Queens University of Charlotte
Knight-Crane Hall 103
Charlotte, NC 28274
704-337-2533
international@queens.edu
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Health and Safety Abroad

With traveling abroad comes inherent health risks. Before traveling abroad on JBIP, students will be asked to sign a Travel Release and Waiver Form acknowledging these risks. The PCIE will do its best to inform students of these risks, but ultimately it is up to the student to research the health insurance policy provided by Queens.

Immunizations and Health Concerns

Some international destinations require immunizations while many others only have recommended immunizations. How do you know? You can look on the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ to search for a specific location. Every student who signs up for an international experience will also need to have an appointment at the Health and Wellness Center. This appointment is at no cost to you. Students are responsible for all immunization costs. 

For semester- or yearlong abroad participants, it is wise to travel with your immunization record card and copies of your prescriptions. 

Health Insurance

Queens will provide you with information about your international insurance coverage. This information should be carefully reviewed so that students can decide if they wish to purchase supplemental policies. This is not travel insurance so will not cover lost or stolen items, lost luggage, delayed flights, or other travel issues. Our insurance policy is through Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA) and provides medical and emergency coverage.  It is broad coverage that should give you a good level of assurance, but please review the policy information and decide if you wish to purchase supplemental policies. 

Our international health insurance policy is with EIIA and Europ Assistance. You will receive a brochure and one-page coverage summary prior to departure. EIIA's online portal also provides multiple resources for ensuring a safe and healthy trip abroad, including:

  • Downloadable identification card
  • Travel alerts for your program destination and surrounding region
  • Custom country reports
  • Find local medical care providers
  • Medical phrasebook & drug translation
  • Updates to visa process for all countries
  • Information on in-country transportation
  • Tips for traveling in-country (including exchange rates, electricity conversions & communications information)
To access the online portal, go to http://eiia.org/internationaltravel/. From here, you will use the Group ID and Activation Code to register with Europ Assistance. After creating a username and password, you can enter your trip details and register for travel alerts, as well as access the other resources listed above.

Staying Healthy

We recommend that students travel with a medicine kit containing Band-Aids, travel medicines for things like motion- or altitude-sickness, headaches, nausea, upset stomach, etc. Please keep all prescription medications in their original bottles. 

It is important to note that not all medications or prescriptions you take here in the U.S. are available or allowed abroad. If you are concerned about your prescription and/or over-the-counter medications, please talk to the nursing staff at the Health & Wellness Center during your travel consultation or contact our insurance provider, EIIA/Europ Assistance prior to departure. 

For semester- or yearlong abroad participants, it is wise to travel with your immunization record card and copies of your prescriptions.

Students who wear contacts/glasses should pack an extra set and necessary solutions. 

If you are currently under the care of a physician and/or counselor, it is imperative that you consult them about your travel plans and formulate a proactive plan for managing any condition(s) while you are abroad. 

The best way to stay healthy during international travel is to:

  • Sleep! It's tempting to stay out late to squeeze in as many activities as possible, but sleeping is crucial to staying health and enjoying your time abroad.
  • Drink lots of water! Depending on your destination, you may need to avoid tap water (including ice, fruits & vegetables washed in water, brushing your teeth with it, etc.) For more information on water safety precautions, check the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
  • Be mindful of your food choices. Food is prepared differently in other cultures and may cause an upset stomach. A good rule of thumb is to avoid "street food" and keep antacids or medicines like Pepto Bismol handy. 
  • Take a daily multivitamin.
  • Jet lag is normal and temporary. On your first day in-country, try to stay awake until 9 or 10pm local time to best adjust to the time change. 
Should you find yourself needing medical attention abroad, it is important to understand that medical treatment overseas is different than the U.S. healthcare system. You should be flexible and prepared for clinics and hospitals to be structured differently than they are at home. Consult the EIIA insurance brochure, one-pager, and website prior to departure to ensure familiarity with the health insurance policy and coverage, and do research on healthcare customs and conditions in your destination.

Safety Tips

Like domestic travel, international travel comes with inherent safety risks. We strongly encourage you to adhere to the following tips to best ensure a safe trip abroad:
  • Keep a low profile; do not bring unnecessary attention to yourself
  • Do not attend demonstrations or riots
  • Research the gender norms and verbal and non-verbal cues in your host country. For instance, in some countries, smiling at a stranger is interpreted as flirtation and may elicit an unintended or unwanted response
  • Keep the contact information for the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate handy, just in case. They can help you replace a lost/stolen passport, give you medical, financial, or legal information for the city/surrounding area, and emergency evacuation services
  • There are some things that a U.S. Embassy or Consulate cannot provide. For a full list of what they can and cannot do, please visit https://www.usembassy.gov
  • Stay aware of your surroundings. Alcohol limits your ability to do this, so be careful! Don't accept drinks from strangers!
  • Meeting friends abroad is a wonderful byproduct of studying abroad. However, you should exercise caution when getting to know others, especially those not affiliated with your program. Typically, foreign tourists stand out like a sore thumb; be cautious of those trying to get to know you quickly, as they may have an ulterior motive of obtaining things that you have (money, passport, citizenship, your body, etc.)
  • Use common sense when giving out personal details such as phone number, address, email address, etc. Only agree to meet others in daytime, and bring someone you know well who will stay with you the entire time
  • Use the same caution you would entering a relationship in the U.S. while abroad. An international romance sounds tempting, but remember why you are there and that you are only there for a short time
  • In terms of intimate relationships, know your partner for a sustained period of time. Take necessary precautions. Be aware that you could end up with a sexually transmitted disease, AIDS, or a pregnancy. 
Sexual Assault Resources

It is our sincere hope that all JBIP participants, male and female, will have a safe and enjoyable time abroad. If you are the victim of sexual assault or rape during your international travel, resources you may explore to seek legal and psychological counsel include:
  • Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad (SASHAA)
  • Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center 
When you return, the Queens Health & Wellness Center (HWC) staff and Chaplain are available for counseling. Please note that due to Title IX regulations, all members of the Queens community, except for the HWC counselors and Chaplain, are obligated to report cases of sexual assault if the perpetrator is also part of the Queens community.

Queens University of Charlotte Myrta Pulliam Center for International Education