Health & Safety
For information related to our office's response to COVID-19, and our continuing efforts related to study abroad and the pandemic, please visit the Office of International Education's COVID-19 Updates page.
The University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Office of International Education (OIE) oversees all credit-bearing domestic and international student travel, regardless of whether there are accompanying faculty leaders. OIE has the most experience managing study away experiences and thus is the best positioned unit at UW-Stout to coordinate emergency operations involving these programs.
The health and safety of study abroad/away participants is paramount to the entire UW-Stout community. While no destination is completely safe, whether abroad or in the United States, steps are taken to reduce risk. To help you understand the institution's role in this process, as well as your own responsibilities, we have put together the following information and resources.
Emergencies Health Tips Abroad Safety Tips Abroad
CISI Insurance Alcohol and Drug Use Sexual Assault and Harassment
Food, Road, and Water Safety
The OIE actively engages in the following protocols and guidelines to avoid, mitigate and manage emergencies:
- OIE ensures all students complete an academic and non-academic disciplinary record check compliant with UWS Chapters 14 and 17; sign the Code of Conduct policy; sign the UW System Uniform Statement of Responsibility, Release, and Authorization form (Risk and Release form); and register their passport numbers and travel information with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) before traveling abroad.
- OIE collects and retains in its electronic database all student names, passport copies and numbers, medical and/or mental health conditions or needs (if disclosed by the student to OIE), faculty-led program itineraries, flight itineraries, and emergency contacts. They are also encouraged to develop a reasonable family communications plan that includes contingencies for emergency situations.
- OIE provides the information listed in the bullet above to faculty leaders and, where appropriate, to the provider or host institution. Alternatively, the provider or host institution may collect the same information directly. The OIE does not share information that would violate FERPA or HIPAA regulations.
- The OIE is the primary emergency contact. However, OIE provides Campus Police with direct and off-hours contact information for all staff members in OIE, as well as clear directions to direct incoming emergency calls if OIE staff cannot be reached. OIE updates Campus Police regularly to notify them of upcoming programs and student travel.
- OIE ensures that all students studying abroad through approved programs (semester, summer, and WinTerm) have full medical, emergency, and repatriation coverage through CISI, as required by UW System, by enrolling and providing them with information about the policy, coverage, and possibility for additional coverage (e.g., pandemic coverage).
- OIE provides students with general information about health, safety, and travel, as well as an explanation and links to CDC and State Department websites. Students traveling to destinations with specific concerns (or any active alerts or warnings) receive the full location-specific CDC and/or State Department information.
- OIE monitors international conditions (e.g., through State Department travel warnings and CISI updates) to alert students as appropriate, provide relevant information, and respond appropriately should adjustments need to be made to programs or itineraries.
- If an emergency occurs or if a new travel warning is issued for a program location before students have departed, OIE reviews the available information and decides how to proceed. Information gathering and consulting efforts include reading news reports as well as travel warnings and alerts from the Department of State and CDC; consulting with the Study Away Emergency Response Committee, particularly Safety & Risk Management and Dean of Students; and, if appropriate, consulting with faculty leaders involved. It is the purview of OIE and the Committee to revoke prior approval for students, faculty, and/or staff to travel to a location no longer deemed to be safe or, if there is not enough information available, to ensure that the location will be safe.