Health and Safety Abroad
Student Health and Safety While abroad is important to UWF. This page contains information about UWF policy regarding Health and Accident Insurance for study abroad and Safety information.
Health and Accident Insurance for Study Abroad
- All UWF students who participate in a University-approved activity abroad must demonstrate proof of international health and accident insurance coverage (including medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and mental health) while traveling and/or studying in a foreign country. Such coverage must be, at a minimum, for the specific program-defined duration of study and directly related travel time. Health and accident insurance must carry a minimum medical coverage of $100,000.00, with a minimum of $25,000.00 for medical evacuation and$25,000.00 for repatriation and $5,000.00 for mental health. Students are required to submit a completed Health and Accident Insurance Verification form, by the established deadlines, for final approval of participation in a study abroad program.
- Students who participate in a UWF faculty-led study abroad program must have health and accident insurance coverage applicable to their activity abroad, for the duration of their international activity. Students must submit to the Study Abroad Office the Study Abroad Health and Accident Insurance Verification Form at least one month before their departure date.
- Students who travel abroad on a UWF co-curricular activity (e.g., music performance, athletic competition, or service-learning activity) will be required to have Health and Accident insurance applicable to their international activity. The UWF faculty/staff sponsor(s) must work with the Study Abroad Office to verify that students have coverage. Students will need to submit to the Study Abroad Office proof of coverage by submitting the Health and Accident Verification form at least one month before departure date.
- Individual students who travel abroad under UWF funding or under other UWF auspices outside of a UWF faculty/staff-led activity, i.e., for independent study, research, international conference attendance, individual study abroad as a UWF registered student, etc., must verify with the Study Abroad Office that they have health/accident insurance applicable to their international activity by submitting the Health and Accident Verification form at least one month before departure date. The UWF Study Abroad Office shall have final responsibility in determining if the insurance requirement has been met. Students, who do not provide proof of appropriate insurance, either through an existing insurance plan or a purchased one, will not receive UWF funding, be approved for travel, nor will they be able to register for UWF courses.
UWF has selected Study Abroad Health and Accident Insurance policies which meet the requirements outlined above. Click the blue arrow at the left to expand information on approved policies and links to purchase to required coverage.
Study Abroad Insurance Plans that meet the UWF Requirements for Health and Accident Insurance include:
ISP–International Student Protection Short Term Accident and Sickness Adventurer plan meets the UWF requirements. Plan pricing is based on age. ISP also offers a higher level of coverage with the Expedition plans. intlstudentprotection.com/us-students-studying-abroad/
IFS–Insurance for Students Study Global Premier Plan meets UWF requirements. insuranceforstudents.com/uwf
If you currently have The UWF Student Heath Insurance Plan through United Healthcare Student Resources, it includes the required travel and accident coverage. Students will need to have coverage for the entire period of study and have UHCSR complete the Health and Accident Insurance Verification form.
Enrollment forms can be found online or at the UWF International Center. The company will need to complete the Health and Accident Insurance Verification form and submit to UWF UWF International Center. Fax is 850-474-2915 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If using existing Health Insurance Coverage, have the insurance company complete the Health and Accident Insurance Verification Form and return to the UWF International Center. Fax is 850-474-2915 or email to email@example.com. If your current insurance does not meet all of the requirements, you will be required to purchase additional insurance to meet the requirements. *Note: Most US health insurance plans do not meet the requirements.
Safety and Security Abroad
UWF is committed to developing a wide variety of international study, research and work opportunities for its students. At the same time, we recognize that there are times and places where personal security issues may outweigh the advantages of exposure to international experiences; therefore, we have developed a very considered approach to the safety of our students.
Our approach to safety includes careful monitoring of U.S. Department of State travel warnings and travel alerts. It calls for working with international contacts as well as Programs for Study Abroad, the Associate Vice President of International Programs, the Dean of Students' Office, and ultimately the Provost and President of the University of West Florida.
U.S. Government Advice
The United States Department of State has developed a set of reports designed to inform travelers of potential risks (click here for details).
Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department decides based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Countries where avoidance of travel is recommended will have Travel Warnings as well as Country Specific Information Sheets and cannot be approved for study.
Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government's ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information about short-term conditions, generally within a particular country, that pose imminent risks to the security of U.S. citizens. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are other examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert. Students will be alerted of any changes in country condition by the Study Abroad Office.
Country Specific Information is available for every country of the world. They include such information as the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the subject country, immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. If an unstable condition exists in a country that is not severe enough to warrant a Travel Warning, a description of the condition(s) may be included under an optional section entitled "Areas of Instability." On limited occasions, they also restate in this section any U.S. Embassy advice given to official employees. Country Specific Information Sheets generally do not include advice but present information in a factual manner so the traveler can make his or her own decisions concerning travel to a particular country.
Click the blue arrow to the left to find out more about how UWF Study Abroad uses government advice.
How UWF Uses Government Advice
At a minimum the following always applies: the Study Abroad Office will not send students to any country for which a U.S. Department of State "travel warning" has been issued. This includes study abroad programs led by UWF faculty members. The Study Abroad Office will carefully review any "travel alerts" issued by the U.S. Department of State for specific regions of countries where security issues are a concern. Decisions about sending or withdrawing students from areas with "travel alerts" will be made in the context of current world situations and after consulting with responsible officials of foreign host universities or overseas providers, the U.S. Department of State, UWF administrators, and other experts who are well-informed on issues related to the region in question.
Note: "Travel alerts" generally indicate that a specific threat has been received by the embassy or that the department has concluded that there might be a threat to U.S. citizens because of recent events in that country or the U.S. In most cases these threats are not realized, and most importantly, are not likely to cause difficulties for our students and faculty if they exercise reasonable caution. Such announcements are communicated to students, faculty, and staff who are in the specified country or expected to travel there.
The Study Abroad Office also reserves the right to cancel any program when we believe that the security of our students may be threatened, even if the United States Department of State has not yet issued a travel warning or a travel alert. UWF will not assume any financial responsibility for such withdrawal.
The following information is provided to participants and their parents regarding the range of aspects of participants' international experiences that are beyond UWF's control. UWF:
- Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments.
- Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.
- Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous, or unwise activities.
- Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings or provide or pay for legal representation for participants.
- Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by UWF for events that are not part of the program; or that are beyond the control of UWF and its subcontractors; or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.
- Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.