Health and Safety

Health and Safety


Safety Abroad • U.S. Department of State Emergency Procedures   International Travel

International Health Insurance • When Your Student Gets Sick  Prescription Drugs • Resources

Safety Abroad

Your students’ health, safety, and security are critical to a successful and worthwhile study abroad experience. While it is impossible to anticipate every contingency, it is essential that students, parents, and advisors are informed and knowledgeable concerning studying abroad in today's world of ever-changing challenges. Please click here for information about safety information for your student while he or she is abroad.

U.S. Department of State

Both you and your student should be aware that the U.S. Department of State maintains a website for U.S citizen students who are, or will be, studying abroad. The website is located here and addresses the following subject areas:

Emergency Procedures

In the event of a medical or evacuation emergency, your student should contact HTH immediately at: 1-888-243-2358 (phone number is on the card), then your host institution, as well as the Office of Global Affairs.

Your student is entitled to Global Assistance Services while traveling outside of the United States. In the event of an emergency, your student would go immediately to the nearest physician or hospital without delay and then contact HTH Worldwide. HTH Worldwide will then take the appropriate action to assist and monitor the medical care until the situation is resolved.

To contact HTH Worldwide in the event of an emergency, call 1.800.257.4823 or collect to +1.610.254.8771.

International Travel

We provide information on international travel guidelines and remind students to be active participants in their safety measures, both on and off their campuses. We monitor world news, including State Department Travel Advisories, on a regular basis and will inform our students, their families, and our advisor partners accordingly. We will not send students or allow students to remain on programs where we have been advised through U.S. Department of State travel warnings that their health and safety is in jeopardy.

Students are reminded to stay in touch with their host program personnel and inform them of any travel plans. We urge students to keep in contact with their home university study abroad advisor, their friends and their families on a regular basis to minimize worry and concern for their safety.

International Health Insurance 

(Only for SHU-Affiliated Study Abroad Programs)

As part of your student’s study abroad program with Sacred Heart University, he or she will be enrolled in an HTH Worldwide health insurance plan, which provides service and protection in the event your student becomes ill or injured during the program. It is mandatory that all students participating in SHU study abroad programs be enrolled in HTH insurance coverage, regardless of your personal insurance plan coverage. The cost is included in the payment of their study abroad fee.

Once accepted to a study abroad program, your student will receive a description of HTH benefits and covered medical expenses, as well as receive an insurance card prior to departure. The HTH study abroad policy has a lifetime maximum of $1,000,000 and a maximum of $100,000 per year and per injury/illness. There is no deductible and pre-existing conditions are covered.

Once enrolled with HTH, your student will be assigned a personal ID number (Certificate Number). This number will be on the ID card and may also be accessed through HTH Worldwide. The site includes information on doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals abroad, as well as, local names of medications, how to file a claim, etc. Your student is encouraged to contact HTH anytime with specific questions, especially if he or she is taking medication or has a preexisting health condition. You can also access information about HTH Worldwide by visiting the HTH Parents website.

When Your Student Gets Sick

Getting sick is never fun, obviously. When your student does not feel well, whether with a cold, or something else, remember that he or she is not without medical resources. All the programs have access to infirmaries, doctors, or whatever is necessary. Your student needs to make the appropriate connection (as was most likely provided during the orientation period at home or on site) and get the help needed. Obviously when one is not feeling well, it is very normal to call parents and look for sympathy. However, once you provide the appropriate sympathy, you can best help by encouraging your student to get the assistance and care which is available at their own site, just as if he or she were at SHU and would have to access the college health center or hospital. Know that -- as worrisome as it may be to have a sick son or daughter far away -- they are really NOT alone! In the event that you cannot assuage your concerns, please do feel free to connect with the Office of Global Affairs and we will discuss the best way to proceed to get the necessary care to your son or daughter and assurance to you.

Prescription Drugs

The students were told this very clearly during the mandatory health and safety orientation, but in case they do not tell you, these are the guidelines for medications when going overseas:

    1. Your student must have a sufficient quantity of medications for the entire time that he or she is overseas;
    2. The medications should be in the pharmacy container with the label on it;
    3. The medications must be carried in the carry-on bag, not in the checked luggage (in case that gets diverted);
    4. Your student should also have a prescription written in clear form just in case there is a need to obtain the prescription overseas (if the medication is lost by the student, for example);
    5. If your insurance carrier does not permit medication to be filled for more than 30 days, you will need to get your physician to intervene;
    6. If the medication is a complex one, please do converse with your physician;
    7. Feel free to contact HTH Worldwide or the Office of Study Abroad with any questions about prescription medications.

Resources for Parents

Some recommended publications for parents of study abroad students include the following:

    • NAFSA’s What Parents Need to Know Before, During, and After Education Abroad, available to order through the NAFSA website:;
    • CIEE’s Knowledge Series is a series of brochures designed to help parents and their students prepare for study abroad and is available here;
    • University of the Pacific has an on-line cultural training called “What’s Up With Culture?” for study abroad students. You may want to look at it yourself and encourage your student to view it before going abroad. The website can be found here;
    • offers parents and students helpful travel guides with information regarding accommodations, food, and sights listings, as well as numerous tips for student travelers looking to save money while traveling, working, or studying abroad. Available through their website at