Health and Safety While Abroad
Missouri State University takes all reasonable steps to help students be safe during their education abroad program. The Director of Education Abroad monitors locations where Missouri State programs occur and works collaboratively with the Education Abroad Advisory Committee to regularly review all study abroad programs in which safety, security and overall quality are measured. Additionally, the Education Abroad Emergency Response Team follows emergency response procedures to guide their actions in crisis situations.
Students studying abroad, like yourself, are expected to review the health and safety information provided by Missouri State and your program provider or faculty director. You must take responsibility for heeding the advice provided by local staff about how to stay safe abroad, particularly when on your own.
Education Abroad Vaccine Statement
Missouri State University does not require students, faculty, or staff to be vaccinated. However, the University strongly recommends that our community members are vaccinated. Magers Health and Wellness Center has vaccination appointments available. The Office of Education Abroad’s vaccine policy aligns with MSU’s policy. We strongly recommend that students and program directors are vaccinated because vaccines:
- Reduce the risk of serious illness and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, per guidance from the WHO and U.S. CDC.
- Reduce the risk of denied entry if a country requires vaccination for entry, and the risk of quarantine if required for unvaccinated travelers.
- Reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 or requiring quarantine, which could lead to serious program and travel disruptions as well as significant expense.
- Increase access to local events, services, and travel, which are becoming increasing restrictive for non-vaccinated individuals.
- Alongside other preventative measures that affiliate partners and program directors implement, significantly increase protection for all program participants and our global neighbors.
Education Abroad's Emergency Response Plan provides guidelines for emergencies abroad and is intended to complement the University's Emergency Response Plan which is focused on home based campus emergencies. In the case of an emergency, please contact Education Abroad staff immediately via email, phone, or social media to activate our emergency plan.
We recommend you consult with a local physician for any major health-related inquiries when considering international travel. One resource available to students is a Travel Consolation through Magers Health and Wellness Center. Students who have paid their health fee in full receive the travel consultation at no cost. There is a cost for employees for the travel consultation. To schedule your travel consultation, please contact Magers Health and Wellness Center at 417-836-4000. For more information, please see Magers Health and Wellness Center: Travel Medicine.
For further information, the Center for Disease Control offers supplemental advice and suggestions for country-specific information such as immunizations and alerts.
We also encourage you to research cultural differences and prevention measures before departure as part of preventing sexual harassment. More information on prevention measures for specific groups can be found on our Diversity and Belonging Abroad webpage.
GeoBlue Health Insurance Plan
Missouri State requires international education abroad students to be enrolled in our contracted international health insurance. Education Abroad will complete this enrollment on your behalf. Our insurance partner, GeoBlue, specializes in covering students who are studying overseas for medical purposes only. Please review details regarding your GeoBlue plan.
Discover more quick information on using GeoBlue while abroad.
If you will be traveling before or after your academic program dates, you may extend your GeoBlue coverage. Please contact the Office of Education Abroad for further details on extensions.
GeoBlue Medical Claim Form
When seeking medical care abroad, it is best to file a Direct Pay claim prior to your visit. In case of an emergency, you must file a claim with GeoBlue as soon as possible through your insurance dashboard. This claim form can be found on your GeoBlue Dashboard.
Travel Protection Insurance
While Education Abroad does enroll you in health insurance, this does not include travel protection. Travel protection may be something you and your family would like to consider.
Policies and Procedures
Missouri State University is committed to maintaining the safety of all students both on campus and abroad. The Office of Education Abroad has established policies, procedures, and an organizational structure for responses to emergencies that occur abroad. This plan describes the roles and responsibilities of University personnel during crisis situations. The basic emergency procedures are designed to protect lives through effective use of University and community resources. Since an emergency may be sudden and without warning, these procedures are designed to be flexible in order to accommodate contingencies of various types and magnitudes. Education Abroad Program's plan provides guidelines for emergencies abroad and is intended to complement the University's Emergency Response Plan which is focused on home based campus emergencies.
Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement
Student petitioners who have been approved to study abroad must sign the Special Release and Hold Harmless Agreement and return it to the Education Abroad team before pre-departure orientation or send it to EducationAbroad@MissouriState.edu