Health and Safety
We want students to go out and explore the world, but we also want to make sure that they come back to Hamline in one piece. That is why the GEC takes health and safety very seriously.
We have vetted all our approved programs for a number of different resources, like academic strength, cultural activities, scholarship opportunities, and most importantly, health and safety protocols.
That means no matter the program you choose, there will be support on site from the program itself, and virtually from the GEC.
Before you go on your program, the GEC recommends that you also familiarize yourself with your program’s location. The topic will be discussed in all pre-departure orientations, but a deeper dive is always a good idea.
Here are a few topics to make sure you understand and look into before departing. And, as always, if you have questions, the GEC is a good first resource.
As of July 2021, Hamline University has mandated that students, staff, and faculty receive a COVID-19 vaccination before the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. It is important to know that many countries around the world have also mandated vaccination for entry. Participants should be prepared to show their CDC vaccination card and/or other forms of vaccination records for any international travel plans. All study away participants are expected to follow international laws and policies regarding COVID-19; this could include quarantine periods, COVID-19 tests, and showing proof of vaccination. No refunds will be given for participants unable to start their program due to non-compliance with country laws and rules. It is important to also note that no vaccine is 100% effective and wearing masks and social distancing measures should be observed at all times.
In our pre-departure orientation, students, and GEC staff will discuss additional steps to be active participants in mitigating the risks of travel during the pandemic.
Some of these measures include those recommended by the CDC and other global-facing organizations.
- Greater observation and assessment of the surrounding environment
- Social distancing
- Regular use of personal protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer.
We are also discussing other activities that can increase the risk of exposure or complications due to closed country borders. These include:
- Discouraging frequent or extensive independent travel
- Taking part in activities in closed spaces and/or with large crowds
Students will also have program and country specific orientations before they depart and when they arrive at their program location
Hamline provides all study away participants with international emergency coverage. This policy includes hospitalization coverage. Generally, it will not cover quarantine costs should a participant need to do so upon entry to their destination. In the event a participant contracts COVID-19, the insurance has coverage to assist in the treatment of the virus, and some travel interruption reimbursements. For further details, please consult the Hamline’s EIIA insurance information
Cancellation of programming
The GEC has always encouraged students to have a backup plan should the situation in their program location make it impossible for their program to run.
We will cancel any program to safeguard our students. The GEC utilizes several sources of information to help advise us on when a program exceeds the risk level for running programs. These include health statements from the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of State travel advisory levels, and our many program and exchange partners in the location where students wish to study.
Students will not be charged any fees from Hamline should we cancel their program. The GEC will do our best to work with students to resolve any application fees paid to their program or exchange partners.
Other items to consider
Students should wait for their program to provide them with program start dates, and possible entry requirements. This could include a quarantine period and/or testing on arrival. The GEC recommends opting for any travel change insurance or policies from their selected airline should their travel plans need to be changed.
COVID tests and quarantines advice
Participants will need to have proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 before international travel. Many airlines and countries will have a preference on the type of COVID-19 test- antigen, PCR, or another. Each test will have a cost associated with it and a processing time for the results. The GEC recommends having at least $200 on hand for a test to leave the US, and a test before returning to the US. If you are going to do additional travel outside of your program's location, be prepared to take another test, and/or complete additional forms if crossing an international border. Most airports have testing facilities. Embassy websites will also have additional information and locations for sites to have tests completed.
COVID-19 vaccination proof
As of July 2021, the US does not have a national "vaccine passport" like other countries and the European Union. The CDC paper card is recognized as official proof by many international locations, and it is recommended to bring that card with you while traveling. Depending on where participants receive their vaccination, some providers also have a QR code document that shows vaccination information.
The GEC recommends that you have the CDC card, and at least another form of proof of vaccination with you during travel as a backup. This could be the pharmacy/medical provider document or a state immunization record.
Currently, US citizens are not able to apply for the EU's vaccination certification system.
Return to US
Students should be aware of the requirements to return to the United States after their program ends. Here are the current requirements as of April 2021
More COVID-19 information
Department of State
Centers for Disease Control
Studying away during COVID-19
Hamline provides coverage for all students going international through Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA); students will need to maintain their domestic health insurance while abroad.
