Health & Safety Abroad

Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs, as long as they understand that attitudes, legal rights, standards of accessibility, and accommodations for persons with emotional, mental, learning, or physical disabilities vary dramatically throughout the world.  When researching your options, become aware of the specific circumstances in the host countries and be realistic.  Please set-up an appointment with the Global Initiatives Coordinator to discuss the accessibility and accommodations for the chosen study abroad program.  We will then meet with the Director of Disability Services to review how we can support your accessibility and accommodation needs while abroad.  However, we can’t guarantee the quality of accommodations abroad.  To ensure you have the best advice possible, please let the Global Initiatives Coordinator know if you have a specific disability.  To set-up an appointment, please email, or call Kim at 863.669.4917.


Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit 



    ALL participants are enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.



    Like most large cities, you should be alert at all times.  Therefore we strongly encourage you to use the following guidelines for general safety precautions:

    • Always use the buddy system when going out (3+ people).
    • Always tell the program leader where you are going.
    • Always carry emergency telephone numbers and addresses with you.
    • Be alert at all times.
    • Never carry all of your money in cash or expensive jewelry on you.
    • Keep your valuables in a money belt. Wear your money belt around your waist underneath the clothing.
    • Wear your backpack in the front, especially in crowded places.
    • Leave your valuables in a safe place.
    • Be careful of cars; note the direction of traffic; not all countries yield to pedestrians.
    • Beware of pickpockets in large crowds and on public transportation

    Travelers Health

    Polk State College monitors the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for all Study Abroad Programs for each destination. The CDC travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.


    Medical Treatment

    Please bring a copy of your primary medical insurance card.  If you become ill or injured while abroad, notify your program leaders immediately.  They will contact the local pharmacy, or take you to the nearest hospital for treatment.



    Check the TSA for restrictions at

    • Carry extra medication than what is needed for the trip
    • Carry all medications in the original containers(prescriptions, over-the-counter and vitamins)
    • Pack all prescription medication in your carry-on luggage
    • Bring a doctor’s note if they have narcotics, syringes, inhalers, nebulizers, or allergy medication
    • Bring an extra copy of a doctor’s prescription in case you need to refill a medication on the trip, or as back up if you lose your medication




    Polk State College covers each participant for study abroad insurance through our insurance company, AIG. You will receive a welcome email prior to departure.

    Travel Assistance

    Flight delays, unpredictable weather, lost or stolen luggage and other travel hassles are an unfortunate reality of travel today. AIG Travel’s travel assistance is an exclusive service that provides dedicated, around-the-clock travel counselors who are just a phone call away to solve last-minute travel problems or emergencies. We help keep your travelers on the move with a wide variety of travel assistance services:
    • Lost or stolen documents assistance
    • Embassy and consulate information and referrals
    • Lost baggage search and stolen luggage replacement assistance
    • Emergency language interpretation and translation services
    • Emergency return travel arrangements
    • Flight and hotel re-bookings
    • Immunization, visa and passport information
    • Guaranteed hotel check-in
    • Travel delay reports
    • Emergency cash transfer assistance
    • Legal referrals/bail bond assistance
    • Foreign exchange, ATM and weather information
    • Worldwide public holiday information
    • Urgent message relay to family, friends or business associates
    AIG Travel provides assistance through coordination, negotiation and consultation using an extensive network of worldwide partners. Expenses for goods and services provided by third parties are the responsibility of the customer.

    Medical Assistance

    From physician referrals to coordination of complex medical evacuations, AIG Travel has in-depth experience providing a wide range of medical monitoring services. For over 30 years, AIG Travel has ensured our travelers’ medical needs are met with expediency and expert care, including:
    • Making medical evacuation arrangements
    • Medical monitoring assistance during medical care abroad
    • Coordination of repatriation arrangements for the return of mortal remains in accordance with local governmental procedures
    • Providing physician/hospital/dental/vision care referrals when medical attention is required, including assistance with scheduling appointments
    • Assistance with emergency prescription replacement while abroad
    • Arranging special medical services when required (e.g., oxygen or a wheelchair)
    Worldwide Medical Department
    AIG Travel has established a wholly owned global medical monitoring team, which enables us to deliver robust medical monitoring for our customers 24 hours a day. Our team includes:
    • Physicians board certified in emergency medicine or other specialties
    • RNs/paramedics, all with emergency/critical care backgrounds, some with aero-medical experience
    • Medical case managers staffed in our wholly-owned, global Assistance centers
    Worldwide Network Provider capabilities include:
    • More than 650,000 worldwide preferred providers
    • Specific networks, such as Global Doctors and UHI
    • 300+ air ambulance companies
    • On-staff travel specialists to assist companions and families with full-service travel expertise
    While AIG Travel has wholly owned medical monitoring staff, we do not own clinics/hospitals. We coordinate with medical facilities worldwide to provide the most appropriate care for your employees.

    Safety and Security

    With AIG’s wholly owned, worldwide assets, AIG Travel leverages existing expertise and resources to provide top quality intelligence and security services. AIG’s global security team is composed of personnel with a broad spectrum of security industry background, experience and expertise, ranging from government, military and law enforcement to corporate travel and asset protection. Global security analysts leverage a deep network of international contacts to gain valuable organic intelligence, and utilize several supporting software systems to efficiently aggregate and process intelligence information.
    Through the support of a vast global security network, we provide prompt responses to security issues, from minor security incidents to life-threatening events. We provide:
    • Secure evacuation assistance
    • Security and safety advisories, global risk analysis and specialist consultations
    • Urgent message alerts
    • 24/7/365 incident response services to assist employees, customers and their families
    • Online access to current intelligence:
    – Breaking news
    – Worldwide threat assessments and incident reports
    – In-depth country reports



    For further assistance for users:



    U.S. Toll Free:
    1 800 401 2678 or 1 888 873 8394
    Intl. Collect:
    +1 817 826 7008 or +1 817 826 7034


    Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit 



    More information about study abroad programs for persons with disabilities is provided in the link below.



    Polk State College was founded on a commitment to access, and proudly honors that commitment every day.

    Polk State is an Equal Access/Equal Opportunity institution that complies fully with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other federal and state laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability or handicap.

    The College provides equal and integrated access for individuals with disabilities to all academic, cultural, recreational and employment opportunities it offers.

    Our goal is to provide services and support that ensure students and employees are able to access and participate in the many opportunities available at Polk State College. Students and employees are expected and encouraged to utilize the Office of Disability Services — because at Polk State, nothing will stand in the way of employment or education.

    Disability Services Advisors

    Student Services offers students with disabilities a variety of support.  To contact a disability services advisor,  please refer to the list below:

    For the Lakeland campus, Polk State Airside Center, and Polk State Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center:
    Michelle Sams
    Associate Dean, Student Services – Lakeland
    Polk State Lakeland Campus – LTB 1287

    For the Winter Haven campus, Polk State JD Alexander Center, and Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center:
    Yulonda Bell
    Associate Dean, Student Services – Winter Haven
    Polk State Winter Haven Campus – WAD 176

    Lawrence Pakowski
    Dean, Student Services – Winter Haven
    Polk State Winter Haven Campus – WAD 153A

    Ms. Kimberly Pearsall
    Director, Disability and Counseling Services/Acting ADA Coordinator
    Polk State Lakeland Campus – LTB 1273

    For more information, please visit the Office of Disability Services Web page.

    TRiO Student Support Services (SSS)

    TRiO is a program designed to assist full-time students who are ultimately pursuing a 4-year degree and are either United States citizens or registered aliens. TRiO provides services for:

    • A student with a learning or physical disability OR
    • A student whose family income falls within federal low-income guidelines OR
    • A first-generation college student (neither parent has received a bachelor’s degree)

    Polk State Winter Haven
    999 Avenue H NE
    Winter Haven, FL 33881

    Polk State Lakeland
    3425 Winter Lake Road
    Lakeland, FL  33803

    For more information on all of our locations, please visit the Locations Web page. The College’s main number is 863.297.1000.




    Students are expected to adhere to Polk State College Student Code of Conduct at all times during the study abroad program.  Remember that you are representative of Polk State College, as well as a cultural ambassador of the United States, so you should not engage in any activities abroad that you would not consider engaging in while on campus.

    If a student does not adhere to the Polk State College Student Code of Conduct the Deans of Students will be contacted while on the trip to determine if you will need to be sent home.  If you have to be sent home due to bad behavior, this expense will be your responsibility.