Healthy & Safety Abroad

While security cannot be guaranteed here or abroad, SF State Abroad takes every reasonable step to keep students safe, including advising them on health and safety issues during orientation and providing additional resources in their orientation guides.

The health and safety of students is a top priority for SF State Abroad.

COVID Note: SF State's President Mahoney has cancelled study abroad travel for spring 2021.

All students are required to purchase insurance for study abroad through SF State's Risk Management. Specific details will be provided at the SF State Abroad Pre-departure Orientation after selection.

This is a mandate from the CSU Chancellor's Office. This is required regardless of current coverage here or abroad. This is included in program budgets. 

  • For SF State Exchange Programs, please put together a budget using this website

  • For CSU IP programs, find your program on the CSU IP website. After you click on your program, select the "program cost" tab to see IP's estimated cost for your program. 

Studying abroad may require so personal adjustments, such as a change in your diet that can impact your health. CDC offers guidelines for Health & Safety for preparing to study abroad. Also, StudentsAbroad.com has topics to consider for health in preparing to study abroad. 

If you currently take any medication, you should work with your doctor to discuss whether you will have access to or can even carry abroad your medication, as not all medications in the U.S. are legal abroad. Your doctor can assist in this research. Planning early will enable your doctor to have time for this research and, if necessary, change your medication to something that is legal abroad.

It is recommended that you obtain a letter from your doctor for any medication you plan to take with you. The letter should state the name of the medication and why you take it. This letter may be helpful when going through customs, as you may be questions about the medications you carry. Additionally, it will make it easier for a doctor abroad to approve refills, as you will not be able to take a semester or years worth of medicine in your luggage. 

Wait to make an appointment with your doctor until after you have been selected, as SF State Exchange programs will give you a form to complete with your doctor. CSU IP does not require a doctor's appointment and does not have a form so the appointment can be made at any time.  

It is recommended that you make a doctor's appointment after you have been selected to talk about vaccinations and immunizations for your study abroad location.

SF State Abroad does not require any, but only that you follow what your doctor recommends. If your doctor recommends a vaccination or immunization for your country, then you need it. SF State Exchange participants will need to complete a form after selection with a doctor's signature stating that they followed the recommendations of the doctor, including any vaccinations. 

When considering where you might study abroad you should research the country. 

The U.S. Department of State is an excellent place to start. The Department’s International Travel Information allows you to learn more about the country. Additionally, the U.S. Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings provide insights into the safety level abroad. We recommend that all students enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Health and Safety External Resources:

The U.S. Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings provide insights into the safety level abroad.

SF State Abroad adheres to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warnings and may suspend, postpone, or cancel programs in countries or regions that have travel warnings issued.

Additional information is gathered from partner universities abroad as well as students overseas.

SF State's President has the final say about whether a program is cancelled or allowed to move forward. 

As a precaution, students are encouraged to discuss with their family and friends their travel plans while abroad and any safety concerns.

Students are advised to arrange a way to communicate with family and friends while abroad either through email, Skype, Zoom, or phone.

Please note that students, rather than SF State Abroad, will be able to provide family members with the best information on their health and safety while abroad. The Office works to support students throughout their study abroad experience, but may not be able to disclose information to family and friends because of FERPA regulations.

Please visit the FERPA section for additional information.