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Thank you for choosing the University of California Education Abroad Program. We hope that you will have an amazing experience abroad and will look back on it as a highlight of your UC education. For this program, UCEAP has partnered with CIEE. As a UCEAP student, the terms of your participation differ from students who are enrolled with CIEE independently or through another university. Be aware of these differences and understand your responsibilities as a UCEAP student abroad.
Review and read the CIEE materials carefully. Follow all CIEE pre-departure and onsite information and instructions; for example, arrival dates and visa instructions. Write down the CIEE contact information and keep it with your passport in case of an emergency. Be aware that you are concurrently enrolled at UC while participating through CIEE abroad. This means that the grades you earn while abroad will appear on your UC transcript as direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, that unlike other students in the program, you will pay your fees to UCEAP rather than directly to CIEE. Also that you have travel insurance coverage through UCEAP, which is your primary insurance policy while abroad. Finally, you will have additional resources and contacts at UCEAP. The details of the separate and unique “UCEAP elements” of your participation are outlined in this short supplement. Be familiar with them before departure.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Local UCEAP Support
Campus EAP Office
The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
UCEAP Systemwide Office
The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
YOUR UCEAP NETWORK
While you will stay in close touch with the CIEE staff, you will also need to keep a list of contacts on hand for the UCEAP Systemwide Office. The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs all over the world, and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. As a participant in this program, you will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
International Program Specialist
International Academic Specialists
Student Finance Accountant
Academics & Your UC Registration
As a dual UCEAP and CIEE student, make sure you understand all of your academic resources as well as your academic responsibilities. Remember that other students on the program will be bound to different home-university policies. Regardless of CIEE or Universidade Católica do Salvador (UCSal) regulations and rules, you must also meet UCEAP requirements.
Read through the following guides to see what types of information is available in each and know how to access them easily when you have questions later. Note that you will be held accountable for the information detailed in both guides:
- UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad (UGSA)
The Academic chapter includes UCEAP academic regulations on unit requirements, information on taking fewer units than the program requirement, instructions on the MyEAP Study List registration process, grades, and more.
- CIEE Program Handbook (available in your MyCIEE account "Readings section)
The Academics section in the CIEE Program Handbook outlines your CIEE academic program.
The most important thing to understand is that you will be concurrently enrolled in your courses both through CIEE, and through UCEAP’s MyEAP Study List. Completing your MyEAP Study List is the only way for your UCEAP courses and grades to appear on your UC transcript. See the “Credit and Registration” section below.
Who Should I Ask About...?
The CIEE resident staff should be your first contact for most issues, but remember if you have significant academic, health, personal, or financial issues that may impact your academic performance, be sure to contact UCEAP staff to discuss options and consequences.
UCEAP academic regulations/MyEAP Study List UCEAP:
Conflicts or confusion between UCEAP and CIEE general academic policies:
CIEE and/or UCSal course specifics and concerns:
Home UC college or department requirements:
Because you will be receiving direct UC credit rather than transfer credit, you will be enrolled concurrently with CIEE and UCEAP.
Registering through CIEE: Signing up for courses
- You may be able to pre-register for UCSal courses before arriving on-site. Your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor will notify you when details about the course registration process are available in your online CIEE account. There will be an opportunity to change your preliminary course schedule after you arrive, but pay close attention to any deadlines specified by CIEE staff.
- Neither CIEE nor UCEAP can assist you with questions about fulfilling home department requirements. You will need to contact your home UC department advisor.
Registering through UCEAP: Entering your courses into your MyEAP Registration Study List
- In the first month of the program, you’ll receive detailed instructions from the UCEAP Systemwide Staff on how to enter courses in your MyEAP account. It is critical that you read and respond to all e-mails regarding the registration process.
- Search the MyEAP course catalog to select courses offered by CIEE (i.e. the ILP and core course[s]) and enter course information for other courses offered by UCSal.
- Include the correct number of UC units in UC quarter units (even for semester campus students).
Note: MyEAP notes credit in UC quarter units (multiply by 1.5 to convert CIEE credits to UC quarter units)
- The UCEAP Academic Specialist reviews courses (especially subject areas and division) and finalizes Study Lists. Check your final Study List carefully, as it determines how your courses will appear on your transcript.
- All courses and grades reported by CIEE will be transmitted to the UC Office of the Registrar and posted to your official UC transcript.
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
- Contact information for finance questions
- How to estimate the cost of your program
- Budget instructions and information
- Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
- UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
- Banking before and after arrival
- Fees and penalties
- Loan information
- How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
- Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget
. Program fees are subject to change.
Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing or recreational travel abroad.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
- Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
- Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
- Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Pre-Departure Withdrawal Fees
Students with Disabilities
Accessibility and accommodations are very different from what you find in the United States. For example, most buildings do not make provisions for wheelchair users. Accessibility to public transportation and the ability to accommodate or understand the needs of persons with disabilities are limited in many areas. Ramps are uncommon in Brazil. Elevator doors are often too narrow for wheelchairs.
