Health & Safety

Make sure you are prepared for your programme. Check out these tips and policies to help you do so.

Learn International considers health and safety matters in every aspect of programming. We want every participant, faculty and staff member to have a successful experience abroad, and we do our best to prepare those involved on these issues.

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We believe by preparing participants prior to, during and post study abroad programmes, we can eliminate many issues that may arise. Although we cannot 100% guarantee health and safety due to unforeseen occurrences, we do our very best to prevent, prepare and inform.

What is an emergency?

Learn International observes the following events as emergencies. While there are always exceptions to rules, please use the following as a guideline.

  • Any participant experiencing a serious illness, injury or death.
  • Any participant experiencing an emotional, mental health or psychological difficulty that may require extra assistance or even removal from a current situation by professionals.
  • Any participant being the victim of a crime such as rape, a kidnapping, harassment or extreme prejudice.
  • Any participant in trouble with the authorities, or who has participated in or been convicted of a crime.
  • A situation in-country such as a political uprising, disease outbreak or a natural disaster.

While these are general areas we deem as emergencies, Learn International will provide support and assistance in any areas related to health and safety that arise.

In case of emergency

For most programmes:

  • Participants will receive a hotline number for emergencies. 
  • If there is a medical emergency, a travel warning or natural disaster we will first make sure the participant, faculty or staff are safe and receiving the assistance they need.
  • Once we assure our programme participant(s) is safe, then we will contact the home institution via email or phone, to inform them of what has happened.
  • After this contact is made, Learn International will continue monitoring the situation and follow health and safety instructions from the host institution, where applicable.
  • Learn International’s health and safety team will then keep in regular contact with all necessary parties for updates and action to be taken.

Emergency Protocol

Learn International does our best to provide safe and secure environments for all of our participants. However, there may be occasions which are out of our control, such as natural disasters, civil or political unrest, health epidemics and pandemics, warfare and acts of terrorism, prompting us to initiate our Emergency Protocol.

When there is a crisis that affects all of our participants, Learn International Health and Safety Committee will enact the following procedures:

  • Contact and confirm the safety of each participant, faculty and staff member – permitting communcation lines are open.
  • Develop a plan of action whereby, participants will be given instructions and guidance for what to do and where to go to remain safe, if necessary.
  • The Health and Safety Committee will continue to monitor the situation and maintain accurate notes and communication with necessary parties in-country.
  • Once the participants are in a safe place, the Committee will contact participants’ emergency contacts and institutions and keep them regularly updated on events.
  • Should participants need to be evacuated, hospitalised or transported a tailored plan will be developed and implemented.
  • Learn International will keep our electronic communications up-to-date with as current information as available and lines of communication open to the best of our ability.

Learn International will maintain the above protocol unless immediate adaptations are needed based on the severity of an event.

Health and Wellness

It is recommended that all participants research the health and safety risks of the country or countries, they plan to visit while abroad. Participants are fully responsible for their health and well-being. It is important to prepare for your physical, mental and emotional well-being prior to arriving by seeing physicians to get check-ups, prescriptions and the like. Participants should discuss and make a plan with their physician in relation to any health concerns prior to departure.

Once abroad on a Learn International programme, it is the participant’s responsibility to manage and maintain their health. Participants should continue their daily routines for medication management, pre-existing conditions and addictions, where applicable. If a participant does not maintain their health, they are solely responsible for the consequences. If a participant or a Learn International staff member feel that a participant cannot maintain their health abroad and need help, a doctor should be contacted immediately. Then a decision will be made as to whether a participant should remain abroad or return home.

We also encourage you to attend your home institution’s pre-departure session where available, and keep open communication with your study abroad adviser for any additional tips on studying abroad, where applicable.

We recommend that all participants visit a travel clinic before travelling abroad; they are great resources for obtaining information on potential risks and information on immunisations with studying abroad. Check to see if your home university or local community has one available.

Learn International has also prepared a pre-departure and arrival page for additional information regarding your trip abroad. Participants will also have information shared with them prior to arrival in relation to pre-depature information based on their programme.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Abroad

Each host country will have its own laws and culture around sexual orientation, mobility, disability, identity, race, religion, gender, and similar. It is up to each participant to research and understand the nuances in each country that they will be visiting.  It is essential for each participant to be aware of their surroundings and keep safe, especially if they are visiting a region which may have more stringent views or laws for some identities. 

In order for Learn International to support you on your programme, we also need to know what accommodations you may require well before you arrive to your host country.  For example, you may feel more comfortable in a single room versus sharing due to “xyz” reason.

We will do our best to help you but also please know there could be extra fees for some requests. 

If you have any questions, please always feel free to ask a member of our team. We will do our best to help answer your questions and guide you.

Accommodations, Dietaries, Allergies and similar

In order for Learn International to support you on your programme, we need to understand your needs.

Please disclose accommodations, dietaries, allergies, medication that you need extra support on for your programme to your Learn International Coordinator. 

Examples:  You require an accessible room for living. 

Example: You require a refridgerater for medications. 

Example:  Dietary preferences like Vegan, Vegetarian, Halal, Gluten free and the like. 

International Health Insurance

All participants must arrive with International Health Insurance, no exceptions. 

