International Studies Abroad

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International Insurance

All students participating in a USD semester or short-term study abroad program are covered by international health insurance through ACE/EuropAssist. This insurance functions mainly through reimbursement (if the costs are low). There is NO deductible per illness/injury. An outline of the ACE/EuropAssist medical insurance policy will be provided to all students participating a study abroad program, along with an identification card and claim form.

NOTE: International students at USD who are studying abroad on an approved USD program that takes place in their home country are not covered by the ACE/EuropeAssist policy. It is the students' responsibility to obtain full coverage insurance. For more information, we highly recommend that these students contact Greg Grassi, Associate Director of International Students and Scholars.

Students should feel free to contact ACE/EuropAssist if:

  • You require a referral to a hospital or doctor
  • You are hospitalized
  • You need to be evacuated or repatriated for medical or security reasons
  • You need to guarantee payment for medical expenses
  • You experience local communication problems and need a translator and interpreter
  • In the event that a student needs to seek medical attention or has a medical emergency while abroad, s/he is advised to follow these simple instructions:

Call ACE/EuropAssist (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) at:
1-800-758-5417 toll free in the USA or Canada
1-240-330-1466 collect outside of the USA


When calling, please have the following information:

  1. Name of caller, phone no., fax no., relationship to patient
  2. Patient's name, age, sex and policy number
  3. A description of the patient's condition
  4. Name, location, and telephone number of hospital
  5. Name and telephone numbers for the treating doctor (where and when the doctor can be reached if known)
  6. USD international insurance policy number (this is printed on the insurance card)

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the USD International Studies Abroad Office by telephone at (619) 260-4598 or by email at:

Safety Abroad

TheUniversityof San Diegoconsiders the safety of its students to be of top priority. Regardless of whether a student is traveling to a small town or a large metropolitan city, the fact remains the he/she is not a local citizen and will most likely be recognized as a foreigner. As in any "tourist culture", it is important that students remain aware of their surroundings, use good judgment and take the following simple precautions:

  • Do not go out alone at night
  • Protect personal documents and keep a copy of them at home with friends or relatives
  • Know how to ask for emergency or medical help
  • When traveling, always carry the phone number and address of the hotel in which you are staying and leave your itinerary with the program director at your study site
  • Keep family and friends at home informed about travel plans
  • Do not yell, curse, or speak loudly in public places (especially not in English)
  • Do not drink alcohol in excess or use drugs
  • Do not confront locals
  • Walk away from confrontational people (local and/or tourists)
  • Always stay away from physical confrontations
  • Call for taxis (safer), rather that hailing one off the street (risky)
  • Always sit in the back seat of a taxi
  • When in doubt, watch the locals for appropriate behavior
  • Fold bills individually for easy access to smaller denominations
  • Avoid taking out large amounts of cash in public
    Do not keep wallet in back-pocket in large crowds
  • Know where you are going before leaving
  • Try not to open a large map in public. Instead, fold maps so that the section needed is facing out.
  • When alone, walk with purpose
  • Avoid looking people in the eye and smiling, especially in big cities (this is an American custom that is hard to change)
  • And most important...USE GOOD COMMON SENSE!

Below are links to useful tips and resources that we encourage all participants/participant family members to visit.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

LGBT Health and Safety

Students Abroad

SAFETI (Safety Abroad First – Educational Travel Information)

Safety for Females Abroad

US Department of State

Websites for US Embassies and Consulates Around the World

Emergencies Abroad

If a student is overseas and is involved in an emergency situation, the student should either contact an emergency responder or the on-site staff immediately. If a student is unable to do so, please contact USD Public Safety staff at the number listed below.

USD Public Safety: 619-260-2222

Each member of Public Safety staff has the emergency contact numbers for each of the overseas program sites as well as the Director and Assistant Director of International Studies Abroad. All of our overseas offices have emergency contact procedures in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our staff is able to contact overseas partners and students quickly to relay information promptly.

Should an emergency occur while students abroad, the following steps should be taken:

  1. If the student has not already done so, the on-site staff needs to be notified. 
  2. Contact the USD Offce of International Studies Abroad (619-260-4598) during working hours (8:30AM - 5:00PM, PST) or the USD Office of Public Safety (619-260-2222) after working hours.

Special Circumstances/Emergencies

If you have been a victim of a crime or need to report a lost or stolen passport, it is recommended that you follow the steps outlined by the US State Department.