Health & Safety

There’s no greater concern than Allegheny students’ health and safety when they study away. The Global Education staff stay informed on global issues from a variety of sources. We review Center for Disease Control Travel Health Notices, State Department Travel Advisories, we receive daily security alerts from a number of independent sources, and we maintain regular contact with our partner universities and provider staff on-the-ground in our study away locations. We are members of OSAC, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). OSAC brings together the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Regional Security Officers, and U.S. private-sector organizations operating abroad to keep us connected and informed. We perform regular risk-assessment reviews of every program we administer and have processes in place to help ensure our students can stay safe and well when they study away. All students attend mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions which include an overview of health and safety precautions.


Insurance and Study Abroad

Allegheny purchases a global emergency and medical assistance insurance policy for every study abroad student. This plan offers Medical Assistance Services, Medical Evacuation & Repatriation Services, Security & Natural Disaster Evacuation Services, Worldwide Destination Intelligence, and Personal Travel Assistance Services. See full coverage details on the summary of benefits. Students will receive their individual insurance cards prior to departure. Note that this policy does not carry any coverage in the United States and is only in effect between the official start and end dates of the student’s program abroad.

Students must also retain their existing US-based health insurance: study abroad insurance does NOT replace comprehensive, US-­based health insurance as required by Allegheny college. You may not participate in an Allegheny study abroad program without certifying that you have US-based coverage or are purchasing the Allegheny College student health plan.

Read more about our global emergency and medical assistance coverage.

Domestic travelers

Study away travelers within the U.S.A. are not part of the above mentioned plan. Domestic travelers must maintain their regular US-based insurance policy and should ensure they are aware of their coverage and claim process when traveling outside of Meadville.

Health Precautions

Remaining healthy while studying abroad in an unfamiliar environment is always a challenge. The majority of study away students will experience some sort of health problem during their time abroad, most likely digestive troubles, dehydration, exhaustion, stress, and anxiety as they adjust to their host culture.

For any student going away, to any location, you need to make an appointment with your doctor at least 6 weeks prior to departure. This is a good time for your annual check-up to ensure you have no new health concerns. During the appointment make sure to talk about any current and on-going health conditions and how studying abroad might impact your health.

Traveling with Prescription Medicine

  • If you are currently taking prescription or over the counter medications, you will need to make sure that you have access to these medications while you are abroad.
  • Talk to your physician about getting a supply of your prescription medication to last the entire time that you are abroad. However, be aware that many countries will only allow quantities of medication for personal use.
  • Research the laws and regulations of the country to make sure that your prescription and over-the-counter medications are permissible and available. Be aware that in many countries amphetamine-based medications used for attention deficit disorders are illegal or highly restricted.
  • Pack your prescription medications, in original containers, in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.
  • Have a letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications (including their generic names), indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
  • Do not plan on sending medications abroad.
  • Don’t stop taking your medications or adjust your dosage unless advised to do so by a medical professional. Students may have feelings of excitement and exhilaration when they arrive abroad and sometimes decide to stop taking their medication. Don’t do this.
  • If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription. It will be critical to have a letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications (including their generic names), indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen.


Students who receive accommodations for medical issues on campus should discuss this with the Global Education Office along with other concerns about studying away. They should also consult with the Student Accessibility and Support Services Office to plan for their time off-campus. Many study away programs are able to provide similar or modified accommodations. In order for this to happen, students must complete the Study Away Accessibility & Accommodations Request Form during the pre-departure process.  This form is confidential and will only be used by staff in Global Education, Student Accessibility and Support Services, and on-site staff involved in requesting accessibility accommodations for your study away program. Laws are different in other countries around the world and not all accommodations provided on campus are available in all places.

Mental Health Support While Away

Students in need of immediate mental health support should contact 911 or local emergency services.

Virtual mental wellness support is also available for DOMESTIC study away students who remain in the USA during their studies through CampusCare / 98point6. This service offers 24/7 virtual primary healthcare (by text and/or video-based access to licensed and board-certified U.S. physicians in all 50 states, including Pennsylvania). The program also give access through the primary physician to appointment-based behavioral telehealth with counseling services. To access services, download the 98point6 iOS app or Android app, confirm your cell phone number, and complete your profile.

NOTE: These services are not available to students who are not located in the USA due to legalities. Study abroad students located outside the USA can contact the 24/7 Line above or contact their on-site staff for referrals to on-site, English-speaking mental health and wellness counseling.

In event of emergency, students can call the Public Safety emergency line at +1(814) 332-3357.


What to do in an Emergency

First, seek safety. Then, notify your on-site program contact and Allegheny College.

Each emergency is different and requires a different response.

For routine emergencies

Your on-site program contact in your Resident Staff or International Student Support office should be your first point of contact. Then contact the Global Education office at Allegheny if you need additional support or resources. Routine emergencies could include minor sickness or injury (cold, flu, food poisoning, sprain, etc.), lost passport, or minor theft (wallet/purse).

  • If you need assistance outside of business hours, contact Allegheny College’s Office of Public Safety at +1 (814) 332-3357
  • For advice on medical needs, counselors, or doctor referrals in country, contact Allegheny’s Medical Assistance Services.

A major emergency requires more extensive response to address the situation.

  • Seek safety and get immediate help. Go to a safe location. Use the local equivalent of 911 to get immediate emergency assistance. Remember to heed advice from on-site staff on the best manner to contact police and emergency services in your host country.
  • Notify your on-site contact. Contact local program staff to let them know about the emergency and/or your safety status. They can provide further assistance/directions.
  • Contact your insurance provider if the emergency is medical in nature or you need security advice. AXA, Allegheny’s Travel Assistance Program, can be reached 24-hours a day at +1 855-327-1414.
  • Contact Allegheny Office of Public Safety at +1 (814) 332-3357. They will ensure the appropriate offices on campus are involved to assist you.
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or your government if addition assistance is needed. Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies abroad are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates appears on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at Also note that the Office of Overseas Citizen Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs may be reached at +1 202-501-4444. This Office can put you in touch with the necessary local consular personnel for assistance.
  • Remember to program all emergency numbers into your local cell phone.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Staff of the Global Education office and Global Learning Seminar Faculty leaders are considered non-confidential resources for purposes of Title IX. That means if an Allegheny College student discloses an experience of stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape to any study away program faculty, staff member, or advisor, that staff member or advisor is required to make a report of the assault to the Title IX Coordinator at Allegheny College. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the College’s compliance with Title IX and will follow-up with the student regarding what was reported to provide resources to the student and to discuss additional options the student has for reporting the crime.

Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, codified in 1990 as the Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, is part of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about crime that takes place on and around their campuses as well as to publish security policies. All public and private post-secondary educational institutions participating in federal student aid programs are subject to this law. If any type of crime occurs to a student or faculty member during a study away program, it must be reported to the Assistant Dean for Global Education so they may include the crime in the Clery Act Reporting statistics.