  • International health insurance is not the same as travel insurance. 
  • International health insurance – covers participants in relation to their health and wellness. Typically it covers but is not limited to: medical matters related to emergencies, doctor visits, prescriptions and other related health issues abroad. 
  • Travel insurance –  typically covers lost luggage, missed flights and similar issues related to travel. 

It is also recommended that participants contact their regular health insurer to understand the benefits, if any, while abroad.

Exceptions to International Health Insurance

If the participant’s home university offers international health insurance and it meets the following the criteria, then this insurance will be acceptable. Proof of your home institution’s international health insurance policy may be requested by Learn International.

Insurance Requirements:

Participants, specifically from the USA, must have the equivalent cover for their international health insurance. 
  • Medical Expense (per Accident or Sickness) Deductible Limit – Zero
  • Unlimited Lifetime Maximum – $250,000 per incident
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment – $10,000
  • Medical Evacuation – $100,000
  • Repatriation/Return of Mortal Remains – $50,000
  • Emergency Medical Reunion up to $1,500
  • Coverage for pandemics, epidemics or natural disasters
  • *Please note: These are in US dollars and not Euros.

There are no other exceptions to not having international health insurance. All students must be enrolled and meet the above minimum requirements.

If you are a member of the European Union you must have your European Health Insurance card to participate on a Learn International program. We suggest you are aware of the benefits offered by your home country abroad, private insurance abroad and understand what is offered with the European Health Insurance card. 

What is needed for proof of insurance?

  • Copy of original insurance card
  • Dates of insurance coverage
  • Copy of policy
  • European Health Insurance Card (for EU participants only)

The above items will be collected prior to arrival and upon arrival.

If a participant travels while attending a Learn International programme, outside of the programme-related excursions, it is recommended each participant contact their insurance to fully understand their benefits and coverage. If you extend your stay after a Learn International programme, we recommend you extend your insurance coverage. 

Learn International is not responsible for any emergencies, medical issues or inadequate travel or international health insurance while a participant travels or participates on any non-programme related activities.

All medical issues that occur on Learn International programmes must be reported as soon as possible to Learn International staff, for the best and quickest support to be provided by on-site staff team.

Learn International is not responsible or liable for a participant’s personal health and wellness. This includes but is not limited to: medical, emotional and mental health concerns, medical emergencies and/or pre-existing conditions. Students are fully responsible for their personal health and wellness while on a Learn International programme.

Further, participants are fully responsible for understanding their current health insurance and international health insurance coverage, benefits, and claims processes. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their insurance coverage is sufficient for the duration of their programme.  Learn International is not liable or responsible for any deficit in benefits, complaints handling or policies not covering health needs or claims made by a participant with their health insurance(s).

Learn International is not an insurance broker or expert. We do not give advice on insurance or with understanding insurance policy. Learn International recommends speaking with a qualified insurance agent to ensure that participants are satisfied that they have sufficient coverage. Learn International will not be liable for any shortfall in insurance coverage of any type for any reason. 


Learn International has 24/7  staff available to assist participants, faculty and staff for general support (logistics) and any emergencies that may arise. Non-emergencies will be addressed during normal working hours 9:00-5:30pm (Irish time zone).

While we cannot guarantee safety due to unforeseen occurrences or things out of our control, we provide necessary precautions to keep participants and staff safe to the best of our ability.

Emergency Contacts and Communication

All participants need to update their home institution and Learn International of their Emergency Contacts in the event of an emergency. This contact should be someone you trust or a close family member, such as a parent or guardian. This contact should be able to assist in making decisions for you should there be an emergency.

Participants need to maintain regular communication with their Emergency Contact while travelling or abroad on their study abroad programme. By having regular communication, the amount of potential worry or panic-stricken calls or emails, simply due to lack of communication, will be avoidable.

Participants agree that Learn International can contact their Emergency Contact in the event of an emergency. Please review, What Is An Emergency in the Health and Safety Section.


Many participants take the opportunity to travel while studying abroad. This is a huge benefit to studying abroad and one that is popular among participants.

When a participant is attending a Learn International programme and chooses to travel, it is required that when they travel on weekends or outside of the programme schedule, that they inform their Learn International point of contact prior to departure. It is helpful for Learn International to be aware if a participant is away in case of emergency or if they need to be contacted. We want to be sure our programme participants are safe while abroad, so if any issues arise, we can always locate a participant if needed.

Whether you are travelling within your host country or to a different country, we always advise that participants travel in groups, never alone, and have access to a cell phone at all times, in case of an emergency.

If you are an American citizen, we highly encourage you to sign up with the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (STEP) and update your travel plans throughout your time abroad. This is a great resource and easy to do.

Travelling to and from your host-country

When entering and re-entering your host-country, it is recommended that you bring: your exit ticket from your host-country (your plane or train ticket) proving exactly when you plan to leave, your acceptance letter into your study abroad programme and keep your address on hand for immigration. At times, when students are flying in and out of a country, immigration can be strict and require documents proving why you are coming and going.

Please note: The information above was last updated November 17, 2023. The most up to date information is found within the Pre-departure and programme planning provided to participants and The University directly.