This insurance should be considered emergency insurance; it will not cover routine medical/dental procedures. There is a $250 deductible for any services rendered; that means that students will be responsible for the first $250 worth of charges at a doctor’s office or clinic, and the insurance company will be responsible for charges covered under the policy after that.
However, unless contact is made with the insurance company, who can refer a doctor that will accept the insurance up front and start a case number with the insurance company before entering the clinic/hospital, the hospital bill may need to be paid out of pocket and then a claim for reimbursement from the insurance company must be submitted.
Except in the case of severe emergency, students should contact the Hamline International and Off-Campus Programs Office before seeking medical attention. In the case of severe emergency, students should seek attention immediately and contact the office when able.
It is also important to note that this insurance will cover the foreign hospital bills and the evacuation from the host country for students who fall ill and need to return home during the course of an international program, but that coverage will switch over to the student’s primary insurance upon arrival in the United States. The insurance also covers repatriation.
Depending on your program, especially for non-Hamline built ones, you may also have the program’s required insurance. Please contact your program for more details.
Travel insurance: When purchasing airfare for your program, most airlines offer “Trip Interruption” and additional emergency insurance. These are provided by insurance companies and vary in coverage and cost. The GEC does recommend purchasing some kind of insurance for your flights. It is not mandatory, but could help you change a flight date easier than without it.
We recommend downloading GardaWorld App before you travel to view detailed reports on the destination country, including COVID-19 updates. You will also receive real-time alerts on critical events worldwide.
After downloading the app, use your Hamline email address and the following corporate contract number (16812020) to create an account.
Things can happen anywhere- being away can add to the situation, so remember this chain of communication if an emergency happens:
- Assess emergency: Secure your safety
- Contact program staff or Hamline colleague/faculty
- Call GEC
- Call your family or loved ones
If not life threatening, use Hamline insurance to set up hospital visit (GEC can assist with this). If life threatening, call emergency number and go to closest hospital.
Health and safety emergencies
Always contact program staff/GEC staff and follow their directions with next steps.
Have important program contact numbers with you at all times!
GEC's emergency line: 612-272-6306
You will be connected with the GEC on call personnel.
"I'm a Hamline student studying away and I need assistance with..."
Make sure to provide as much information as possible to support staff in the event of an emergency.
- Your name
- Return contact information
- Country and program of study
- Student(s) names
- Date and time of occurrence/condition
- Description of occurrence/condition
- Action taken thus far
- Action requested of Officer (if appropriate)
Other resources while abroad
Different countries have different norms when it comes to flirting, dating, and sexual encounters. Please exercise caution when engaging in any relationships abroad. Condoms and contraceptives may not be available in all areas, and the definition of consent can also be more complex.
Be clear and assertive with your consent or non-consent. Sexual assault is any sexual activity that is lacking consent.
If you experience anything that is against your consent, there are resources for you to utilize. Know that you are not to blame and that seeking help from your program’s staff will be the first and best method for getting justice in your location.
Get to know the Title IX resources at Hamline and for more information about Health and Safety, see the Student Handbook.
You are subject to Hamline’s Alcohol and Illegal Drug Use Policy while participating in a study away or study abroad program.
- Enjoy your time abroad, but do so responsibly. Follow all country rules, as well as Hamline’s and the program’s.
- Know your limits and always watch your drinks. Some drinks can have a different potency in other countries. Public drunkenness might not be acceptable, and get you into a lot of trouble with locals.
- Remember: Most accidents and crimes occur abroad while the individual was intoxicated. Don’t be that person!
- “Nothing good ever happens alone after 2 a.m.–just go to bed!”
- Do no do illegal drugs
- Do not cross borders with drugs that are legal in one country and not the other
Being foreign is not an excuse, and consequences can be severe.
Be aware of yourself and your surroundings. This doesn’t mean be on guard at all times, but take a moment when going to new locations to ensure you have all your belongings, have your emergency contacts on you, and know when and where you are expected to be next.
Information to know
- 911 equivalent and how to use local phones (dial out numbers)
- Local laws you're likely to encounter
- Clothing norms
As much as possible, go in groups when adventuring around town and especially if you go out at night! And share your travel plans with others—this can be other students, staff, or family back at home.
Hamline’s Student Code of Conduct still applies while on your program! Make sure to follow these rules and those of your host location. All infractions will be reported to Hamline University, and student can be expelled from the program and/or face consequences back home.