Health and Safety Abroad
It is best to be prepared and do some research before your student’s departure in order to feel better prepared when they are abroad.
The Center for Disease Control offers a good starting point. The CDC has a Health Information for Travelers to Germany section dedicated to providing health information about Germany and general resources for staying healthy abroad. Students should read through this information and discuss their study abroad plans with their personal physician or a travel clinic doctor prior to departure. Students could prepare for the appointment by having a list of questions based on personal health history and the information found on the CDC website. It would be wise for students to talk with their doctor about pre-existing conditions and suggestions on continuing the use of prescription medication while abroad.
Students with chronic medical issues should bring with them at least two to three months worth of medication, thus allowing them time to establish a working relationship with a physician in Freiburg and obtain prescription medicine locally. Mailing medication from outside the European Union is illegal and packages containing medication will be destroyed or returned to sender by customs officers. To plan ahead, students are welcome to contact the Program Director, Ulrich Struve, with questions about the availability of specific medication.
Additionally, students are recommended to register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and should remain in contact with AYF staff during emergency situations and when traveling outside of Freiburg.
Additional issues concerning staying safe and healthy are discussed during orientation and students can always consult AYF staff regarding safety. As a general note, recommendations regarding contracting sexually transmitted diseases, consuming alcohol and drugs, remaining safe as a woman while abroad and keeping oneself safe in times of unrest are the same in Germany as they are in the United States. In all matters at home and abroad, diligence is key to remaining safe and healthy.
AYF participants on the year-long program carry three types of health insurance during their Academic Year in Freiburg: 1) an international health and travel insurance provided by their home university’s study abroad office (covers medical repatriation, if necessary); 2) German statutory health insurance (coverage starts October 1 when the German fall term officially begins); and 3) supplementary travel health insurance. The cost for these insurances is included in the AYF program fee.
Should your student plan on traveling in Europe prior to the beginning of the program, you may wish to consider additional insurance options. Coverage prior to the beginning of the program cannot be obtained through AYF and is the student’s responsibility.
AYF students will be covered by personal liability insurance. This insurance will save the student substantial expenses if they should cause an accident, damage another person’s property inadvertently, etc. The cost for this insurance is included in the AYF program fee.
Please note: Items that a student borrows from someone else, regardless of whether the lender is a private person or a business, are not and cannot be covered by personal liability insurance.