations, and immunization requirements
  • Access to medical doctors via phone consultation
  • Referrals to English-speaking doctors
  • Phone assessment and phone translation services in case of hospitalization
  • ISOS also has an application that is available to download. Information on the app is especially valuable when you are traveling during breaks, or visiting destinations where you have no local contacts and find yourself needing medical advice.

NOTE: Use of actual medical services (beyond information services) is not free. While you have access to ISOS clinics and doctors around the world, you will be responsible for the cost of such services if not covered by your health insurance policy or the Syracuse Abroad insurance policy. The ISOS program is not a health insurance plan.

Syracuse Community Abroad

Syracuse University prohibits harassment or discrimination related to any protected category including creed, ethnic or national origin, gender, pregnancy, disability, marital status, political or social affiliation, age, race, color, veteran status, military status, religion, sexual orientation, domestic violence status, gender identity, gender expression, or perceived gender. Any complaint of discrimination or harassment related to any of these protected bases will be reported to the University’s Chief Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services. Compliance efforts under various laws including Titles VI, IX and Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act will be coordinated.

If you feel that your safety is being threatened in any way, support is available to you abroad and on the main campus in three ways. Call the local 24-hour emergency number provided to you during orientation. Reach out to staff abroad for assistance. To access confidential and privileged resources, contact the 24-hour phone number of the Sexual and Relationship Violence Response Team, available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at 315-443-4715. You will receive more information about specific staff abroad who you may contact should you need assistance. Support is available to you, and staff are always available to assist.