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Health & Safety


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

Health insurance is automatically provided if you are participating in a Furman faculty-led program overseas. Our insurance guide provides details about the coverage you can expect from this plan. If you are not participating in a Furman faculty-led 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 insurance guide.

Health News

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 should be taken prior to departure.

Safety News

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.

We don't allow or endorse any travel to areas on the U.S. State Department's Travel Warning list.


If you have a disability, 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. Together, you can discuss a travel plan that will work for you.

Dealing with Culture Shock

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.
You can find additional tips and resources on to help you prepare to study away from Furman's campus in the Student Study Away Handbook.

Returning to Furman can result in what is referred to as reverse culture shock. Learn more about reverse culture shock and how to re-adjust to returning back to the U.S. and campus