Beijing is a very safe city; however, as with all destinations, students should always be aware of their surroundings and personal belongings. Citizens are not allowed to own guns, and violent crime is not a common occurrence. All students are expected to register with their home embassy to receive news and safety alerts. TBC operates an emergency response plan for emergencies/crises.
No vaccines are required for China; however several are recommended: Hepatitis A vaccine for all students and the Typhoid vaccine for students studying in the spring semester. Normally you will not need malaria or rabies vaccine where the group travels but it is best to check with your doctor or the Center for Disease Control for the most recent updates.
One should be in good health before coming to Beijing. Visit your doctor, your dentist, your eye doctor, and any specialist you are seeing for a check-up prior to departure. It is important to keep in mind you will be eating new foods, traveling extensively, and experiencing a new environment. Please discuss with your doctor about treatments for nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Participating in TBC’s Academic Excursions requires traveling at high elevations (6,000-10,000 ft.) and vast distances. If you are susceptible to altitude sickness or suffer from motion sickness, please bring medication from home. Also, upper respiratory infections affect many residents in Beijing, you should talk to your doctor about how to treat it and be prepared.
Starting a new semester, especially in a foreign country, can be challenging. To prevent additional stress TBC highly recommends you make sure you are taking care of yourself upon your arrival and throughout your stay in China. Be sure to take basic health measures such as coughing into your elbow and washing your hands frequently. Also, keep in mind that Beijing is very dry, so drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
The Beijing Center has invested in a high-tech remotely-controlled air filtration system throughout all of our public spaces (classrooms, library, student lounges and staff offices), as well as an upgrading and sealing of windows, doors and air-conditioning systems. With this system, TBC’s public spaces conform to the strictest World Health Organization standards of keeping harmful “PM2.5” (microscopic and harmful particulate matter which can enter the bloodstream) under 10 µg/m3. This is far lower than China’s own interim goal of PM2.5 of 35 µg/m3 and the US standard of 12 µg/m3, and is considered a world-wide safe level.
Beyond the public areas, TBC also helps students purchase air filters for their rooms, with options priced from US$30 for the semester. The Division of Student Life also provides face masks to TBC semester students.
Hospitals in China are not just for emergencies, they also serve as clinics and doctors’ offices. TBC’s primary hospital is Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinic.
If you are currently on a medication, it is best to bring a supply with you and a doctor’s note. Be sure to pack needed medicine in your carry-on luggage in case your checked luggage is delayed. Most common brands of medication will be hard to find here, will be more expensive, and the directions may be in Chinese. It is best to bring along your own supply of assorted stomach medicines, allergy medications, prescriptions, cold and flu medicine, motion sickness medicine, anti-diarrheal medication, and pain relievers – bring enough to last you the entire semester.
All The Beijing Center students are required to have international health insurance prior to arriving in China. CISI is an international health and emergency services plan for the Beijing Center community. This insurance is intended for use on overseas travel. It is not intended for use in the United States or to replace students’ pre-existing insurance coverage. Enrollment in CISI Health Insurance is mandatory for all The Beijing Center students. Students should have a copy of their participant ID card with them at all times.
Students are responsible for reviewing and knowing the CISI Insurance Policy which can be found here.
If there is any question about whether a particular accessibility need might be able to be accommodated, please first contact your home university’s Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSWD), for further follow up and additional questions Contact Us. We ask that you contact this office for assistance as early as possible.