Travel Safety Counsel Travel Tips

Safety & Tips

Health & Safety Tips

Should a student believe they have been sexually assaulted or become that an act of sexual assault has taken place, they should reach out to their Travel Coordinator for assistance. Student safety is paramount, and all students are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct. Travel Coordinator will report that to the College's Title IX Coordinator immediately, as required by federal law and College policy, but only to ensure the student is aware of available support and resources. The Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the student to discuss options and College Reporting Procedures for Students will be followed, as applicable.

Use the International Travel Safety Considerations Worksheet to think about and plan for safety based on your specific travel and destination circumstances.

For educational and learning materials on international health and safety, visit the SAFETI (Safety Abroad First – Educational Travel Information) Clearinghouse Project

Prior to travel, you must conduct background research regarding the region to which you will be traveling, including information from the State Department Travel Website. For further information about the region, you must consult with the individual/office coordinating your travel, as well as with other students traveling with you or who have traveled to the region in the past.

For country specific information on disease prevention, vaccine requirements, and food/water tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pack all medications in your carry-on luggage. You may wish to bring: cold medicine, allergy medicine, gastrointestinal medications (e.g., Pepto Bismol and Immodium), pain medicine (aspirin/ibuprofen). Bring a photocopy of the original prescription for any prescription medications that you may take regularly and any medications that may be considered controlled substances.

Pay attention to what may be in the food you are eating and your environment. Do not assume that all food is safe, and, prior to your travel, research unique foods and eating styles of your travel area. If you are unsure if the tap water is safe to drink, err on the side of caution and use only bottled water for consumption and brushing your teeth. 

For international flights, wear comfortable clothes, drink a lot of water, avoid alcohol and get rest. Tell someone if you feel poorly. Work to ensure that you sleep as much, eat as regularly, and exercise as often as you do when you are in a healthy situation at home.

Smart Traveler Tips

All International Travelers

  • If in a group, remain with the group unless you have the permission of a group leader or designated participant, who must know where you are.
  • Never joke with Customs officials or police officers.
  • If you have a program schedule, keep it with you and be sure to follow it unless told otherwise by a group leader.
  • Do not leave any carry-on or other bags unattended.
  • Do bring anything you are not willing to have lost, stolen, or damaged.

F-1, J-1, Non-Citizen Students

Conduct research, including cultural adjustment resources, regarding what to expect and ways to help you navigate your new surroundings.

  • For tips on how to successfully approach cultural adjustments when going overseas, with a focus on culture and how it affects one’s ability to understand and function in a new environment, visit the What’s Up With Culture? resource.
  • For descriptions and guidelines on how to deal with cultural etiquette around the world, visit eDiplomat.

All travelers must have working cell phones with international access or purchase an in-country phone/SIM card upon arrival. It is important that you determine that you have cell phone coverage for areas to which you are traveling, prior to travel, and have a plan for obtaining another cell phone or additional coverage in the event that your cell phone does not work upon arrival. You must test your phone upon arrival for both text and phone call capabilities.

Travel Coordinators: Remind your students of the steps noted above. You and you students must test your phone upon arrival for both text and phone call capabilities, and you must distribute your phone number to all members of your group.

It is recommended that you have an ATM card and credit card(s) (VISA/MasterCard) with a PIN in order to obtain local currency during your travel. You must inform your bank and credit card companies of your travel dates and destination countries. Since exchanging money at airports can be costly, you may want to investigate more cost-effective ways of obtaining local currency prior to your travel so that you have cash available to you in advance of using an ATM. Consider using a money pouch/belt to better protect against pickpockets.

Travel Coordinators: You must advise your students of these considerations as well.

The office/individual coordinating your travel will provide a packing list specific to your travel. In addition, look up weather conditions/think about what will be necessary for your travel, including any research or other activities in which you may be participating, before packing.

Travel Coordinators: Create a packing list specific to this trip to distribute to the students. In addition, instruct students to look up weather conditions/think about what will be necessary for the travel, including any research or other activities in which you may be participating, before packing.

Liability Information

Traveling with a College Computer

To protect against data breaches and intrusion, data encryption is/will be implemented on all College computers. Once your computer is encrypted, there are some additional considerations when it comes to international travel since some nations have travel restrictions related to encrypted computers (China and Russia, among others). If you hope to travel internationally with a College device, please contact the Help Desk well in advance of your travel date for a LITS consult. LITS will work with you on finding a solution that will accommodate your needs, meet the requirements of the country, and appropriately protect the College's (and your personal) data.

More information can be found on Ask Athena

The College carries a supplemental insurance policy that provides international travel accident coverage for students, faculty and staff traveling for purposes related to their work at the College or sponsored by the College. The policy covers emergency medical costs incurred during business travel after a $100 deductible. The policy also covers 100% of the cost of medical emergency evacuation. Emergency medical or travel arrangements must be coordinated by the insurance provider in order for services and costs to be covered. You must research in advance and communicate to students pre-approved medical facilities for your travel location.  The policy does not cover routine medical care and is in excess to any coverage provided by your primary medical insurance policy. The travel insurance policy does not cover personal travel of the student, faculty or staff member, even if it is added on to the official trip. However, family members traveling with Bryn Mawr faculty and staff during College-related trips may enroll in the policy.

Insurance Services Include:

  • Emergency services: assistance with communications problems; travel arrangements; legal assistance; location of lost items; interpretation/translation
  • Referrals to a hospital or doctor; medical monitoring and referrals; dispatch of specialist
  • Emergency medical payments; medical and hospital expense guarantee
  • Emergency medical transport, evacuation, or repatriation with escort or family member
  • Security evacuation

When renting a car outside the U.S., its territories, Puerto Rico or Canada, both liability and physical damage coverage must be purchased in the local country or jurisdiction. Whether or not the purchase of car rental insurance is required by local law, vehicle rental insurance should always be purchased for domestic or international rentals. The minimum limits to be purchased, equivalent in U.S. dollars, are: $10,000 each person/$20,000 each accident for Bodily Injury Liability, and $10,000 each accident for Property Damage Liability. The College’s international automobile insurance provides only for excess insurance over local coverage for an auto liability claim involving an employee, volunteer or student while traveling abroad. The coverage applies only when the local coverage is exhausted.

The College also has insurance that covers Bryn Mawr employees, volunteers, and students for personal injuries while working abroad or to cover loss or damage to College property abroad. If you have an experience that might involve an insurance claim, please contact Sakinah Rahman as soon as possible.

Critical Incident Response Process

A Critical Incident is an event that necessitates emergency medical care, challenges the travel itinerary, or poses a threat of harm to an individual or the group traveling.

Any individual experiencing or learning of a Critical Incident during a travel experience should immediately call the College’s Campus Safety Department at 1-610-526-7911 and convey the critical nature of the call. Campus Safety will gather as much information as the caller has available at the time and will notify the appropriate College administrator(s) who will coordinate the response.