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Kalamazoo College
50 - Thailand x Heather Abraham

Health, Safety, and Emergencies Abroad

Before You Travel   Keeping Healthy While Abroad   Staying Safe While Abroad Responding to Emergencies
Mental, Emotional, and Sexual Health   LGBTQ Legal Issues   Health & Safety Resources Upon Your Return



SA Handbook 2018-2019 HS&E

Before You Travel


Most immunizations are not mandatory, but provide valuable protection; therefore, it is highly recommended that students remain up-to-date in their immunizations prior to departure for study abroad.


The following immunizations are recommended for all travelers:

  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella (Chicken pox)
  • Influenza (annually)

Table of Immunizations

The following table lists the specific immunization recommendations from the CDC, WHO or other international travel resources as of July 2015.  Please note that these are in addition to the general immunization recommendations above.

Polio Booster
Yellow Fever
Japanese Encephalitis





Costa Rica


















































Torres Strait/Papua New Guinea














Kalamazoo College Student Health Center Price List 2016*

  • Hepatitis A (series of 2) $50 each
  • Hepatitis B (series of 3) $55 each
  • Japanese Encephalitis (series of 2) $300 (Both will be given before departure. There is a required 30 minute wait in the Student Health Center after each JE immunization)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) $70
  • Meningococcal-QUAD $140
  • Meningococcal-B (series of 2) $175 each
  • Pneumococcal $80
  • Polio (adult booster) $35
  • Tetanus (Tdap) $50
  • Tuberculosis Test (pre and post travel) $12
  • Typhoid Fever $74
  • Varicella (chicken pox) $120
  • Yellow Fever $155
  • Certificate of Good Health/Physical* $90-$135
  • Vaccine Administration $10
  • Yellow Card $5                      

*Prices are subject to change. Please request an up-to-date price list from the Student Health Center.

The Student Health Center only bills the “K” Student Health Insurance directly. For all other insurances, we will offer you an insurance-ready receipt at the time of service.


Some countries and Kalamazoo Partner programs require a combination of a date sensitive physical examination, certificate of good health, laboratory tests, and/or vaccinations as part of the study abroad application, to apply for a student visa, or for certain residency permits.

Please be advised that consulates and partner institutions can and frequently do make spontaneous changes in their student visa requirements and application process.  Consult with the appropriate consulate or the CIP regarding the most recent requirements.


Any student who will be on medication regularly, has a chronic medical condition, or may need medical services or doctors while abroad, should make an appointment to see the Associate Provost or Associate Director of the Center for International Programs. Please schedule this appointment before the end of the second week of the quarter preceding the study abroad experience so that appropriate arrangements can be made with the program abroad.

If participants have a chronic medical condition, please see a medical provider soon after arriving in country to “establish care.” This establishes a relationship prior to the participant’s potential need for healthcare, and allows a more prompt appointment when one needs it.


Students who take prescription medications, including anti-malarial medication, should carry an adequate supply for the duration abroad in the original container with his/her name on it.  The CIP staff cannot deliver medication to students abroad.  Family members will be unable to mail medication to participants abroad.  Mailed mediation (even if sent by a private carrier such as FedEx or DHL), may be confiscated by customs officials.  Please carry a card, tag, or bracelet that identifies any physical condition that may require emergency care. 

Students who may not be able to obtain enough medication to take them for their study abroad program may have a health care provider give a summary of the conditions and treatments (including the medications prescribed) for the condition. Participants are still encouraged to carry at least three month’s worth of medication.

For participants currently taking a controlled substance, such as any form of Ritalin or Adderal, please bring a letter from the prescribing Doctor indicating the current medication, dosage and medical indication for taking the medication.


Participants should know how to express allergies in the native language and make sure that travel companions are aware of any severe allergies. If any cause anaphylaxis, carry an epi-pen (be sure it doesn’t expire while abroad).


All students participating in study abroad are required to have hospitalization and medical insurance that is valid outside the United States.

Please note, many programs require in-country student insurance for participants.



