Health & Safety

Students on international programs should be aware that attitudes toward medical conditions, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and psychological conditions vary by culture and under the laws of the host countries. These differences impact the level of treatment and accommodation available abroad. Students should give serious consideration to their health and personal circumstances when accepting a place in a program and should consult with their health care provider(s).

Students should understand that the conditions in certain program locations can present difficulties and challenges not encountered here at Stanford University. Some examples include:

  • a varying level of lodging
  • lack of amenities (no hot water, no flushing toilets, no electricity)
  • new climate
  • new foods and limited dietary selections
  • a varying level of medical care and availability of medical facilities
  • restrictions regarding certain medications
  • less privacy and personal space
  • no Internet/phone access

Dietary selections may be limited, so students with severe restrictions should carefully evaluate their ability to participate comfortably. Some locations may not be accessible.

Certain immunizations are required to protect their health in overseas locations. Students must review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for complete information on health conditions and vaccinations of their specific program locations. Students may also consult and make an appointment with the on-campus Vaden Health Center Travel Clinic at (650) 498-2336 ext. 1 as soon as they are accepted to the program to discuss any health concerns, pre-departure immunizations, and any personal prescriptions before going abroad.

Students must review the U.S. State Department’s Country Information pages for complete information on safety and security in specific locations. As with any foreign travel, emphasis will be placed on staying away from questionable situations, avoiding injury, and preventing infectious disease. Students are expected to travel in groups, avoid travel at night, and stay with the group unless prior approval is obtained. 

Students should always be alert to their surroundings, and be particularly aware of any health and safety advisories for the areas in which they will be visiting.

Students who have concerns about the specific living and traveling conditions should consult with the Bing Overseas Studies Program before submitting their application.