Health & Safety

Support Abroad

Student health, safety and security is Padnos International Center’s highest priority. PIC regularly monitors the latest travel warning information from the U.S. Department of State and has protocols in place should a crisis occur. Over 270,000 United States students study abroad every year, and the vast majority have a wonderful and safe experience. 

The level of support available to students while they are abroad depends on the type of program they are participating in. Faculty-led programs will have a GVSU professor on site throughout the program to assist the student on a daily basis. Partnership programs will have an international office which the student can get support and services from. Non-GVSU students will either have an office or an individual on-site to answer questions. At all times before, during and after the program, students are welcome to contact the Padnos International Center for support. 


Emergency Contact Information

24 Hour GVSU Contact:
GVSU Campus Police (616) 331-3255
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m. EST

Padnos International Center (616) 331-3898
GVSU Counseling Center (616) 331-3266
If you are in an emergency situation while abroad, contact local resources for immediate assistance:

  • Main contact at your host institution or GVSU on-site program director.
  • Nearest medical facility where you can seek emergency care.
  • Police or other local authority that serves as a first responder to emergencies.

Once you have accessed the necessary local resources, contact Padnos International Center (PIC) or GVSU Campus Police. If you call the GVSU Campus Police after hours, they will attempt to contact a staff member in the Padnos International Center who will respond to your call.

US Embassy Support
Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas can be found at

Emergency Procedures
We recommend you PDF of Emergency Procedures

Center for Disease Control and Prevention & World Health Organization

All study abroad students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report for the country they plan to study in. The CDC report provides information on required and recommended immunizations, health and safety advice, and packing tips. Visit:

The World Health Organization (WHO) offers extensive information on health topics, critical health situations, statistics, world health reports, country-specific information for travelers. Visit: 

State Department Travel Information

All GVSU study abroad students are required to register their trip with the U.S. State Department through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Visit for details. Students should also carefully review the country information posted on the State Department website. Safety and security considerations are often listed in this document. 

Mobility International (MIUSA)

MIUSA is a national leader on providing comprehensive disability support and resources for students with disabilities going abroad. If you have a disability, we strongly encourage you to utilize the resources available through this organization as you prepare for your journey. Visit 

Page last modified July 15, 2021