Office of International Health, Safety and Security

The MU Office of International Health, Safety and Security supports participants on MU study abroad and university-related international travel programs, as well as the faculty and staff members who travel with them. In collaboration with colleagues across campus, university experts, colleagues in the U.S. and abroad, and individual participants and their families, the office facilitates travel abroad that supports the academic mission of the university and maximizes the health, safety and security of travelers by:

  • Evaluating risk.
  • Providing health and safety orientation and training.
  • Facilitating compliance.
  • Developing and maintaining emergency response plans.
  • Responding to crises.

Student responsibilities

MU regularly monitors and reviews its programs abroad and is committed to maximizing your health, safety and security while supporting you in achieving your academic, professional and personal goals. On study abroad and university-related international travel programs, as in other settings, you can have a major impact on your own health ans safety through the decisions you make before and during your program.

  • Carefully review all health, safety and security information provided.
  • Successfully complete the mandatory predeparture orientation.
  • Attend all orientation meetings before your departure and after arrival at your destination abroad.
  • Follow the guidelines for staying safe and healthy abroad.

Recommendations for families

Families can also play an important role in supporting the health and safety of students participating on study abroad and university-related international travel programs.

  • Be informed about and involved in your student’s decision to participate in a specific program.
  • Review participant program materials and related health, safety and security information.
  • Discuss with your student any travel plans or activities that are independent of their program.
  • Discuss safety and behavior issues with your student.
  • Keep in touch with your student while they are abroad.
  • Be aware that your student, not the program, may most appropriately provide some information.

Office of International Health, Safety and Security responsibilities

Establish policies and procedures for health, safety and security based on national standards of best practice in the field of education abroad.
Key resources utilized include:

  • Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, from the Forum on Education Abroad.
  • Resources from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, including those from the Education Abroad Knowledge Community Health and Safety Subcommittee and “Responsible Study Abroad: Good Practices for Health and Safety” from the Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad.
  • Policies and procedures of outstanding peers in higher education.
Provide focused, on-going risk assessment and mitigation.
Monitor health, safety and security conditions in locations relevant to MU student international travelers using sources, including:

Support student travel in accordance with the MU Student International Travel Policy.
  • Assist students or units planning travel to countries or regions that the U.S. Department of State or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identify as higher risk in developing requests for exceptions to the international travel policy for review by the Student Travel Abroad Review Committee.
  • Work with travelers with the goal of supporting their academic goals and mitigating risk to the level acceptable to the university.
    • Higher risk travel requires additional preparation, and students and units are encouraged to begin the appeal process early.
    • Requests for exceptions submitted by graduate students who have well-defined academic/research interests that require travel to high-risk locations have a higher likelihood of approval.
Develop, maintain and implement emergency response plans and protocols for all MU students participating in study abroad and university-related international travel programs.
  • Provide 24/7 emergency assistance line with the MU Police Department (+1 573-882-7201) that connects MU students participating on study abroad and university-related international travel programs with the director of international health, safety and security or other key staff members trained in emergency response protocols.
  • Serve as a first responder for crises involving MU students abroad, in collaboration with key university stakeholders.
  • Develop and maintain the campus-wide student international incident tracking database to record the number, type and severity of incidents affecting MU students participating on study abroad and university-related international travel programs.
Provide health, safety and security orientation and training.
Health, safety and security orientation and training is provided to all MU students participating in study abroad or university-related international travel programs, as well as the faculty and staff members who travel with them.

Orientation and preparation for students participating in study abroad or university-related international travel programs
Training and preparation for program leaders
Support student access and readiness for travel.
  • Collaborate with the Student Health Center and Counseling Center to advise and assist students with pre-existing health conditions to prepare for successful study abroad and university-related international travel experiences.
  • Collaborate with the Disability Center to arrange reasonable accommodations for MU students participating in study abroad and university-related international travel programs.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Student Accountability and Support, the division sponsoring the program, and U.S. and overseas colleagues to evaluate participation requests for students on disciplinary probation, as well as with the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX to review applicants for participation in study abroad and university-related international travel programs.
Manage the International Travel Registry.
Coordinate compliance with the Clery Act and other legislation affecting study abroad and university-related international travel programs.
  • Collaborate with the MU Police Department to coordinate campus-wide compliance with the Clery Act. Information about Clery-reportable crimes occurring on study abroad and university-related international travel programs is included in the university’s Annual Fire Safety and Security Report.
  • Collaborate with the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX to assist with Title IX compliance by providing training and resources.