Health & Safety
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Living in a foreign country for any amount of time can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Before you depart, be sure to review our resources to prepare for your trip so you know what to expect, and what to do in an emergency.
Health insurance is automatically provided through EIIA if you are participating in a Furman faculty-led, affiliate or exchange program overseas. Our insurance guide provides details about the coverage you can expect from this plan. Your program may require you to purchase additional insurance in addition to Furman's provided insurance. If you are not participating in a Non-Furman program, you will need to check with your program to see if it includes health insurance coverage for you or purchase your own. Download a copy of the EIIA Insurance Guide.
The World Health Organization monitors disease outbreaks, and assesses health trends around the world. A health profile is available for every country that is a member of the organization.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers additional resources, providing valuable information to travelers on what vaccines and health precautions should be taken prior to departure.
The State Department provides updates on political and social issues surfacing in other countries. Be sure to check the sites for updates before, or during your trip. Visit the State Department.
Some of our programs provide opportunities for independent travel. During that time, you and your classmates are free to explore new cities and countries. When you're traveling by yourself, be sure to carry Furman's emergency contact information and let your family and professors know where you'll be and how to contact you. Students on faculty-led semester programs are required to register their travel with Furman University through the Study Away Travel Registry Form.
If you are participating in an Affiliate, Exchange, or Non-Furman program, you should register all travel with the United State's State Department's STEP program. This resource is free and allows you to receive information about a country's safety conditions and helps the U.S. embassy contact you in case of an emergency.
We don't allow or endorse any travel to areas on the U.S. State Department's Travel Warning list.
If you have an accessibility concern, be sure to talk with the Student Office for Accessibility Resources and the study away office as you're considering your options. Ask faculty program directors about physical requirements and learning conditions while deciding whether to participate. You may review faculty-led program requirements with our Participant Expectations section. Together, you can discuss a travel plan that will work for you.
If you require any resources during your study away experience, it is your responsibility to ask for your required resources early on after your program acceptance. The earlier you alert your program director(s) to any physical, dietary, emotional, mental, or academic needs, the more likely these resources may be accommodated. Please be as open and honest about your health needs throughout the process.
It's normal to go through various stages of culture shock when you travel abroad.
- Honeymoon phase: When you first arrive everything is new, different, and exciting. During this phase you will experience heightened curiosity and a desire to try new things and meet new people.
- Culture shock: You're starting to get annoyed and frustrated with the everyday differences in culture. You might also be experiencing homesickness and fear. This might occur gradually or suddenly.
- Initial adjustment: You start to get over your initial culture shock.
- Acceptance and integration: You've worked through the other stages of culture shock and now feel like you've integrated into the new culture.
During these phases you might experience a range of symptoms. Remember, culture shock is common and some of your classmates might be having a similar experience. Don't be afraid to talk to your classmates and your professor about what you're feeling:
- Change in eating a sleeping habits.
- Homesickness and more frequent communication with family and friends at home.
- Hostility toward and complaints about your host country or culture.
- Irritability, sadness, symptoms of depression.
- Frequent frustration.
- Feelings of inferiority.
- Recurring illness.
- Withdrawal from the group or activities.