The Office of Education Abroad is committed to the health and safety of our students studying overseas. These guidelines will provide families with the information and knowledge to remain vigilant and to consider health and safety as a top priority while studying abroad.

Students will receive more detailed information through their Passport Villanova Portal and through their on-site host program or faculty program coordinator.


  • Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks.
  • Cannot monitor or control all 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 Villanova University for events that are not part of the program or that are beyond VU’s and its subcontractors’ control, or for situations that may arise due to failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.
  • Cannot assure that U.S. cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.
  • Cannot assure that participants will be free of illness or injury during the program.
  • Cannot assume responsibility for acts and events that are beyond our control or ensure local adherence to U.S. norms of due process.



International SOS provides worldwide assistance and evacuation services for all study abroad participants.  One phone call connects Villanova students to the International SOS network of multilingual specialists for help in an emergency.

Students must maintain health insurance coverage that meets the standards set forth by the University Health Center. Students traveling abroad for the semester should not cancel any US-based insurance. Families should check with their existing health insurance coverage to ensure students are covered while abroad for any pre-existing conditions or during independent travel. 

Villanova provides emergency health insurance coverage through International SOS, however a case must be opened with ISOS for the care to be covered. 

Students may also have additional international health insurance coverage through their Partner Program or host University. 

Students receive information about staying safe abroad during their Villanova pre-departure orientations. Additional recommendations are found in their Passport Villanova Portal in the Know Before You Go content. Students should also defer to their local on-site partner program or resident director for location-specific advice on staying safe. Ultimately, students are responsible for their own personal safety while they are abroad, and should research and understand travel risks prior to their journey abroad.

For many Villanova students, studying abroad may be the first time that they can legally consume alcohol. Villanova University will not prohibit students from drinking alcoholic beverages if the student is of legal drinking age overseas.

However, with this additional right, there is an increased responsibility to use alcohol in a conscientious manner. Study-abroad students are responsible for compliance with the laws of the country where they choose to live and study, and they are also expected to show prudence in all of their behavior while abroad, including the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Illegal drug use will not be tolerated and students involved in any illegal activity should anticipate being expelled from the program and lose all academic credit.

OEA offers pre-departure recommendations to assist students in preparing for a healthy overseas journey. All student requirements and readings are found in their Passport Villanova Portal, but the following is a quick checklist for families as they support their students in preparing to study abroad.

  • Schedule a visit with the primary care doctor, dentist, eye doctor, and any other specialists before traveling abroad
  • Disclose any pre-existing medical conditions or health concerns to Villanova and/or the partner program so we can help develop a wellness plan for support while abroad
  • Obtain enough contacts, prescriptions, or other needed medical items for the full length of the study abroad program
  • Work with ISOS, your doctors and your regular insurance company to discuss any pre-existing condition needs you may have while abroad. You may also need to work with these contacts to obtain the proper amount of any restricted medications, if applicable. 

US State Department – Students Abroad
Designed by the US State Department to address concerns that are specific to students studying and traveling overseas. Includes links and information regarding the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which allows US citizens to register their travel plans with the State Department in case of an emergency. 

US State Department – Country Background Notes
Background Notes include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty.

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
ECA promotes study abroad and provides exchange opportunities for U.S. students.

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
The OSAC website offers information on security-related incidents and threats overseas. Some of the information accessible from the website include US Department of State Consular Affairs Bulletins; daily security-related news articles; overseas reports on security and crime incidents; timely presentations on current terrorist attacks and other incidents; general crime information for cities and countries; locations and contacts at US posts overseas; and updates on new or unusual trends.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, by providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships.

Transportation Security Administration
Provides airline travel packing guidelines and other travel-related information.

Students Abroad
Provides resources for students planning to study abroad, including health & safety tips, along with country-specific information.

SAFETI adaptations of Peace Corps Resources
Utilizes information developed for Peace Corps members and translates the materials into a resource for students planning to study abroad. This site includes a pre-departure health training handbook, and a personal safety and awareness workbook. 
Offers a guide to help students prepare for their international experiences. 

World Health Organization
Provides information on health risks for travelers and health recommendations.

Association for Safe International Road Travel
The global epidemic of road crash fatalities and disabilities is gradually being recognized as a major public health concern. The first step to being informed about global road safety and developing effective road safety interventions is to have access to facts.


Office of Education Abroad

Villanova University
Top Floor, Garey Hall
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
For Students: Passport Villanova Portal