Health & Safety

CISI Insurance

To ensure that students have appropriate healthcare and security coverage, UConn has contracted with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), a leading provider of international health insurance, security services, and worldwide support. This plan does not replace health insurance that program participants may already have. It supplements domestic plans to cover healthcare-related and security expenses that may arise while traveling outside the United States.

All UConn students are automatically covered under UConn’s blanket CISI Insurance Policy, free of charge. A CISI identification card is provided to each participant prior to departure. CISI will send an email that contains your coverage details, insurance card, and a copy of the claim form. Emergency phone numbers are listed on the front of the card. Participants may contact CISI directly for replacement cards and forms.

It is very important that you contact CISI first for all routine, non-emergency requests for health information, direct billing with physicians and hospitals, and outpatient appointment scheduling. By contacting CISI first, they will be able to start the billing process and you avoid having to pay up front and wait to be reimbursed.

In the event of a medical emergency, students should go immediately to the nearest physician or hospital, and then contact CISI’s emergency assistance service. CISI will continuously monitor the student’s medical situation and provide care options, if appropriate. For emergency help, call AXA ASSISTANCE at (855) 327-1411 (in U.S.), (312) 935-1703 (call collect from outside the U.S.) or email at MEDASSIST-USA@AXA-ASSISTANCE.US. Make sure to have your Team Assist ID, located on your insurance card, when you call. To submit a claim for reimbursement, call (800) 303-8120 or email claimhelp@culturalinsurance.com.

CISI is contracted with many carefully selected doctors, dentists, and behavioral health practitioners in most countries around the world. Participants can search by location and review the list of CISI preferred physicians, choosing the one most appropriate to treat their medical condition. This list is available on the CISI website. Requests for appointments can be made directly to the physician or can be coordinated through CISI by calling AXA ASSISTANCE at (855) 327-1411 (in U.S.), (312) 935-1703 (call collect from outside the U.S.). Requests for direct billing should be made in advance of the scheduled appointment through CISI. You can always go to any doctor, pay out of pocket, and then get reimbursed. You may first want to contact CISI to see if they can locate a doctor for you. You also may extend your coverage beyond the duration of your program directly through CISI.

If you are experiencing an emergency, and you need to contact CISI directly, visit our Emergencies page.

Medications and Prescriptions

If you take medications or have any prescriptions, we recommended that you pack enough of that medication for the duration of your stay abroad in your carry-on bag (not your checked luggage, in case it is lost in transit). You always should keep medicines in their original, labeled containers, and even consider taking your physician’s script with you abroad.

Because other countries regulate medicines quite differently than the U.S. does, you should obtain professional medical advice before procuring or using any medicines obtained abroad. Consult the country’s medical laws to make sure that certain medicines are not illegal. Not all medicines that are legal in the U.S. are legal elsewhere.

Mental Health

Although going abroad is exciting, it can come with great challenges. Adjusting to a new culture, a different academic environment, and a new system of support services can cause some unexpected and overwhelming reactions.

It is important for you to consider how traveling abroad for a period of time may affect your mental health. Going abroad is not a way to escape your current environment: in fact, it may only exacerbate any concerns already may have. You should instead be as prepared as possible for emotional, intellectual, mental, physical, and psychological challenges of your program.

To best prepare for your program, we recommend that you visit Student Health and Wellness – Mental Health (SHaW Mental Health) if you have any concerns. Please note that, while you are traveling abroad, SHaW Mental Health may not be able to provide as robust of services as it can while you are on campus, as counselors cannot provide therapy services from a distance. Instead, be sure to consider local mental health resources, including those covered by your CISI Insurance policy.

Sexual Health

As in any culture, it’s important that you think carefully and proactively about your host country’s culture with regard to acceptable and safe sexual behavior. What are your host culture’s local norms and cultural patterns of relationships? What are the local dating patterns? If you accept a drink or gift, are you tacitly consenting to sexual activity? If you invite someone into your living space, is it culturally and/or legally acceptable for them to expect intimate contact? Is the legal and/or cultural definition of “consent” different from the definition in the United States?

At a minimum, you must be aware that some behaviors at home that may be culturally and legally acceptable, and seemingly safe, may not be culturally or legally acceptable or safe in the host country and vice versa, particularly for LGBTQIA+ travelers. Certain behaviors will also communicate different messages in the host culture than they do in the United States.

If you are the victim-survivor of sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, or stalking, you have Title IX rights that can help empower and protect you. Please reach out to your host program or local police, if those options feel safe, or to UConn’s Office of Institutional Equity.

STEP Program

If you are a U.S. citizen, we strongly recommend that you enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service of the U.S. Department of State. You can receive important information from your local U.S. Embassy abroad about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. STEP also allows the U.S. Embassy to help contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

Travel Advisories

The U.S. Department of State issues Travel Advisories for all countries in the world, based on a tiered system of safety. Before you travel to a new location, we strongly recommend that you review its Travel Advisory for the latest details and advice.

Travel Medicine Services

Student Health and Wellness facilitates Travel Medicine Services to deliver personalized recommendations, medications and vaccinations based upon both your destination and your travel itinerary. Pre-travel education and immunization are essential to avoid unnecessary risks from preventable diseases that may be unfamiliar to you. For more information, visit the Travel Medicine Services website at Student Health and Wellness.

Additional Resources

Education Abroad recommends that you also stay abreast of the worldwide political and health issues using the following sites: