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Health and Safety Information

An Introduction

At Pepperdine University, our students health and safety is the number one priority; this remains true for the International Programs Office. We strive to keep our students that travel abroad healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. We do our absolute best to teach them ways to maintain their health, their perspective and manage their time abroad. When it comes to the safety of our students, we work around the clock to consistently maintain a sphere of knowledge and anticipation. We continually monitor each and every one of our programs, working with a myriad of resources and people. If you wish to know more about our Health and Safety policies, please take a look at the links below.


Health Insurance

All students must have their own personal health and dental insurance. Students are responsible for checking with their insurer(s) to ensure level of coverage abroad is sufficient. Specific requirements will differ according to the program you apply for and are accepted to; however, as all students are required to have current health insurance coverage, you can determine the scope now and evaluate whether or not you will want or need to purchase different coverage for the time that you will be abroad. Note for all non-Hauteville program participants - The University health plan offered through Anthem (SHIP) does cover students abroad and that is an option, but those who choose to purchase it will be enrolled in the annual plan regardless of how long they are abroad. It is our comprehensive policy for all students. All students studying abroad will be included in the waiver process, except Hauteville. If they don't submit a waiver by August 9, 2015, they will be automatically enrolled in SHIP and their student accounts will be charged for the premium.

Pepperdine provides all program participants with a travel assistance program through ACE/AXA to complement students' personal plans. This ACE/AXA policy provides emergency assistance while abroad (excludes students studying in the DC program while in DC). There is a $100 deductible per incident with a $100k cap. This policy also includes emergency evacuation services, emergency document processing as well as other services. Please contact the International Programs Office for a summary of ACE/AXA services documents.

The Balance

It is imperative to balance your time abroad. You will be pulled in several different directions as the above chart demonstrates. You still need to sleep, you need to keep up your health. But what if you want to travel to Paris this upcoming weekend? Or maybe Heidelberg, or Portugal or Rome? You are then pulled into the travel section. But you have a midterm for your Humanities class on Monday. Can you take off the weekend and still be prepared for the test? This is part of the class abroad. The balance of all of these, including relationship and time, are of immense importance. An excellent idea to help alleviate some of the pressures that come with the responsibility of going abroad is to create goals for yourself; create ways you can keep yourself accountable and less stressed. We can't guarantee that you will have a stress-free time during your travels, just like we cannot guarantee a stress-free time on the Malibu campus. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with studying abroad, and we want to equip you with the tools and knowledge to have a healthy and successful time abroad.


Safeguarding the Pepperdine Community Abroad

What Pepperdine does to safeguard the Pepperdine community abroad:

  • Conduct an international travel safety orientation for students in Malibu
  • Offer free self-defense classes
  • Provide In-country safety briefings during your orientation
  • Campuses equipped with security cameras, secure entry doors and policies that help safeguard the community
  • Communicate to students and regularly update emergency plans that cover a multitude of scenarios
  • Students have access to a travel assistance program that provides students with select emergency assistance offerings
  • We go through an extensive process to assess and approve your educational field trips and faculty-led summer programs through the U.S. State Department and then cross-reference that safety information with global safety experts and local U.S. safety officials in countries you are traveling to. Please click here for more information about how we assess and approve your educational field trip
  • International Programs does not allow students during their session on their personal time to travel to countries/regions on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list and countries on high threat alerts. Pepperdine does not control student travel over and above this point.

What students do to safeguard themselves:

  • Ensure you fully and accurately fill out Pepperdine's travel log (you will be trained when you arrive at your location) to ensure that Pepperdine staff know where you are and how we can contact you during travel breaks and weekends
  • For U.S. Passport holders: You will enroll and log all travel in STEP (U.S. Department of State Safe Traveler Enrollment Program) which enables you and your loved ones to receive travel advisories and alerts
  • Ensure you have the ability to make phone calls to your family and program director at all times
  • Follow safety guidelines from the international travel safety presentation you saw at your Malibu orientation (click here for a refresher)
  • Speak with your parents/guardians about an agreeable personal travel itinerary on weekends and travel breaks.
  • All students are able to use the Live Safe App which can link students with Pepperdine personnel at anytime provided device has network connectivity

Please note that Pepperdine does our due diligence in regards to community safety and cannot plan for or anticipate every emergency. We, like any other institution, cannot guarantee safety and do everything reasonable to safeguard community members. The U.S. State Department posted a worldwide travel caution on March 3rd, 2016. This caution replaced the worldwide travel alert that had previously been posted and has updated information. Please review travel caution here. This travel caution is not location specific as it is global (including the U.S.) and provides helpful reminders for citizens. Pepperdine has reviewed this thoroughly and there is no change to our operations or policies at this time.

How Pepperdine Assesses and Approves International Travel

ADAPT International Travel Safety Presentation

A Message from the Dean of International Programs: Safety Abroad