The safety and security of students are of paramount importance to everyone in KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE). On this page you will find information about safety abroad, the importance of having a passport yourself, health insurance, and emergency management.
We recognize the strong desire of our student body to take part in high-quality study abroad programs and the challenges of international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the COVID-19 section of our website for updates regarding study abroad and university-affiliated student international travel activities at KU, as well as information on the factors influencing future decision-making.
Student Safety Details
The SAGE staff is aware that the risk environment in other countries can be difficult to assess. We continually monitor developments around the world carefully and make adjustments to our programs as conditions warrant. Two of our primary sources for information are the U.S. Department of State and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KU policy prohibits programs in locations where a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or Level 4 has been issued. View the Travel Advisories section of the U.S. Department of State website and search for your student’s destination to view the advisory level and accompanying report for your student’s host country.
We also encourage your student to sign up for the U.S. State Department's free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to automatically receive travel updates and country information. By signing up for this program, the U.S. State Department can better assist your student in the event of an emergency.
If you do not have a passport valid at least 6 months past the dates of your student’s program, we encourage you to consider getting one in case of an emergency. In the past, there have been occasions when a student has gotten sick or injured and the presence of a parent was desirable. While these incidents are rare, it is reassuring to both you and your student to know that you could reach them quickly if needed. KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement staff is always ready to assist your family, both in the U.S. or in a foreign country, should the need arise. Visit the Passports section of the U.S. Department of State website for details about how to apply for and renew passports and current processing times.
All students participating in study abroad programs are required to be covered by health insurance that the participant has determined to be adequate and satisfactory for any injury or illness that might befall them. Only you and your student can determine what level of coverage is adequate and satisfactory for their needs. However, minimum requirements are that the policy provide for reimbursement of medical costs from major medical situations, such as serious accident or illness. Please note that the student’s host country may have certain coverage requirements as well. The student’s program coordinator will communicate this information to them if applicable.
A list of frequently asked questions, questions to consider when reviewing/purchasing health insurance, and a list of Study Abroad Health Insurance Providers are available on the Health and Safety section of our website.
All student travelers are asked to download the AlertTraveler App to the mobile device they will be taking with them on their study abroad experience. AlertTraveler provides students with country-specific information for their program location, as well as real-time alerts on events or incidents which may affect travel, health, or safety in the student’s location.
Additionally, all study abroad students are covered by AIG Global Assistance Services, which provides assistance and support to students in personal or medical emergencies while abroad.
Dedicated KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) staff members are also on-call and available to students and their families, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergency support. If you need immediate assistance related to an overseas emergency, call SAGE at 785-864-3742. If outside of office hours, please contact the SAGE emergency phones at 785-691-7608 or 785-691-7610.
To learn more about these services, please visit the In An Emergency” section of our website.