Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Health and Safety Abroad


Most students who study abroad do not experience problems that require emergency services or response; however, preparing for possible health and safety issues, and ensuring that appropriate health and safety support structures are in place on all PCC education abroad programs, is a priority of PCC's program planning and student support. Emergency protocols exist for a variety of different crisis situations that could occur. While no organization or institution can guarantee the safety of participants, the risks can be greatly reduced if students, staff, faculty, and family at home and abroad work together to appropriately avoid and/or respond to potential issues.

As part of the orientation process, all students participating in PCC-sponsored education abroad programs are provided with health and safety information specific to their program and location of study. All programs include 24/7 emergency contacts to provide support and assistance in the case of a health or safety emergency abroad.

General Recommendations


  1. Verify general recommended and required immunizations (see on CDC website here) for your location with a medical professional. Keep in mind timelines for when immunizations need to be administered.
  2. Have routine wellness checkup with a medical professional prior to traveling abroad.
  3. Verify legality in your destination country of any prescription medications you need to take regularly and ensure you will be able to have an ample supply while abroad.
  4. Disclose any medical conditions, dietary restrictions, allergies, and/or disabilities to the Education Abroad Office, your program leader, and/or your program provider.
  5. Register with US Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive travel notifications.
  6. Check with the Education Abroad Office about whether international health insurance is included in your program or whether you need to purchase it on your own (international insurance is included in the program fee of all PCC faculty-led programs).

While Abroad:

  1. Follow health and safety precautions and procedures discussed during pre-departure and onsite orientations.
  2. Inform program leader and/or onsite staff of any concerns that arise during the course of the program so that they can be addressed quickly.
  3. Follow emergency procedures set by the program in case of emergency (this will vary based on program, but usually includes contacting onsite staff as soon as possible to confirm safety).

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