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Health & Safety


Click here to read a special message to students and parents about safety abroad.pdf
Click here to read a special message to students and parents about the Zika virus.pdf

Attention students studying abroad on summer/fall 2017 programs:
Dates for the mandatory Global Health and Safety Pre-departure Orientation TBD.
All students going abroad are required to attend a Global Health and Safety pre-departure orientation.


Binghamton University considers the safety of its students a top priority. We require participants in all Binghamton University-administered programs to attend a pre-departure orientation during which health, safety, legal and cultural issues and differences, as well as program specifics are discussed. In addition, we offer general pre-departure orientations for students participating in other SUNY and non-SUNY programs and provide all students with our Pre-departure Guide, which has a wealth of detailed health and safety information.  Also, all Binghamton students participating in any education abroad program, whether through the SUNY system or not, is provided with a predeparture packet which includes basic safety and health information including any current health advisories for international travel.

Useful Websites
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
Insurance - GeoBlue

Useful Websites

The following government websites provide valuable tips and information to help ensure that the education abroad experience is a safe one. We encourage all students and parents to carefully review their information:

U.S. State Department Traveler's Checklist
U.S. State Department Travel Warnings & Consular Information
U.S. State Department Country Information
CDC Travelers' Health Information

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs

What is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)?

• The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
• STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.
• STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation were that to become necessary. But they cannot assist you if they do not know where you are.

Enrollment is particularly important for those who plan to stay in a country longer than one month, or who will travel to:
*A country that is experiencing civil unrest, has an unstable political climate, or is undergoing a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane.
*A country where there are no U.S. officials. In such cases, you should register at the U.S. embassy or consulate in an adjacent country, leave an itinerary with the Consular Section, ask about conditions in the country that you will visit and ask about the third country that may represent U.S. interests there.

If you are traveling with an escorted tour to areas experiencing political uncertainty or other problems, find out if your tour operator is enrolling your trip through the State Department's STEP website. If it is not, or if you are traveling on your own, you can enroll yourself at:
In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare or whereabouts may not be released to inquirers without your expressed written authorizations. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States.

Why should I enroll?

Millions of Americans travel abroad every year and encounter no difficulties. However, U.S. embassies and consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident, or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency. When an emergency happens, or if natural disaster, terrorism, or civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can be your source of assistance and information. By registering your trip, you help the embassy or consulate to locate you when you might need them the most. Registration is voluntary and costs nothing, but it should be a big part of your travel planning and security.

How can the embassy or consulate assist me while I am abroad?

U.S. consular officers assist Americans who encounter serious legal, medical, or financial difficulties. Although consular officers cannot act as your legal counsel or representative, they can provide the names of local attorneys and doctors, provide loans to destitute Americans, and provide information about dangerous conditions affecting your overseas travel or residence. Consular officers also perform non-emergency services, helping Americans with absentee voting, selective service registration, receiving federal benefits, and filing U.S. tax forms. Consular officers can notarize documents, issue passports, and register American children born abroad. Most embassies and consulates have web sites with more information.

Enrollment through this website is NOT considered proof of U.S. citizenship. If you apply for any American citizen services from the embassy or consulate while abroad, you will be asked by the consular staff to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or American birth certificate.

How do I enroll?

First you will create an account by clicking on the "Create an Account" link and following the instructions provided. The account creation allows you to select a username and password so that you can access your travel data at any time. The account will also contain your personal information so that it can be saved and used again whenever you travel abroad. The personal information section will include basic information about yourself, and also for an emergency contact that is not traveling with you. Once you have created an account, you will view your profile and add trips or overseas residences to register with a specific US Embassy or Consulate. Click on the "Add Trip" button or "Add Overseas Residence" buttons to add this information. Follow through the pages, and complete as much information as you have available. There are very few required fields, but thorough information enables the US Embassy to help you more efficiently if needed. You will receive a confirmation email to ensure that you are enrolled correctly.

To Enroll:
For more valuable travel information go to:



The State University of New York is committed to operating with integrity and in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.

Health Insurance

For 24/7 assistance from the Global Health and Safety team:
1.610.254.8771 - call collect from outside the U.S.
1.800.257.4823 - call toll free from inside the U.S.

