Health and Safety

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

At Syracuse Abroad, the health, wellness, and safety of our students are our highest priorities. Our on-site and pre-departure orientation sessions include extensive health and safety information to help students maintain their health and well-being throughout their term of study.

To ensure  that you maintain your health while abroad, we want to remind you to be prepared for your travels. Please 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 prepare for your semester abroad, you may contact Syracuse Health Services at (315) 443-9005. If it is after hours, you may speak to the on-call provider by calling that same number.


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.
  • 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, Hong Kong, 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 Conditions:

If you have any medical conditions that require special accommodations or the care of a doctor, please inform Syracuse Abroad’s Coordinator of Student Services, Neil Savoy, at 315-443-3471 so arrangements can be made.

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).

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.

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:

  • Syracuse Abroad’s Coordinator of Student Services, Neil Savoy, 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.

Accommodations for Medical & Health Requirements

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 tell us about any specific conditions.

Bear in mind that 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. Students may not need the extra help, but all in all, it is better to be prepared.

Diets and Allergies

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

Medical Conditions

Being informed about medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, eating disorders, or psychiatric conditions helps us prepare to assist you in the event of an emergency. Please consult with your physician and/or psychiatrist before traveling abroad if you have any medical or psychological concerns, and be sure that Syracuse Abroad has received all the necessary information.

It is not possible for programs abroad to provide the full range of counseling services that are available on your home campus. Please be aware that adjusting to an overseas lifestyle may cause some stress. Often students, parents, or guardians believe physical or mental needs are negligible and most likely will improve when abroad. Our experience is that the information that you provide, no matter how minor, will save time in the midst of an emergency should one occur.


Syracuse University is committed to full compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to the extent that those federal statutes, which protect the rights of students with disabilities, apply to the University’s study abroad programs. You are not required to inform us of a disability; however, doing so will help us assess your needs as a student and improve our ability to provide accommodations abroad. Many accommodations require early planning, so requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible.

Students who wish to inform us of their learning disabilities and request accommodations should complete the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities questionnaire, which is included with other post-acceptance items online. We ask you to document your disability and let us know well in advance where you may need accommodation.

Please note that your accommodations information is NOT automatically transferred from the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to Syracuse Abroad, so unless you disclose it by using the accommodations questionnaire, center staff and faculty will be unaware of your possible need for support. If you have any questions, you should speak to Bridget Demorest, the Syracuse Abroad Assistant Director, Student Services, before you depart, as she can coordinate needed accommodations.

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with ODS at Syracuse University. Students who require disability-related accommodations must have a current Accommodations Authorization Letter from ODS, which should be uploaded to the Accommodation for Students with Disabilities questionnaire. Accommodations, such as exam administration, are not provided retroactively; therefore, planning for accommodations prior to the beginning of the semester is necessary.

For more information about university services to assist students with learning disabilities, contact the director of the Office of Disability Services at 315-443-4498 (voice) or 315-443-1371 (TDD/TTY).

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 Officer by the Syracuse Abroad Assistant Director, Student 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.