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Safety Precautions

Venetian canal with gondolas

Safety Guidelines for Participants

In study abroad, as in other settings, participants can have a major impact on their own health and safety abroad through the decisions they make before and during the program and by their day-to day choices and behaviors.

Participants should:
  • Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the sponsor that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in host countries.
  • Consider health and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program.
  • Make available to the sponsor accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.
  • Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation for the program and participate fully in orientations.
  • Inform parents/guardians/families, and any others who may need to know, about their participation in the study abroad program, provide them with emergency contact information, and keep them informed on an ongoing basis.
  • Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency procedures of the program, and obey host-country laws.
  • Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks when making daily choices and decisions. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the program staff or other appropriate individuals.
  • Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others, and encourage others to behave in a similar manner.
  • Accept responsibility for your own decisions and actions.
  • Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and law enforcement services in the host country.
  • Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts and well being.

Recommendations to Parents/Guardians/Families

In study abroad programs, as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families can play an important role in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions and by influencing their behavior overseas.

When appropriate, parents/guardians/ families should:
  • Obtain and carefully evaluate health and safety information related to the program, as provided by the sponsor and other sources.
  • Be involved in the decision of the participant to enroll in a particular program.
  • Engage the participant in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad. Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.
  • Keep in touch with the participant.