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Information for Parents: Safety

Is study abroad safe?
No activity, whether it’s down the street or across an ocean, can be guaranteed to be 100% safe. That said, our office is invested in minimizing risks and maximizing support for students who participate in our programs.
  • We build relationships with all of our exchange partner schools through campus visits and regular communication. This allows us to better understand the destinations so that we can prepare students for travel and maintain communication with them while they are overseas.
  • Our office coordinates yearly training for faculty program leaders to help them manage medical or emergency situations that may arise with students abroad.
  • Many of our faculty-led programs return to the same site each year, so program directors know the local area very well. Faculty leading new programs either participate in a preparatory visit to the site (so that they understand the culture and particulars of the location and can assess and prepare for potential risks) or work with a provider that has extensive experience with the local area and its resources.
  • Students on all of our faculty-led programs carry insurance to cover medical and travel emergencies. We offer exchange students similar plans at different coverage levels, based on their preferences.
  • Our office registers all students on our faculty-led programs with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which gives them a link to U.S. government assistance for American citizens overseas and provides them with updates if there are incidents, either political (like demonstrations or suspected terrorist attacks) or natural (like an earthquake or flood), that would affect travel in the region. Our office also monitors advisories from the State Department and the CDC so that we can assess our program locations and make sure faculty and students have the information they need to participate in programs safely.
  • Faculty program leaders provide an orientation for all students in their programs that provides information both on the academic program and on health and safety issues while abroad. Our office runs a similar orientation each semester for exchange students.