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photo of three study abroad students in a cave.

Before you leave for your study abroad experience, you'll work closely with the staff at the Center for Academic and Global Engagement to make sure you are well-prepared to embark on your journey.

Health & Safety

Please carefully review the health and safety guidance provided below to ensure you are prepared to embark on a safe and successful journey. Although we provide a more in-depth health and safety training in our mandatory pre-departure orientations, you are responsible for your own personal health and safety while studying abroad/away. We encourage you to read this information carefully and to contact us with any questions and concerns you might have.


After we approve your study abroad/away application, you will need to complete a travel physical with a healthcare provider such as Sanford Vermillion. The travel physical form is designed to facilitate a conversation with your doctor about any health concerns you might have and to identify appropriate precautions such as immunizations and medications.

For additional information about immunizations and health precautions, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Disability Services

If you need to request reasonable and appropriate accommodations to allow full and equal access to study abroad/away, please contact Disability Services.

Mental Health

The challenges of cultural adjustment can affect your well-being, even if you do not have existing mental health concerns. As part of your pre-departure preparations, we encourage you to speak with the Student Counseling Center or another mental health professional about any concerns you might have, including your plan for treatment and support while abroad.


Visit the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad site to explore important safety resources for your host country. You will find:

  • Country-specific information and travel advisories
  • Local emergency and United States embassy/consulate numbers
  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Note that university policy restricts travel to countries with a level 3 or 4 travel advisory (formerly called travel alerts and warnings) issued by the U.S. Department of State. Contact GC for information about the exception petition process.


If you have concerns about how study abroad might impact your identity, review the Diversity Guide to Study Abroad for advice and questions to consider.


While abroad/away, you remain a USD student and, therefore, you are subject to the South Dakota Board of Regents Student Code of Conduct. For information, refer to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. In addition, your behavior is governed by your host institution’s conduct code and the laws of your host country.

Harassment & Assault

You always have a right to feel safe, regardless of host country cultural cues, norms and laws related to sexual harassment and assault that may be different from those in the United States. In the event of sexual harassment or assault, remove yourself from the situation and notify onsite program staff. In addition, we encourage you to report the incident to USD at: