Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Staying safe and healthy abroad

You can avoid or be prepared for many of the health, safety and security concerns you may encounter abroad by planning ahead and doing your research.

  • Before traveling to your program location, carefully review the health, safety and security information in the MU Study Abroad Orientation as well as any other information provided by your program.
  • Review the safety information for international travel on the U.S. Department of State website, as well as the State Department's travel advisories for your program location and other places you plan to travel.
  • Stay informed by monitoring local and international news sources.
  • Remember to download the AlertTraveler app and review the security information for your program location and other places you plan to travel.

Safety and security precautions

  • Be aware of what is going on and who is around you at all times.
  • Dress to blend in with local people.
  • Keep track of your belongings at all times. When traveling, consider securing your passport, credit cards and other valuable items in a money belt or pouch.
  • Avoid carrying expensive electronics and wearing expensive or flashy jewelry.
  • Don't draw attention to yourself be speaking English loudly in public spaces.
  • Avoid places where Americans are known to congregate.
  • Avoid protests and other potentially volatile situations.
  • Do not go out alone at night and don't leave other students on your program out alone. Try to go out in small groups.
  • Don't impair your judgment by overconsumption of alcohol.
  • Be wary of receiving unexpected packages, and avoid unattended luggage or packages in public areas.
  • Use caution when divulging information about yourself, your program and other students.
  • If you are a U.S. citizen, enroll in the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Citizens of other countries are encouraged to register their travel with their country's embassy/consulate.
  • Make sure the primary MU on-site contact knows where and how to contact you in an emergency and knows your schedule and travel itinerary.
  • Register any independent travel during your program in myStudyAbroad.
  • Develop a plan with your family for regular communication, especially when you are traveling away from your program location.

Health precautions

  • Review the information for travelers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for specific health issues and recommended vaccinations for your program location and other places you plan to travel.
  • Check the World Health Organization website for information about disease outbreaks and emergencies.


To support student health, safety and security, the International Center provides the AlertTraveler security software to all participants in study abroad and university-related international travel programs, as well as all faculty and staff members traveling with them. AlertTraveler provides country and city intelligence information and real-time security alerts from WorldAware, a premier provider of global security information. Specific information about AlertTraveler is available to all participants in myStudyAbroad

The International Center sends AlertTraveler warning- and critical-level alerts to each participant's university email address. Additionally, participants are encouraged to download and utilize the AlertTraveler app.

AlertTraveler features

  • Country and city intelligence information to enable participants to make informed decisions while abroad.
  • Real-time alerts based on itinerary and location about events that could impact health, safety, security or travel plans. Alerts are rated informational, warning or critical depending on the severity of the event.
  • Instant check-in that allows participants to confirm their safety following a serious incident, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
  • One-touch dialing for host country emergency services, U.S. embassies/consulates and the MU 24/7 emergency assistance line with the MU Police Department.