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Health & Safety

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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


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, are provided with pre-departure information in their online application, which includes basic safety and health information, including any current health advisories for international travel.

Useful Websites
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
Insurance - UHC

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.
Purpose:
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: https://step.state.gov/step/
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:
https://step.state.gov/step/
For more valuable travel information go to:
http://travel.state.gov/

 

Compliance:

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:
1.888.714.6544- for claims status, visa letters, or coverage/benefits questions
1.844.249.0748- for emergencies; or to locate a provider/pharmacy outside of the US
Email: customerservice@uhcsr.com

The SUNY Board of Trustees requires that all students participating on any SUNY program purchase the SUNY-sponsored international student health insurance, provided through United Health Care, 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.