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STEM Health & Safety

Health Information for Travelers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides up to date health advisories for travelers to other countries. For more information, visit : www.cdc.gov/travel

HIV/ AIDS

The HIV virus is now pandemic,  meaning it is present everywhere. Please take the appropriate precautions. For more information, visit:

Medical Supplies

If you take prescription drugs, take a sufficient supply with you for your time in your host country.  Be sure to take these in their original packages and with the original prescription.  If you wear contact lenses, be sure to take an extra pair.  If you use contraceptives, please take an adequate supply with you.

Health Insurance Coverage

If you are covered by a personal or parental insurance plan, the G-Stem Program recommends that you continue this coverage while abroad.  The insurance that Spelman requires for program participants is in addition to any existing personal or parental insurance plan, and is designed to work while you are out of the country.  A seriously ill student may be transported home, an expense covered by your student insurance.

In the event of an emergency, this insurance covers the presence of a family member, as well as evacuation costs. For this reason, it may be a good idea for a parent or guardian to have a valid passport.

Illegal Drugs and Alcohol

If you use illegal drugs, you may be expelled from the study program, and the local police may prosecute you as a criminal.  Remember that you are subject to foreign country laws while abroad.

You are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Spelman College Study Abroad Program regarding the use of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Safety/Precautions

Below, there are steps that you can take to ensure your safety.

Carry the Bare Minimum

In the U.S., it is common to carry bulky wallets with an assortment of credit cards, debit cards, and cash. While traveling abroad, only carry the amount of cash you will need for the day. Only carry your debit and credit cards when you know you will need to use them.

Hide Your Money

Hold your money in a money belt to be worn underneath your clothes. Never put money in pants/shorts pockets - that is just asking to be pick-pocketed.

Don't Walk with Your Passport

Do not walk around with your passport! It is a nightmare to replace it in the event that it is stolen. However, you should carry a laminated color copy of your passport around with you at all times.

Don't Carry Expensive Electronics: Be Discreet 

ATM Safety

Be aware of your surroundings when you use an ATM. Always use ATMs inside banks or malls, not out on the street. It is a good idea to return home and put your extra cash in a safe place rather than walking around with a lot of money on you.

Food Safety

Depending on how sensitive your stomach is, you should be careful buying food from street vendors.

Deserted Streets: Avoid walking in deserted streets after dark