Brazilian students with learning disabilities (LD) generally are not identified or provided with special education services. For more information on how to prepare read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Moderate risks in both the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. The threat of harm is less in larger cities, such as Rio de Janeiro city, where the local population tends to be more cosmopolitan and accepting of different ways of life. In more conservative areas of Brazil, including the heavily religious northeast, LGBTIQ individuals continue to face a risk of violence.
Recent political shifts have provided additional legal protection for gay couples. A 2013 National Council of Justice decision directed state agencies to register these civil unions as marriages, further institutionalizing formal acceptance of gay relationships. These policies broadly reflect a trend of growing acceptance of homosexuality, as reflected by the Pew Research Center survey showing 60% of Brazilians accept LGBTIQ persons.
A large portion of Brazilian society still strongly opposes homosexuality, and LGBTIQ individuals in Brazil face high levels of violence. In 2011, Brazil reported 226 incidents of homicide motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, while the United States reported only three. The population-adjusted murder rate for LGBTIQ persons in Brazil is roughly 120 times greater than in the United States, despite the fact that the Pew Research Center survey showed a similar level of acceptance of homosexuality in the two countries. Hate crimes take place nationwide, including in metropolitan areas where LGBTIQ communities and rights groups are most active.
Maintain a low-profile when out and about. Same-sex couples should exercise discretion with public displays of affection. Extra caution is advisable when visiting rural areas or lower-income districts.
Know Before you Go
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy
. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law
. Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823. It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance. Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter
For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims
ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be advised that your UCEAP insurance is your primary insurance while participating on the program. Carry a copy of your UCEAP insurance card
at all times.
Know Before you Go
If you have questions about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage and benefits contact, ACI at email@example.com
Medical care is generally good but it varies in quality, particularly in remote areas, and it may not meet U.S. standards outside the major cities.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.
Know Before you Go
Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health
web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
If you are sick or injured, contact the local CIEE staff for a referral, instructions on how to seek care, and details about the CIEE insurance that covers you while in Bahia.
Good basic personal hygiene and handwashing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Bring a good multivitamin to last the duration of the program.
- Do not consume tap water, fountain drinks, or ice cubes. Drink only boiled water or beverages in sealed containers.
- Avoid undercooked food, dairy products, and food from street vendors.
- Avoid handling all animals. Wash any bites or scratches right away with soap and water and immediately seek medical attention.
- Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
- Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country. If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a pharmacy will fill. Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance. It may be covered if you are insured through your campus health insurance plan. It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name.
- If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
- Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.
- If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication prescribed by a licensed physician when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program). Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
- Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
- If intending to travel with prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
- Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
- Get a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.
Traveling with prescription medications
- Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.
- Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
- Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor. If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure, so you can have time to consult with your doctor on any resulting complications. The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at email@example.com.
For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process
If you have severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies.
Precautions to take include:
- Ask for a waiter/waitress who speaks English to help you choose a safe menu item. Some restaurants will have menus in English, but it varies.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, Health chapter
, Allergies section.
CIEE and UCEAP materials provide you with important information to enhance your safety while in the program. Be prepared before departure and talk to local CIEE staff about any concerns.
The purpose of this advice is to provide up-to-date information so you can make well-informed decisions.
Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant. Be proactive about your safety.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing risks. To be able to identify risks at any of your destinations, you need to properly outline what activities you will be engaging in through your program and/or during independent travel. Name the risk and rate it based on the severity and likelihood. Consider what measures you will be taking to reduce the severity and chance. If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel. Car accidents are often a high risk in developing countries.
UCEAP and its partners provide resources and support services to help you have a safe experience while abroad. You have the primary responsibility to prepare before departure, to research and be aware of the risks involved in your planned travels, to be physically, academically, and mentally prepared for the program, to know about your insurance coverage provided to you by UCEAP, to know how to get help during an emergency, to behave in a safe and respectful manner, and to bring any concerns you may have to the attention of UCEAP and its partners.
There are steps you can take to manage, or minimize, risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:
- Stop and think.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and to what is happening around you at all times.
- Be aware of what is unusual or threatening.
- Trust your "gut feelings", your intuition; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
- Read about the country and the city before departure. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling.
- Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying in control of your drinking.
- Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety. This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other. Choose your buddy wisely. The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
- Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Cultures around the world have different attitudes, norms and laws regarding sex, sexuality and harassment. This can lead to confusion and potentially dangerous situations. Sexual violence can happen anywhere. Sexual violence (including sexual harassment) are never the survivor’s fault. It is difficult to find a way to prevent or protect yourself from being harassed or becoming a victim of sexual violence in the U.S. or abroad. Never walk alone at night, particularly if intoxicated. Do not leave beverages unattended or accept a drink from a stranger. Look out for your fellow students. Trust your gut feeling. If you, or anyone you know, is a victim of sexual violence (including sexual harassment) let the local CIEE staff know and ask for help.
