Health and Safety

Resources For Your Health and Safety

As a foreign student, you should take the same precautions you would in any large city, anywhere in the world.  During orientation, we will address the issue of security in greater depth.  For more information about general conditions in Italy, you can also visit the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Information website:


Global Rescue

Middlebury has partnered with Global Rescue LLC to provide travelers with access to an intelligence platform (GRID) that ensures that you are well informed and prepared before and during your travels.  This arrangement allows you access to Destination Reports which outline medical and security risks in your host country and other countries you may visit.  Through GRID, you are also able to view alert notifications for events that are happening around the world. In addition, while abroad, you will automatically receive health, safety, and security reports based on your destination, along with expert analysis and advice.

You will receive user log-in information and instructions directly from Global Rescue in order to access this resource.  (This email is not junk.  Please save it!)  If you have access to a smartphone/mobile device while abroad, we strongly recommend that you also download the Global Rescue GRID application which is available at the Apple Store (iOS 5 and above), Google Play (Android 4.4 and above), and BlackBerry App World (10.2 and above).  Through this application, you will be able to reach out directly to Global Rescue in an emergency situation via its in-app emergency call button as well as run Destination Reports, view event alerts, and “Check-In” if there is a crisis (or even a sketchy situation) in your host country, and you want to notify key staff members of your whereabouts.  This “check-in” feature should not be used if you are in a real emergency situation, and need immediate assistance, unless you’re asked to do this by your resident staff.  In cases of emergency, please contact your resident staff or contacts that they will give you during orientation, and if that fails, then Global Rescue.

For more information on Global Rescue, please visit

Contact Global Rescue Operations Center 24 hours a day by calling:+1 (617) 459-4200 (collect calls accepted) or emailing


Middlebury requires that, for safety reasons, all students purchase a local cell phone. Cell phones are the simplest and most economical way for making and receiving phone calls, sending text messages, and for internet use, since you are always in control of how much you spend. It is simple to activate your cell phone by visiting one of the cell phone providers in Italy: TIM, Vodafone, Wind and Tre (which are the popular companies). These companies offer a variety of pre-paid SIM card monthly plans with number of minutes, text messages, and internet usage starting from about €10.00 per month (average 200 minutes / 200 text messages / 2GB internet). You can use your smartphone and sign up with a provider listed. Be sure to check with your home provider that your phone is unlocked.  You can also choose to buy a basic cell phone that will cost around €30.00 with the option of pre-paid “pay-as-you-go” service.

Here are the links to the companies mentioned:





For safety reasons, you are expected to have a local number and keep your phone charged at all times.  The cost of this has been accounted for in your estimated personal expenses.

Sexual Assault and Harassment

Our on-site staff is your primary resource for advice to keep yourself safe and can also direct you to local support resources.  When in a foreign country there are very subtle things that distinguish a foreigner from a local and often these traits are what can call unwanted attention to young women in particular. Culturally, what constitutes harassment may be different, but whether one considers it harassment or unwanted attention, the advice that local experts give is the same. If you experience persistent pestering, although it isn’t accompanied by violent intent, it can be annoying and frustrating nevertheless. Silent indifference is often the most effective policy, as is looking as confident as possible.  If you feel threatened it’s always a good idea to look as though you know where you are going, even if you don’t. Any attempt to hurl Italian insults in the direction of the transgressor is, at best, likely to cause ridicule – and at worst, could well inflame the situation further. The advice given by local professionals is to ignore any unwanted attention and continue on your way. Head towards an area that you are familiar with so that you are not isolated and if you are being followed, head to a public space and not directly to your home.

In cases such as these and especially if an episode escalates or turns violent or if you feel threatened in any way, it is imperative that you report the incident. The staff at the Sede is available to help in any way and there are also local resources one can turn to. The following associations provide emotional, psychological and legal support.

Associazione Artemisia
Via del Mezzetta 1

055602311 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm)

Hospitals and Medical Services

Ospedale Santa Maria Nuova
Pronto soccorso
(Emergency Room in the center of Florence)
Piazza Santa Maria Nuova, 1
Tel. 055 27581

24 hour Medical Service in English
(Doctors on call for house call. Fee charged)
Via Roma, 4
Tel. 055 475 41

Here you can find a list of English speaking medical professionals in Florence:


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