The Office of International Affairs is committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive learning experience for every Ohio State student 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. Information on health and safety is provided at every stage of the study abroad process.
The Office of International Affairs implements the following protocol to maintain the health and safety of all Ohio State students studying abroad:
- Every Ohio State student who is a U.S. citizen and traveling internationally to study, intern, research and/or study independently is required to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Registration Program. Registration will make a student's presence and whereabouts known should it be necessary to contact them in an emergency.
- All Ohio State students traveling abroad for academic purposes must be enrolled in international supplemental insurance, providing not only health insurance, but coverage for emergency assistance, evacuation and repatriation.
- Students are provided with detailed information on how to schedule an international travel appointment, ensure they receive all necessary vaccinations and travel abroad with any necessary prescription medications.
- The Office of International Affairs works with the Office of Disability Services to meet the needs of students with disabilities, accommodating them as fully as possible as they prepare to study abroad.
- The Office of International Affairs prepares students for both medical and non-medical emergencies. In addition to providing them with a full array of emergency contacts before their departure, OIA also provides all students studying abroad with The Ohio State University's 24-hour emergency phone number – +1 (614) 292-6677 – and OIA staff members are available by telephone and email 24 hours a day as well to address student concerns while abroad.
- All Ohio State students studying abroad are provided with a thorough set of safety guidelines, covering topics including, but not limited to, volatile political situations, sexual harassment, protection of possessions and safe travel while abroad. Students are also reminded that, while abroad, they remain held to The Ohio State University Code of Student Conduct, further encouraging safe and responsible actions while overseas.
- Students studying abroad are asked to fill out a Study Abroad Health form, listing any allergies and physical and mental health conditions that may affect a study abroad experience. It is critical that OIA receives this information, as for many chronic or cyclical conditions, changes in diet and schedule can trigger an acute episode. Information shared on a Health Form with is strictly confidential, and assists OIA in ensuring students receive proper services and care while abroad.
- Faculty and resident directors accompanying students abroad for educational experiences not for Ohio State credit are required to inform OIA of their plans, attend an OIA orientation advising of vital health, safety and security issues, and to ensure that the traveling students are enrolled in the required supplemental travel insurance.