Health & Safety

Western Washington University considers the health and safety of students on education abroad one of its top priorities. While no organization or institution can guarantee the safety of participants, the risks can be significantly reduced if program staff, students, parents, and advisers at the host and home institutions all work together. This section is meant as a guide for a safe and successful education abroad experience.

WWU Policy: Reporting Communicable Diseases

Western is committed to the ongoing health and safety of our campus community. Students and employees who know, or who have reason to believe, that they are infected with a communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to conduct themselves in ways that minimize exposure in order to protect themselves and others and to inform the appropriate university administrator.

Students should contact the Student Health Center or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. Administrators, faculty or staff members who become aware of a potential or known condition involving a student should contact the Student Health Center as well.

Any employee, student, prospective student, volunteer or visitor who knowingly arrives from a country outside the United States that has been issued a Travel Health Warning by the Centers for Disease Control must contact the Student Health Center’s Medical Director for medical clearance before being allowed on campus to attend classes, work or other activities.

Individuals with communicable diseases shall be excluded from enrollment or employment or restricted in their access to university facilities, programs or services if a medically-based judgment, in an individual case, establishes that exclusion or restriction is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the infected individual and/or other members of the university community.

WWU Policy on Communicable Diseases.

University Travel Policy

The University policy POL-U2105.01 Traveling Abroad for Educational Experiences applies to travel abroad for students, faculty, and staff.

Countries with Travel Advisories

Travel Advisory Information

The US Department of State manages all our embassies and consulates abroad, and with the help of US security personnel on the ground in each country, the State Department rates the safety of each county on a Level 1 – 4 scale:

  • Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
  • Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
  • Level 3: Reconsider Travel
  • Level 4: Do Not Travel

Most US universities, US companies, and US organizations only allow their travelers to go to Level 1 and 2 countries, even before the pandemic. Level 3 is the threshold at which even the US government begins to evacuate some of its own diplomatic personnel and their dependents. The EdAbroad office was given permission to allow students to resume studying abroad in Level 1 and 2 countries beginning in January 2021 and University leadership agreed that students are allowed to petition to study abroad in State Department “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” or "Level 4: Do Not Travel countries starting in Fall 2021, Learn more about this process

WWU Information and FAQ's

Extending Insurance Coverage

WWU requires that students engaged in international educational activities obtain appropriate study or travel abroad health insurance prior to travel outside the U.S.

Learn more about this requirement and how to purchase insurance through CISI on our Travel Resources page.

If you need to extend your CISI coverage while abroad, contact Kathleen at CISI directly to extend: or call 203-399-5509.