Lehigh University prioritizes student health and safety in our international educational experiences. Best practices in the field of education abroad drive the planning and management of our global programs.
Our staff and senior administrators consult various leaders in global education to anticipate, mitigate and manage health and safety concerns associated with international travel and study.
The Lehigh University International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC) oversees all undergraduate international educational experiences. ITAC consists of university representatives from across campus who review and approve university-related international travel plans to ensure health and safety concerns have been considered and addressed.
Lehigh contracts with International SOS (ISOS) to provide 24-hour medical and security assistance for students participating in international experiences. ISOS is the world’s largest medical and security services firm. Faculty and staff consult with ISOS to plan for health and safety concerns in the country of travel.
In addition to ISOS, our staff seek guidance from several leaders in international travel and study in higher education, including the Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA – Association of International Educators, and the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
Lehigh enrolls all students participating in an international educational experience in our mandatory Lehigh University Student International Services and Insurance Program administered through ISOS. This program provides students with health insurance coverage and security assistance services.
The Study Abroad Office reviews health and safety concerns with all students traveling abroad during mandatory pre-departure orientations. During these sessions, staff review how to contact ISOS for medical or security assistance both before and during their abroad experience. In addition, staff share information regarding campus services and external resources that can provide additional information and guidance.
Lehigh encourages students and their parent(s) or guardian(s) to consider health and safety implications when choosing an international education experience. Lehigh recommends students consult multiple resources in order to make an informed decision regarding participation. While Lehigh cannot guarantee student safety in any abroad location, we endeavor to mitigate health and safety concerns through intentional planning and preparation.
International SOS manages and administers Lehigh University's international travel portfolio by providing 24-hour international medical, security, and travel assistance. International SOS is the world's largest medical and security assistance company, with more than 6,500 professionals in 24-hour Assistance Centers, international clinics, and remote-site medical facilities across five continents. International SOS is the leader in their field, ready to help you with all of your medical and security needs.
Students can contact ISOS prior to departure with questions about safety and security in their destination country. In addition, students can contact ISOS with questions regarding traveling with prescription medications or other medical-related travel concerns.
The U.S. Department of State assigns a travel advisory to every country on a scale of 1 to 4 in addition to providing detailed advice regarding in-country safety and security concerns for U.S. travelers.
The U.S. Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world. Information provided includes: U.S. embassy and consular offices, visa information, crime and security information, health and medical considerations, drug penalties, and localized hot spots. In addition, country specific information pages include links to the U.S. Department of state webpages with information for travelers who identify as women, LGBTI, and differently-abled as well as faith-based traveler information.
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The CDC provides official U.S. government information about health conditions worldwide, including recommendations for immunizations.