Health & Safety | The Basics

Student health and safety is a top priority at Whitman.  For our students who study off campus outside or within the United States, we take a number of steps to guide them in how to be proactive in their own health and safety abroad. 

Off-Campus Studies shares key health and safety information with students in one-on-one advising meetings and at the Whitman OCS Predeparture Orientation.  We also provide key information on this website organized about a wide range of health and safety topics that students are expected to review.  Additionally, we strive to affiliate with study abroad providers and institutions abroad that pay attention to health and safety and have emergency protocols in place.

Students should be aware that there are inherent risks associated with any travel, and that neither Whitman College nor the study abroad program they attend can guarantee their safety or eliminate risk.  Some destinations may have diseases, pollution and sanitation problems that are not present in the U.S. and existing problems can be exacerbated by conditions in the foreign country. 

Steps for Students:

  1. Read all of the Health & Safety information posted on the Whitman OCS website under Health & Safety
  2. When in the process of selecting an OCS program, students should disclose any pre-existing medical conditions, disabilities or dietary restrictions to their Whitman OCS adviser and/or the program provider to make sure that the student’s possible study destinations can provide them with the health care, disability accommodations or dietary options they need.
  3. Read about the health conditions and the state of medical care in the countries the student intends to travel to.  The websites below are a good starting point.
  4. Read carefully all of the health and safety information provided by the student's program in Predeparture and other program materials.
  5. Prior to departure students should register their travel itinerary abroad with STEP, the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at travel.state.gov.  US citizens and nationals who have registered will receive security notifications and possible assistance from local US authorities in the event of an emergency.
    • travel.state.gov - This is the main US Department of State website for US citizens travelling abroad.  The site has health, safety and security information listed for every country.  All study abroad students should read the information about their destination countries carefully.  This website also posts Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts for individual countries when problems surface to warn US citizens of the potential risk for travel there.
    • www.cdc.gov - This is the Centers for Disease Control that describes health issues and risks as well as immunization recommendations for individual countries.
    • www.who.org - This the World Health Organization website that posts informative reports and health precaution information when there are disease outbreaks.
    • Mywhitman.edu - If you log into mywhitman.edu and then click on “Global Health and Security Updates,” all members of the Whitman community can access the UnitedHealthcare website.  This website has valuable travel risk information country-by-country including information about medical resources, hospitals, and women’s safety.