Health and Safety

Pre-departure Health Information

Students should consult their personal physician if they have any specific concerns about their own health situation. Also, it is a good idea to have a dental check-up and physical before going abroad just to insure there are no current health issues that need to be addressed before going abroad. Program participants may also wish to consult a travel clinic about specific health concerns in South America, particularly if they plan to do much traveling within (especially in the Amazon) and outside of Brazil. The Centers for Disease Control publishes a list of all the vaccines and health precautions it recommends for those planning a stay abroad.

Health Insurance

All participants are required to carry health insurance. It is important to check provisions for coverage abroad BEFORE leaving. Also, students should be aware that most international coverage is made on a reimbursement basis, which means that those seeking medical services pay for the service on-site and then submit receipts to be repaid.

Note: Students should bring claim forms with them if their insurance works on a reimbursement basis in order to avoid delays in requesting repayment.

Safety Tips

  • Students should BE AWARE of what is going on around them!
  • Avoid jogging around Lagoa after dark. If one jogs on the beach late at night, make sure there are plenty of people around.
  • It is not recommended that students get on a bus with large groups of rowdy youths on it. One never knows when trouble might start, and it’s best not to take the chance of being there. If a student is already riding the bus when a large group of rowdy kids gets on, and it is noticed that people start getting off the bus, get off too and wait for the next bus.
  • Be very careful speaking English loudly in public, especially on buses. It's just asking for trouble.
  • Do not wear any jewelry or a watch that you wouldn’t mind losing.
  • Consider calling a radio taxi to return home at night, rather than taking the bus or a regular yellow taxi.
  • Carry a minimum amount of cash, and do not carry all your money in one place.
  • Keep your money in several places, to avoid being left with nothing.
  • Consider wearing a money belt.
  • If robbed or assaulted, always have some money to hand over right away, and then get out of the situation. Fighting back is stupid.

Police emergency number #190

U.S. Consulate Rio de Janeiro

Av. Presidente Wilson, 147 – Castelo

20030-020 – Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Phone: (55-21) 3823-2000

Fax: (55-21) 3823-2003

U.S. Embassy Brasília

SES – Av. das Nações, Quadra 801, Lote 03

70403-900 – Brasília, DF

Phone: (55-61) 3312-7000

Fax: (55-61) 3225-9136