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Health and Safety

The health and safety of our participants is a top priority for the UWM CIE Study Abroad Office.  Every effort is made to ensure that our students, faculty and staff traveling abroad have the resources and information they need for a successful study abroad experience.  Though absolute safety abroad cannot be guaranteed, just as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States, we are committed to taking the necessary steps to maximize student safety.

We have certain protocols and guidelines in place to minimize risk to our student participants:

  • We monitor U.S. government advisories, considering both those issued by in-country embassies and consulates and by the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
  • We register all program participants with the U.S. Embassy in their host country via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) --
  • Our staff remain in contact with students abroad and update students on any travel warnings or potential threats in their area.
  • Students may connect with CIE staff 24-hours a day through our main office number.  Outside of business hours, students calling the main office will be directed to the UWM Campus Police, who will be able to connect them with an on-call administrator.
  • Students attend mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions during which health and safety issues are covered in detail.

Health Insurance

The University of Wisconsin System has mandated that all students participating in foreign programs sponsored by its universities enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan offered through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI).  The fee for this insurance is included in the cost of all study abroad and exchange programs.  Information about the CISI insurance coverage, including how to log into the portal to print your insurance card and how to file a claim, can be found by clicking here:

Health, Physical or Learning Disabilities

If you have any health, physical or learning disabilities which would require special assistance during your study abroad program, you should contact your health care provider, your study abroad coordinator and the Student Accessibility Center at UWM.  Please inform the CIE Study Abroad Office at least 60 days prior to your program departure date about any health, physical or learning difficulties for which you may need accommodation.   If special assistance requests are not received at least 60 days in advance, we may not be able to accommodate your request.  In all cases, even if requests are received on time, we cannot guarantee that your request can be accommodated.


Students participating in all UWM study abroad programs are required to follow the laws of the country in which they are traveling.  Students must also comply with all rules and regulations contained within the UWM Student Handbook (  While participating in UWM study abroad and exchange programs, students are representing both UWM and the United States, and should conduct themselves well within the applicable laws and policies, as well as with respect for cultural expectations for the countries in which they are traveling.

Independent Travel

Study abroad students are encouraged to travel to other destinations in your free time.  However, if you plan to do any extra traveling, please share your travel plans with others, especially, when applicable, your program’s faculty director.  Independent travel should not disrupt the academic requirements of the program.  Your faculty director or other on-site staff may want to know where you are going, where you are staying and when you are returning.  This is not intended to restrict you; it is a matter of your personal safety.  It is your responsibility to thoroughly research any potential travel destinations and use only reputable service providers.

Useful Websites

•  UWM Norris Health Center’s Travel Tips:

•  U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website:  Includes U.S. embassy and consulate contact information worldwide, travel warnings, and tips for travel to various regions.

•  Centers for Disease Control, Traveler’s Health website:  Information on vaccinations, health precautions for travelers by country, and staying safe abroad.

•  Mobility International USA: and  Resources for people with disabilities (cognitive, hearing, learning, mental health, physical, systemic, vision, and other disabilities) pursuing international travel and exchange.

•  Association for Safe International Road Travel:   Road travel reports available for 150 countries.

•  UWM Norris Health Center Vaccine and Medication price list November 2012