Health + Safety

Health Insurance:  

All students will receive HTH Worldwide Insurance for their semester abroad in Cape Town and will be enrolled online by the Trinity College Office of Study Away prior to the start of the program.  This is included in the program for no additional charge.
HTH has many important services, such as information on the availability, doses, and names of medications overseas, access to provider information in countries worldwide and 24/7 emergency help. Through the HTH website,  or their mobile app Mpassport, enrolled students may book doctor’s appointments, search for local clinics and health care, and even receive comprehensive travel advice.


We want you to have a rewarding and successful study away experience. In the general excitement of planning and preparing to go abroad, you may not be thinking about the risks of living in an unfamiliar city and independently traveling the globe. 
When you move to another country, the safety risks may be drastically different from what you are used to, or they may be the same.  However, the advice for mitigating the safety risks may differ by country, and the consequences, if you ignore such advice it may result in physical and emotional harm to you. It is important to pay careful attention during orientation to your specific program and country, and ask questions if you don’t fully understand any of the advice that you are given.
Below are some major principles for staying safe, no matter where you are, but you should also educate yourself about the culture and customs of your country and any countries that you travel to, and adjust your behavior accordingly:
  • Limit the amount of time that you spend out late at night. When you go out, do so with friends, stay together, and make a point of keeping an eye out for each other. Don’t stay out after all your friends have gone home, and help your friends by discouraging them from staying out alone.

  • When you do go out, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol (assuming you are of legal drinking age, otherwise you should not drink at all) or mind-altering drugs, whether legal or illegal. Criminal activity is highly likely to occur at night, and intoxicated foreigners are considered easy targets. If you allow your judgment to be impaired by alcohol or drugs when you are out, you are putting yourself at significant risk.  This advice is not only for females. Male students who are careless, and/or impaired because of alcohol or drug use, are also at risk.

  • Avoid establishments that attract (and market to) tourists, especially American college students. These establishments also attract criminals. Crimes range from pick-pocketing to rape and murder.  When out and about, try to spend as much time as you can mingling with the locals, speaking the local language, and learning the local customs.  This not only will remove you from the venues where you are most likely to be targeted by criminals, but also will enhance the educational value of your study away experience.

  • Watch your valuables, day and night. Pick-pocketing is common in many countries, particularly in major cities and on trains and buses between cities. Follow the advice of your program’s on-site staff to avoid becoming a victim.

  • Do not engage in any illegal behavior. Pay attention at your on-site orientation so that you are aware of local laws, and DO NOT BREAK THEM. If you are arrested for breaking local laws, you will be subject to the local criminal law enforcement system.  Be aware that something that is a minor infraction in the United States may be the equivalent of a major felony in another country.  Your rights under the U.S. Constitution do not travel abroad with you.

  • Trust your instincts. If a situation seems “off” to you, it probably is, and you should error​ on the side of safety and remove yourself from the situation.  It should be a warning sign if a stranger seems overly-friendly, or if you notice someone watching you or your friends closely, even though you’re not doing anything to draw attention to yourself.

  • Last, but not least: try not to draw attention to yourself. Pay attention to how locals behave and carry themselves, and try to mimic that behavior.  Always behave in a culturally appropriate manner, provided this does not involve excessive drinking or other activities that impair your judgment.