The SUNY Board of Trustees requires that all students participating on any SUNY program purchase the SUNY-sponsored international student health insurance, provided through GeoBlue, for the length of the program.  If you will be spending additional time abroad, we also recommend that you include those dates in your coverage.  The health insurance program is administered by the sponsoring SUNY campus.

There are two separate parts to the SUNY-sponsored insurance through GeoBlue:
GeoBlue international health insurance provides coverage for medical treatment due to accident or illness.  Once you have been enrolled by Binghamton University in the GeoBlue health insurance, you will receive an email from them with instructions for registering for and activating your personalized website and printing your health insurance ID card. This card is your proof of coverage. You will want to do this as soon as you receive the information, as there is much valuable pre-travel information available on the website.  You should carry the card with you at all times when you travel. The back of the card has the contact information for the Global Health and Safety team and for customer service.  Please see the details about the GeoBlue Insurance coverage below.

The GeoBlue insurance comes with evacuation and repatriation services for medical, political and natural disaster events, as well as traveler assistance services.  The GeoBlue Global Health and Safety team can assist you with this as well, so there is just one contact for any kind of emergency or health issue.Highlights of the GeoBlue Health Insurance
• Covers up to $400,000 per accident or illness
• Covers 100% of reasonable expenses, with no deductible
• Covers 100% of prescription medications
• Covers pre-existing conditions
• Covers for mental health, pregnancy, and birth control
• Covers for treatment of chemical abuse and dependency
• Includes a $10,000 maximum accidental death and dismemberment benefit
• Insurance accepted in lieu of payment by Network Providers (payment will be required at the time of service by non-Network Providers, and you will then need to submit a claim for reimbursement from GeoBlue.  Coverage is at the same level whether you use an in-network or out-of-network provider.)
• Coordination of treatment by GeoBlue case managers
• Global Health and Safety emergency assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
• Evacuation planning and coordination

GeoBlue Online Resources for Students and Parents:
• Print your GeoBlue health insurance ID card
• Personalize your “Destination Dashboard” (this will allow you to see detailed information about
  vaccination requirements, emergency numbers, providers, and prescription drug practices in your 
  destination area
• Read information on your plan benefits and exclusions
• Search for a Network provider, hospital or pharmacy near your study abroad destination
• Read Security Profiles (detailed city and country information on security conditions )
• Use drug translation guide (equivalent names of hundreds of brand name drugs in 24 countries
• Search medical term and phrase translation guides in 10 languages
• Read featured articles on student and travel health
• Sign up to receive customized recent health and security news by email

Contact and Plan Information for GeoBlue:
Group Name: SUNY Binghamton – Outbound
Certificate Number: 4EL-1173-A-16
For online scheduling of appointments or to request arrangement for direct pay:
For 24/7 assistance from the Global Health and Safety team:
1.610.254.8771 call collect from outside the U.S.
1.800.257.4823 call toll free from inside the U.S.
For customer service for members:
1.844.268.2686 (From inside the U.S.)
+1.610.263.2847 (From outside the U.S.)

For plan information, or to obtain a claim form and filing instructions (for use when you have seen a non-Network Provider):

Medical and Security Evacuation and Repatriation Services
This is not health insurance. Rather, it provides medical, travel and security information and assistance to travelers worldwide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Contact the GeoBlue Global Health and Safety team whenever you have a travel, medical or security problem, whether it is minor or serious. Services range from pre-trip intelligence and contingency planning to real-time medical case management and complex emergency evacuations.

Emergency medical, travel and personal security assistance 24 hours a day anywhere in the world:
• Medical assistance services (worldwide medical and dental referrals, monitoring of treatment, facilitation of hospital payments, transfer of insurance information to medical providers; medication, vaccine and blood transfers; dispatch of doctors and specialists, transfer of medical records, continuous updates to family, employer and home physician; hotel arrangements for convalescence, replacement of corrective lenses and medical devices)
• Travel assistance services (replacement of lost or stolen travel documents, emergency travel arrangements, transfer of funds, legal referrals and translation services, message transmittals, emergency pet housing or pet return)
• Worldwide destination intelligence (pre-travel information, travel and health information, real-time security intelligence)
• Medical evacuation and repatriation services (emergency medical evacuations, transportation for a family member to join a hospitalized member, return of dependent children, transportation after stabilization, repatriation of remains)
• Personal security services (political and security evacuation services, transportation after political or security evacuation)
•  Natural disaster evacuation services