  • Raw food and unfiltered water and ice
  • Undercooked meat
  • Live poultry around homes and/or markets
  • Piercing and tattooing
  • Mosquitoes, ticks, stray animals including dogs, cats and monkeys
  • Swimming in freshwater
  • Excess alcohol intake


It is not uncommon for students to report feeling dehydrated. Most participants do not drink enough water or liquids while on study abroad. Alcohol and caffeine increase fluid loss. To avoid dehydration, drink half your body weight of water in fluid ounces per day.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Rapid heart beat
  • Lightheaded when changing position
  • Dry mouth
  • Deep breathing
  • Irritability
  • Reduction in urine output, increase in yellow color
  • Cool and mottled extremities
  • Lethargy

If you have these symptoms, find an area out of the sun, drink fluids and rest. If you do not feel better, seek medical care.


Most students report getting sick during their time abroad.

What students eat and drink will affect their health.

In the case of accidents or injury, students should inform the Resident Director as soon as possible. 


Participants should follow up with a healthcare provider if he or she has questions or concerns.


Recommended by Kalamazoo College Student Health Center: (A Safe Trip Abroad) (Travel Warning on Drugs Abroad)


In the areas of health and safety, the Resident Director of Kalamazoo Programs has a special role. As a program participant students are required to keep the Resident Director informed of all situations and incidents that affect health, safety, and/or well-being.

For those participants on Kalamazoo Partner programs, there is a staff member in the local institution/organization at the program with similar responsibilities and authority. We encourage participants to find out who that person is and to make contact during the first week at the program.



Students are encouraged to be vigilant about their mental and emotional health while abroad.


Issues of sexuality can be complex in the home cultural environment, and much more so in one that is less familiar.

Learning about the host country’s culture with regard to acceptable and safe sexual behavior, is one of the responsibilities of participants as they prepare for and experience study abroad.


Excerpted from materials prepared by Wanda L.E. Viento, former Coordinator for Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Student Services at WMU:

While preparing for the study abroad experience, participants should research the LGBTQ climate of the host country.  One very important aspect with which to become familiar are the legal issues pertaining to lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgendered individuals. Even if participants do not plan to have a sexual relationship while away, he/she will need to be informed about specific laws regarding sexual behavior and sexual/gender orientation.

Additionally, legislation on employment protection, partner recognition and HIV/AIDS may impact a participant’s experience directly. 

Resident Directors and other program staff members will give participants guidelines as to the local cultural norms and laws regarding issues of sexuality.          



Participants will have to learn some new “street smarts” that are suitable to the program location.


These are designed to generate uncharacteristic behavior or actions, and can put you at risk.


The Counseling Center offers thoughts to help students develop their own responses to manipulative strategies.



Stay informed about developments in the host city and country and in the world.

The U.S. Department of State is an excellent source for all kinds of safety and travel information. 

Study abroad participants who are not U.S. citizens also have access to the information and services for overseas citizens through the Consular sections of their embassies.

A Glossary of Important Resources from the Department of State:

  • Country Specific Information fact-sheets are available for every country of the world and include details such as the location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the subject country, visa/entry  regulations, health requirements, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. To access country specific information, go to:
  • 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. Recent Travel Warnings are posted at
  • 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 examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert. Recent Travel Alerts are posted at
  • Warden Messages and Embassy Notices are public announcements to U.S. citizens on current safety and security issues. These communications are posted by local embassies or consulates usually on their websites and typically include recommendations or instructions. U.S. citizens registered with STEP or an embassy or consulate abroad often receive these announcements by email.

Links to Department of State Safety and Security Information:

Links to FBI Safety and Security Information:


True emergencies are actually quite rare.

Everyone needs to learn how to use the telephone and know how to locate and contact the appropriate individuals and organizations at the program or in other travel destinations.

Emergencies at home: families needing to know how to get in touch with participants on site--especially if students are away from the program city or after the program has ended. Please inform the Resident Director at the study abroad site if there has been a family emergency. Participants must have a leave of absence approved by the Resident Director and the Associate Provost of the Center for International Programs in order to be excused from classes to return to the U.S. in a family emergency. Note: you must return to your study abroad location and complete the academic program there to receive credit.  The following are contact numbers for the Center for International Programs staff.

