Health & Safety


Student safety is the highest priority of the Study Abroad Center. Safety is covered thoroughly during both general pre-departure orientation and each program’s in-person site-specific orientation. General tips include securing valuables and travel documents at all times, avoiding being alone late at night, moderating alcohol usage, being aware of surroundings in a new environment, and using caution when traveling within countries on buses, trains, or taxis. The Study Abroad Center avoids sending students to countries on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list and recommends each student become familiar with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate while abroad. This U.S. State Department website has many resources to prepare students to have a safe study abroad experience and for help while abroad if students become victims of crime, are arrested, lose a passport, or have a medical emergency. For more information, this Chronicle of Higher Education article discusses the safety of students abroad compared to those who remain at their home campus.

The Study Abroad Center enrolls every student in CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International) during their time abroad. In addition to covering 100% of approved expenses without requiring a deductible, CISI will cover medical evacuation and repatriation as well as security evacuations should they become necessary due to natural disasters or political unrest. CISI can provide help for prescription drug replacement or shipping, access to emergency cash, and legal assistance. A list of FAQ for CISI can be found here. If students plan to travel early or extend beyond their program dates, it is highly recommended that they purchase additional coverage through CISI.

For emergencies abroad, please contact one of the following:

  • If you have CISI insurance, please contact CISI:
    From outside the U.S. 1-312-935-1703 (collect calls will be accepted)
    From within the U.S. 1-855-327-1411 (toll free)
  • If you are on an affiliate program, please contact the provider or the insurance provider of the affiliate program.

After contacting one of the above organizations, please notify the ISU Study Abroad Center 001-515-294-6792 or Note that the Study Abroad Center is not open 24/7 which is why it is recommended you contact one of the above organizations first in case of an emergency.