Safety is a prime concern of all who are involved in education abroad ventures – participants, their families, advisers, institutions that send students abroad, those that host them, and the staff of all organizations that operate programs. NAFSA is committed to providing up-to-date, relevant resources on student health and safety abroad to aid education abroad professionals as they strive to create and promote safe programs for their students. For more information, check out the International Education Professional Competencies, the most comprehensive listing of necessary competencies for success in the field of international education.

Top Resources

New Resources

COVID-19 Liability Waivers for Participation in Education Abroad
The resumption of some education abroad offerings in fall 2020 prompted institutions to add new, COVID-specific language into participation liability waivers or notifications for students. Education abroad offices should always consult with their legal counsel and risk management offices on appropriate modifications and protocols for their institution.

Understanding CDC Travel Health Notices
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses Travel Health Notices (THN) to “inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that impact travelers’ health, like disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters, in destinations around the world.”

Notifications and Emergency Responses for Education Abroad
This Notification and Emergency Response guidelines below describe when it may (or may not) be necessary for institutions to reach out to education abroad participants in the aftermath of an event overseas. Different constituencies in the field vary in their responses; an emergency for one program could be trivial to others. This document will also be helpful for individuals to determine what constituents an emergency in their home context.

Study Abroad Center – Crisis Response Plan
The Education Abroad Health and Safety Subcommittee led by Jason Hope, University of Kentucky, and Dan Hart, Arizona State University, compiled five sample crisis response plans used by different universities. This resource is meant to provide options/outlines for responding to an education abroad emergency.

International Medical Insurance Considerations for Education Abroad Professionals
Even when you do all that you can to prepare your travelers for a safe and healthy experience abroad, they may still experience health problems that require medical attention. Do you know where they would go if they need medical care at their travel destination? If they do seek medical care, are they covered by insurance? This resource examines these questions and more.


Crisis Management for Education Abroad
The best way to handle an emergency is to plan for it. Make sure you have a response in place for your education abroad office before a crisis occurs. Don't get caught off guard the next time your office needs to respond quickly!

Planning for Safe and Healthy Travels
This multi-step guide offers valuable tips and information on health and safety issues that students must consider before, during, and after their education abroad experience. It covers issues such as immunizations, jet lag, emergency protocols, and travel advisories.

Addressing Mental Health Issues Affecting EA Participants
This new and completely revised publication provides education abroad professionals with tools to identify and help education abroad participants with mental health challenges. Topics covered include: common mental health concerns, when and how to refer a student to counseling, handling emergencies abroad, and legal concerns.

Health and Safety for Secondary School Programs Abroad
Planning an education abroad program for middle or high school students can be an enormous undertaking. This new digital download centers on key health, safety, and risk management issues that are involved in developing a secondary school international experience.

Sexual Health Abroad
This booklet is a helpful guide for healthy sexual behaviors abroad. It covers critical issues regarding cultural norms, contraception, sexual violence, and LGBTQIA issues. It includes helpful insights from students during their own time abroad.

Seminars and Workshops

Additional Resources