Health and Safety

Before you depart for your program, use these resources to help you stay healthy, safe and happy during your Study Abroad program.

Research Your Destination

Research topics

Familiarize yourself with the host country to ease your transition and reduce culture shock.

  • Major religions and spiritual beliefs
  • Political structure and leaders
  • Economic conditions
  • Food and eating — rules about consumption
  • Nonverbal communication patterns and gestures
  • Age- and gender-appropriate dress styles and behavior
  • Ideas of what time is and its importance
  • Personal space and privacy

Identity resources

Learn how aspects of your identity may be perceived and treated in the cultures in which you’ll be spending time.


Wondering how you may be perceived elsewhere? CultureGrams, hosted by the UMKC Libraries, can help you understand the cultural boundaries in other parts of the world. From gestures to greetings, CultureGrams gives a general outlook of customs in your host country.

Health and Safety Resources

GeoBlue Health Insurance

GeoBlue, university-contracted health insurance, provides you easy and affordable access to quality care around the world. Some programs require that you enroll in GeoBlue.


An app from Terra Dotta that provides destination insights, real-time destination reports and a check-in button for students, program leaders and our office.

Centers for Disease Control

  • Review country-specific health information
  • Schedule dental and physical checkups and discuss relevant health concerns with a physician
  • Obtain any necessary medications, prescriptions and vaccines

U.S. Department of State

International Travel Risk Advisory Committee (ITRAC)

If traveling to a country or region under a travel advisory Level 3 or Level 4 from the U.S. Department of State or Centers for Disease Control, you must submit an exception request to ITRAC.

All UMKC students hoping to participate in a Study Abroad program or university-related international travel — including students who have received approval from their academic departments — must submit an International Travel Policy Exception Request Form (PDF) to the International Travel and Risk Assessment Committee. Review guidance for international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.