Center for International Programs Voice: (269) 337.7133

Center for International Programs Fax: (269) 337.7400

Dr. Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Associate Director Cell: (269) 267.5800

Ms. Narda McClendon, Assistant Director Cell: (269) 267.9437

Mrs. Alayna Lewis, Study Abroad Advisor (Cell)  (269) 251-8876


If students cannot reach anyone in the Center for International Programs, they should phone the College Security office at (269) 337.7321; the Security office will notify one of the staff.  If you wish to contact the Center for International Programs via email, the address is:


Students on study abroad programs may find that other cultures and societies have a much different understanding of what might be considered sexual harassment than is typically the case in the United States.

While American laws do not extend beyond the borders of the United States, Kalamazoo College students studying abroad are bound by College policy regarding social behavior, sexual harassment, and the Honor System for their own actions.

The College is obligated to respond when a student on study abroad or a member of that student’s family reports to a Kalamazoo College staff member that the student has been the target of sexual harassment.


As part of the on-site orientation, we expect that participants will be given information about locating local contact numbers for agencies and organizations that deal with crisis issues such as assault, rape, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, depression, etc.


Physical assault is a traumatic event that can occur in any environment, whether on K’s campus or abroad. 


Rape and sexual assault can happen to women and men anywhere in the world.

Several factors that can place students at risk for sexual assault. This list has been adapted from the Kalamazoo College sexual misconduct policy at

  • Use of alcohol or other drugs that impair judgment or being with someone who is using alcohol and is intoxicated
  • “Hooking up” with unfamiliar persons
  • Feeling pressured to engage in sexual activity or feeling like everyone else is doing it
  • Feeling lonely or depressed
  • Not communicating clearly about your wishes and expectations

Several factors that can place students at risk for perpetrating sexual assault:

  • Use of alcohol or other drugs that impair judgement or being with someone who is using alcohol and is intoxicated
  • "Hooking up" with unfamiliar persons
  • Not communicating clearly about your wishes and expectations
  • Not seeking clear, unambiguous consent for a sexual encounter
  • Ignoring "stop" signs during a sexual encounter
  • Assuming consent when none is given

In addition to these factors, there are additional considerations when a student is outside their familiar cultural environment.


Sexual assault is a traumatic incident regardless of when or where it happens, but it can be particularly challenging if participants are in an unfamiliar culture and far from their normal support network.

The Resident Director at each Kalamazoo site has specific instructions for how to proceed in the event a student in the Kalamazoo program has been sexually assaulted.

Once a Resident Director has informed a CIP staff member, it is typically the practice of the CIP to talk with the survivor directly to ensure the student has received the appropriate medical and counseling assistance available locally. CIP staff members must follow campus protocol and notify the Dean of Students. 

Immediately following a sexual assault:

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Seek help from someone you trust.
  • Inform the Resident Director. Resident Directors have been trained to respond to students in times of crisis. Their first priority will be your physical well-being and providing emotional support. They can also provide you with information regarding next steps.
  • Avoid showering/bathing, brushing your teeth, or urinating (if possible) before you receive medical care. This will keep evidence intact should if the student chooses to make a police report at any time.
  • Seek medical attention
  • Write (or ask the Resident Director or a friend to help) a detailed report of the incident. As time passes, students may forget details that may be important should the student decide to press charges.
  • Listen to the Resident Director for legal, medical, and psychological information and support.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to seek medical attention after a sexual assault.  A doctor can collect evidence of the assault, check for STIs, provide emergency contraception and other treatments, and treat any injuries. If a student chooses to make a report to the police, understand that sexual assault and rape laws vary greatly by country. The Resident Director and other program staff can help participants understand local laws and procedures.

There is an option for students who wish to seek peer support. The Sexual Safety and Support Alliance (S3A) peer members, “strive to empower survivors to make decisions at their own pace and get the professional help they need.” Specifically, they provide a confidential “ear” and may provide help and understanding negotiating campus procedures and referrals to professionals. For those students who wish to speak confidentially with a member of the Sexual Safety and Support Alliance Team (S3A), you may contact them by email:

For those students who wish to speak confidentially with a member of the Sexual Safety and Support Alliance Team (S33A), you may contact them by email.

As time passes, be patient with the process of recovery.


Kalamazoo College Sexual Misconduct Policy:

Kalamazoo College Counseling Center:

CDC Sexual Violence:

National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN):

RAINN Nation Sexual Assault Hotline (internet based)

Title IX resources at Kalamazoo College: 

University of Michigan Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center's Common Reactions to Sexual Assault: