Health and Safety Update: Fall 2017

In light of recent safety and security issues in Europe and the US State Department World Wide Travel Alert, we are writing to remind you that Dickinson College and the Center for Global Study & Engagement (CGSE) are committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive learning experience for every Dickinson student, including those pursuing an educational experience abroad. Guidelines for a safe and successful study-abroad experience have been developed to promote the well-being of every participant, and to raise students' awareness of potential areas of concern.  

The CGSE implements the following measures to maintain the health and safety of all Dickinsonians studying away:

  • All Dickinson students traveling abroad for academic purposes are automatically enrolled in medical and emergency international supplemental insurance through ACE American Insurance Company providing not only health insurance, but coverage for emergency assistance, evacuation and repatriation as well.
  • All Dickinson students studying abroad are also automatically covered by a Dickinson Travel Assistance Plan through International SOS. Services available to students through International SOS include: telephone advice, assistance with taking medications abroad, referrals, and evacuation. Up-to-date information regarding vaccination requirements, medical and health care, is available for more than 170 countries around the world via the International SOS website. Please visit the website to learn more about the coverage and services they provide. For reference purposes, Dickinson's group membership number is: 11BCAS626216
  • The CGSE prepares students for both medical and non-medical emergencies. In addition to providing students with a full array of emergency contacts before their departure and once abroad, students and families can call the Department of Public Safety +1 717-245-1111, which can reach out to CGSE staff members 24 hours a day to address student emergencies abroad.
  • All Dickinson students studying abroad are provided with a thorough set of safety guidelines, covering topics including, but not limited to, volatile political situations, protection of possessions and safe travel habits while abroad. Students are also reminded that while abroad they are still held to Dickinson’s Community Standards, further encouraging safe and responsible actions while overseas.
  • Dickinson Centers and partner institutions are in regular contact with the CGSE in Carlisle, and contact information is updated routinely for students overseas, on-site staff, partner institutions, and local emergency officials at our program sites, as well as U.S. Consulates and Embassies. Our staff abroad and at partner programs remain in contact with local university and civic officials on an ongoing basis. 
  • Dickinson College has developed emergency plans that can be implemented in the event of a crisis directly affecting any of our programs abroad. In the unlikely event that it became necessary to return students to the United States, every effort would be made to offer alternative means for students to complete their academic program. 
  • Dickinson’s International Travel and Risk Assessment Committee meets on a regular basis to discuss issues of health and safety abroad and reviews a variety of resources including the Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Dickinson is part of the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a division of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the U.S. Department of State, and we coordinate with a consortium of security professionals that work with more than 40 other colleges and institutions throughout the U.S.

In addition to the protocols, procedures and information provided to you, we ask that you use sensible behavior while overseas. Students have an important role to play in their own safety and Dickinson cannot guarantee the safety of our students.  The misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs abroad can increase the risk of accidents, injury, unwanted attention and theft. We encourage you to read the CGSE’s Web page on Safe Behavior Abroad. Please always communicate your travel plans to your resident director or onsite staff.

Although terrorism is more frequently in the news at present, the major cause of injury to students while traveling abroad remains traffic accidents. We ask you to remain vigilant about traffic safety abroad and discourage you from driving abroad.

The Center for Disease Control has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency. This mosquito-borne illness continues to spread and the countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission change frequently. We would like to encourage you to review information about the Zika virus, its transmission, and prevention available at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/. The Centers for Disease Control website contains the most up-to-date and scientifically based information on the topic. 

The CDC always encourages travelers and those living in areas effected by mosquito-borne illnesses to practice enhanced precautions and take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellants. The CDC website also contains detailed information about prevention of the Zika virus that can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html

For specific safety information for any of the Dickinson Programs, consult the program handbooks.

For additional information about Health and Safety Abroad while abroad:

If you or your families have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement