While no study program can absolutely guarantee total safety or elimination of all
risks, the study abroad program you choose should be one that can give you a certain
degree of comfort. The University of New Orleans and our partner institutions work
together to provide a safe environment for our participants. A comprehensive Study Abroad Health Insurance policy is included in the cost of the program. We also require that each participant fills out our Medical History form online.
We would also like to encourage each student to discuss his/her plans with a parent
or significant other, leaving important information with that person in case of an
emergency. This might include such information as the student's contact information
in Kyoto, the contact information for the Program Coordinators in Kyoto, the contact
information for the UNO Division of International Education in New Orleans, as well
as data such as passport number, credit card numbers (in case of a stolen wallet),
Japan is well-known for being a very safe country. It is important to remember, however,
that basic safety measures are always a good idea. Everyone should always be conscious
of his/her surroundings, and keep track of valuables in any situation. Locking personal
belongings in rooms and being careful on the streets is never a bad idea.
- U.S. prescription medicines CANNOT be refilled in Japan. If you take a prescription
medication, please bring enough of your medication - or extra in case of damage or
loss - to last for your entire time abroad. These medications can also NOT be sent
in the mail as they would very likely be confiscated in customs.
- It is also important to know that some medicines commonly prescribed in the United
States can be illegal in Japan. These may include inhalers, ADHD medication, and some
allergy and sinus medications. Specifically, products that contain stimulants (medicines
that contain amphetamine), or Codeine are prohibited.
- To obtain permission to bring in more than a one-month supply of most prescription
drugs or other types of medications (i.e., injectables), visit the Japanese Ministry
of Health, Labour, and Welfare web site here. You may be required to apply for a "yakkan shoumei," which is the form allowing
you to carry certain types (and amounts) of medications with you when you travel into
and within Japan.
- Always bring prescription medication in your carry-on luggage (do not pack it in your
- Do not have prescription drugs mailed to you. They will be held up in customs and
will likely be confiscated.
- We also advise that you bring the following U.S. drugstore items:
- Cough Syrup
- Headache and general pain medication
- Cold and flu medications
- Antacid tablets
- Nasal decongestants and Sinus medications
- Antibiotic cream
- Cough drops and sore throat lozenges
- If you are a diabetic on insulin, please bring an extra pump or extra injectables
in case of breakage or loss.
- Talk to your family doctor about getting a prescription for – and bringing - a broad-spectrum
- If you frequently get strep throat or bronchitis, pink eye, or migraines, please bring
the medicines you usually take for these problems.
- Bring any over-the-counter medication you are used to taking, especially cold medicine.
Many students develop a cold at some point during the program and you will feel better
more quickly if you can take the medicine you are used to.
- Local Japanese pharmacies may not have the brand you are familiar with, and reading
labels in Japanese can be quite challenging - even for the best language students
and native speakers.
- Every student is covered by the Study Abroad Insurance Plan provided through the program,
BUT if you go to the hospital or see a doctor in Japan, you must pay the bill first, and then submit the receipt for reimbursement to the insurance provider T.W.Lord.
Make sure to keep all bills and documentation!
- Get a good night’s sleep for several nights before your departure.
- The time change between CST and Japan is 14 hours during the summer. Set your watch
when you arrive in Japan.
- Drink lots of water on the plane. Buy a big bottle of water after you get through
security. Drink 2-3 liters of water on a travel day. Avoid caffeine and carbonated
- On arrival day, do not take a nap. Exercise and natural light help overcome jetlag. Enjoy the fresh air by
taking a stroll through uptown Kyoto, or a jog along the Kamo river.
- Power through the day and go to sleep at about 10:00 pm.
- Don’t drink alcohol! Re-hydrate from the long flight with lots of water.
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The University of New Orleans Division of International Education does not warrant
or guarantee the accuracy or effectiveness of the following information. This information
is presented only as suggestions for a safe trip and is intended generally to help
students and their families in planning their international travel and education experiences.
You should realize that anytime you travel abroad there is potential for danger due
to crime, political unrest, unforeseen "Acts of God," strikes that will delay your
travel plans, etc. Therefore, we recommend that if you have any concerns about traveling
to a particular place, check the US Government Travel Advisory.
- Familiarize yourself with the State Department’s travel site and recommendations.
- Make sure you have a working cell phone for your entire time abroad and share your
number with the program administration.
- Beware of becoming intoxicated and do not get involved in drugs.
- Buddy system – stay together, travel in SMALL groups.
- Be cautious when you meet new people and NEVER bring them into the dormitory or your accommodations while travelling on weekends.
- Blend in: Be mindful of appearance and behavior. Don’t be loud and obnoxious. Avoid
expensive accessories when traveling. Don’t flash money or your passport.
- Be aware of your surroundings: “If you see something suspicious, say something.”
- Know the local emergency numbers: Always carry your UNO-Japan ID!
- Remain up-to-date on current events – at your destination and at home.
- Photocopy important travel documents – leave a copy at home.
- Report any unusual activity or suspicious persons to the UNO-Japan Administration.
- Be aware of the political situation wherever you are. Stay away from places that are
experiencing political unrest.
- Keep away from areas known to have large concentrations of residents aligned with
interests unfriendly to the United States.
- Avoid events with large crowds, such as concerts, sporting matches, or demonstrations
of any sort.
- Avoid the media and don't feel like you have to comment or give an interview.
- Let program administrators and your family know where you are going.
- Make sure your cell phone is working while you are travelling (charger, credit, not
- Avoid events with large crowds, such as concerts, sporting matches, or demonstrations
of any sort.
- Keep your passport safe! Don’t keep all your travel documents and money in one place.
- Inform yourself about the local U.S. embassies and consulates.
- Don’t leave your bags or belongings unattended at any time.
- Don’t let anyone give you anything to carry when traveling.
- Have sufficient funds and/or a credit card on hand to purchase emergency items such
as transportation tickets.
- Don’t flash your money and be discreet when showing your passport.
These are just a few general rules you should be aware of. Most often, common sense
will tell you what to do. Therefore, it is imperative that you avoid a situation in
which common sense does not prevail (i.e., being intoxicated and/or using drugs).
In study abroad, as in other settings, participants can have a major impact on their
own health and safety through the decisions they make before and during their program
and by their day-to-day choices and behaviors.
- Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation
for the program and participate fully in orientations.
- Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the sponsor that relate to safety,
health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the
- Conduct their own research on the country(ies) they plan to visit with particular
emphasis on health and safety concerns, as well as the social, cultural, and political
- Consider their physical and mental health, and other personal circumstances when applying
for or accepting a place in a program, and make available to the sponsor accurate
and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that
is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.
- Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed
by the carriers.
- Inform parents/guardians/families and any others who may need to know about their
participation in the study abroad program, provide them with emergency contact information,
and keep them informed of their whereabouts and activities.
- Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency
procedures of the program.
- Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks when
making daily choices and decisions. Promptly express any health and safety concerns
to the program staff or other appropriate individuals before and/or during the program.
- Accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions.
- Obey host-country laws.
- Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others, and
encourage others to behave in a similar manner.
- Avoid illegal drugs and excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
- Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts
- Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system
services in the host country.
In study abroad, as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families can play an
important role in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions
and by influencing their behavior overseas.
- Be informed about and involved in the decision of the participant to enroll in a particular
- Obtain and carefully evaluate participant program materials, as well as related health,
safety, and security information.
- Discuss with the participant any of his/her travel plans and activities that may be
independent of the study abroad program.
- Engage the participant in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance
needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.
- Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.
- Keep in touch with the participant.
- Be aware that the participant rather than the program administration may most appropriately
provide some information.