Student Travel Safety

Domestic or international travel opportunities for students of all ages has become a popular educational benefit provided by schools and universities across the globe; whether it is for athletic or extracurricular tournaments, language programs, volunteer missions or study abroad programs. Young travelers may even venture abroad on their own, taking a gap year, backpacking trip or simply vacationing with friends. While travel offers a multitude of opportunities, there are still numerous factors that may put the health and safety of this vulnerable population at risk. 

AIG Travel recognizes the need for greater understanding and awareness regarding safety for student travelers. A strong safety and preparation plan can help ensure students of all ages enjoy travel and the valuable experiences it can bring while also mitigating risk. Students, parents and faculty alike can benefit from the following travel tips and advice.

Student Travel Statistics

According to Inside Higher Ed, 16% of those earning bachelor's degrees study abroad at some point during their undergraduate careers.1

According to the Forum on Education Abroad, 10% of all students studying abroad filed an insurance claim.2

In a study by the National Association of Independent Schools, one-third of the total risks to students traveling occur while on the highway, while another 10% is attributed to boat, plane and train travel. Another 30% of risk is a mixture of fires, falls and sickness, while there is more than a quarter percent risk of drowning.3

Student Travel Safety and Preparedness Tips Webcast

Watch a presentation on security tips and advice for students, educational organizations and parents. 

  • Look online for any health and safety, cultural or security related information on the country or countries you will be visiting. Government travel advisories are available by country and are a great resource for this information.
  • Keep in mind that certain travelers such as women and the LGBTQ community, may face different risks in some countries - make sure you read up on the local laws and customs.
  • Learn some useful phrases in the local language, such as asking for help or directions, or being able to say, "it’s an emergency."
  • If you have a trip coordinator ask that person to explain their emergency plan before you leave. Check your understanding of the plan, so you know what to do if something goes wrong on your trip. 
  • Double check your travel insurance. Be sure it has the correct travel dates and covers the activities you will be participating in, for example scuba diving, hiking or rock climbing. 
  • Choose your contacts for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). These individuals – perhaps a parent or friend, should have valid travel documents and all the necessary information for your trip in case there is an emergency.
  • Pack any prescription medications in their original bottles. If you need to take a large amount, pack a note from your doctor confirming that the quantity is correct for the duration of your trip.

Helpful Resources

External Resources