Know before you go

For travelers who plan to participate in international experiences that are not sponsored or supported by WashU, below are questions that may help you assess the opportunity or program to see if it fits your needs. These topics may help in your personal preparation for travel. This list is not exhaustive, so please be sure to ask questions that are important to you and your experience as well.

Plans & Procedures

  • Does the organization have an emergency evacuation plan?
  • Does the organization have procedures or protocols on how to address incidents of sexual assault or harassment?
  • Does the organization have procedures for medical emergencies?
  • Does the organization have a dedicated Health, Safety, and Security person or team?

Preparing for the Program

  • Have previous WashU students or alumni had positive experiences with the organization?
  • Can I be put in touch with others who have previously worked with the organization?
  • Does the organization provide participants with pre-departure information to help them plan for their time abroad?
  • Does the organization provide an on-site orientation?
  • What type of training is provided?
  • Will local risks and hazards be reviewed?
  • Are there specific risks participants will be exposed to?
  • Are there different cultural norms that participants should be aware of and prepare for?
  • What types of transportation will be utilized during the program?
  • What in-country resources are available to me through the program?
  • Who is my in-country contact?
  • Does the organization provide international health insurance coverage?
  • What type of access to healthcare facilities and services is available?

Housing & Location

  • Is the organization providing housing for participants?
  • Is there a housing vetting policy?
  • What safety and security safeguards are in place for the housing?
  • Do all individuals have locks on their doors?
  • Is the housing located in an area that is at low risk for hazards?
  • Are there smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors inside the housing location?

Personal Health Insurance

Enrolling in an international health insurance policy is recommended when you are engaging in personal travel. Our international health insurance provider, GeoBlue, has options for you and your fellow travelers. Visit GeoBlue Travel Insurance for a quote and to review their benefits.