Health & Safety Abroad

Keeping our students safe while studying abroad is a top priority for our staff. OIE has emergency policies and procedures that are continuously reviewed and updated for all approved programs. We work proactively to provide students with access to information about health and safety prior to their departure and while they are abroad. We monitor the world situation daily through available channels, such as the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs and the daily information provided by the Overseas Security Advisory Council. We convey important information to our students when necessary.

University of South Alabama students who participate on a study, internship, service learning, research, or travel abroad program are required to enroll in the designated USA International Insurance policy. Enrollment in the policy is processed by OIE. Students wishing to opt out of the current insurance policy should submit a written appeal to the Executive Director of Global Engagement with details of the alternative policy and proof of enrollment including the name of insurance provider, policy/group number, contact information for provider, and copy of the insurance card.

The Office of International Education (OIE) does not offer or approve study abroad, internship, independent travel, service learning, or other programs in countries where current U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Warnings and/or current CDC Warnings (including COVID-19)are at a Level 4. OIE, in consultation with applicable University administrative offices, will assess all university-sponsored or related travel to countries that have U.S. DOS Travel Warnings and/or CDC Warnings at a Level 3. In the event that the U.S. DOS and/or CDC Warnings advance to a Level 3 or Level 4 for a country or region, the status of existing programs and university-related student travel will be addressed on a case by case basis.  This policy is visualized in the chart below.

  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
DOS Approved Approved Admin Review Not Approved



Approved Approved Admin Review Not Approved


Travelers are not permitted to travel through countries where DOS or CDC Travel Warnings that are not approved or require admin review on route to their final destination.  This includes personal travel or flight layovers.  Failure to follow these guidelines may put you in jeopardy of forfeiting your international insurance.

Please see the following links for additional health and safety information:

OIE Study Abroad Student Handbook

OIE International Travel Risk Advisory Committee

US Department of State - Students Abroad

US Department of State - Smart Traveler App

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control

Registration with US Embassies

US Embassies Abroad

Association for Safe International Road Travel