Alcohol can put you at greater risk
Having a night out? Make sure you stay safe. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly. Remember that alcohol can put you at greater risk of crime, whether you are a male or female. Evidence shows that people who have been drinking are more at risk of being the victim (and perpetrator) of attacks, robberies, muggings and sexual assaults. Alcohol dulls your instincts and awareness of danger. It can impair your judgment which can make you misinterpret people and even respond inappropriately if you think you're being provoked. By looking out for friends and taking a few simple precautions, you can make sure your night is memorable for all the right reasons.
Police officials frequently cite lack of resources, staffing shortages, basic equipment and morale as reasons for widely varying response times and unsolved crimes.
Power failures in large urban centers frequently occur in areas with high concentrations of hotels and residences in cities throughout the country. During these blackouts, local authorities quickly increase police presence to maintain public security. Use caution in the event of a blackout. Keep flashlights and sufficient supplies of food and potable water in your residences to prepare for extended blackouts.
Relative to the rest of Brazil, Salvador has high rates of violent and petty crime. Petty crime is the primary security risk for travelers. Travelers are directly targeted. Use caution and guard personal belongings. Travelers are encouraged to maintain situational awareness at all times, as robberies and petty thefts have been reported at all times of the day. Most, however, occur during the evening hours after 6:00 p.m. Muggings have been reported all over the city, but the areas of Campo Grande, Centro, and Cidade Baixa have the highest rates and the least police presence. The use of firearms is common. Victims have been seriously injured or killed when resisting. Do not resist.
The areas of Paripe, Sao Marcos, Itapua, Liberdade, Pernambues, Brotas, Boca do Rio, Sao Caetano, Fazenda Grande do Retiro, and Periperi have also reported increases in petty crime.
Avoid using the ATMs in Salvador after 6:00 p.m.; many people have reported that criminals lurk near ATMs at night waiting for potential victims to withdraw money. Reliable statistics are difficult to confirm, although on-the-ground accounts have indicated an increase in these types of crimes in recent years.
Demonstrations and political/labor strikes are common in urban areas and may cause temporary disruption to public and private transportation. In some cases, Brazilian police have used tear gas, riot control, and mounted units to disperse protestors. If you become aware of protests in your vicinity, you should remain indoors and close doors and windows.
Protests anywhere in the world have the potential to become violent. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Salvador has an extensive fleet of taxis that can be hailed on the street, as well as a series of special taxis operated by licensed companies, which can be found at the airport, hotels, or booked by phone. In Salvador some taxi drivers overcharge tourists by taking circuitous routes in order to extend the metered fare. To help avoid such problems, agree on the fare (at least roughly) before entering the taxi and ensure that the driver uses the meter. Registered taxis are clearly identified but may look different in each city.
Brazil has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. Theft on buses and trams is common, especially at night.
- Be predictable.
- Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
- Use sidewalks where provided. Where no sidewalks are provided, it is usually safer to walk facing road traffic.
- Cross or enter streets at designated crosswalks. Make it easy for drivers to see you - dress in light colors and wear retro-reflective material. Carry a flashlight in very dark areas.
- Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
- Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely.
- Use extra caution when crossing multiple-lane, higher speed streets.
- Be careful at intersections where drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while turning onto another street.
Brazil’s beaches can pose a threat to your safety. Many beaches have very strong and dangerous riptides, including those in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza. Always observe posted flags and signs warning of strong swells and currents, and never swim while under the influence of alcohol. Even if the water looks safe, there may be strong riptides. Ocean currents and waves are unpredictable, even in popular beaches frequented by tourists.
Adhere to local authorities’ guidance and refrain from swimming alone in areas marked with red warning signs or at beaches where there are no municipal lifeguards or first responder services.
There is a possibility of shark attacks in the waters of many of the beaches in northeastern Brazil, including those in Recife, Natal, and Maceio. Heed signs posted on any beach you visit.
Jellyfish, coral, and sea urchins present risk. Dangerous (potentially deadly) jellyfish are present throughout the year, but particularly during the rainy season.
Water-borne Parasites in Freshwater Areas
Brazil is an endemic area for schistosomiasis, a water-borne parasite. Significant risk exists in the states of Bahia and Minas Gerais and in coastal regions of Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte states. Additional localized foci occur in other eastern states and Distrito Federal.
Avoid wading, swimming, or other contact with fresh water in streams, lakes, and ponds.
Flooding and mudslides occur throughout the country, and can be fatal. Monitor news and weather reports and adhere to municipal advisories before traveling to areas prone to flooding or landslides. Many of Brazil’s larger cities have frequent heavy rainstorms that have caused flash flooding and crippled traffic for hours.
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
- Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
- Know how to call the local fire department.
Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
- Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
- Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
- Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
- Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
- If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
- Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
Fire - Dial 193
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.
Program Suspension Policy
If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
What Is an Emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
- Any life/death situation
- A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
- An arrest
- Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country
In an Emergency
Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
If you are in the U.S.
- During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
- After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
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Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.