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Health and Wellness

All students on our study abroad programs are legally adults and are ultimately responsible for their decision-making and their safety. We expect students to act in a safe and thoughtful manner; otherwise, we reserve the right to ask a student to leave the program.

We encourage students and parents to have in-depth discussions about safety before and during the study abroad process. We also encourage parents and students to read the Health and Safety practices recommended by the Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad, a consortium made up of the leading organizations in overseas studies.

We believe these practices offer a helpful overview of the best practices for study abroad providers, students and parents in health and safety issues.

Responsibilities of Participants

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

Participants should:

A. Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation for the program and participate fully in orientations.

B. Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the sponsor that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies).

C. Conduct their own research on the country(ies) they plan to visit with particular emphasis on health and safety concerns, as well as the social, cultural, and political situations.

D. Consider their physical and mental health, and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program, and 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.

E. Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by the carriers.

F. 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 of their whereabouts and activities.

G. Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency procedures of the program.

H. 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 before and/or during the program.

I. Accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions.

J. Obey host-country laws.

K. Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well being of others, and encourage others to behave in a similar manner.

L. Avoid illegal drugs and excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

M. Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts and well being.

N. Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system services in the host county.

III. Recommendations to Parents/Guardians/Families

In study abroad, 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.

Parents/guardians/families should:

A. Be informed about and involved in the decision of the participant to enroll in a particular program.

B. Obtain and carefully evaluate participant program materials, as well as related health, safety and security information.

C. Discuss with the participant any of his/her travel plans and activities that may be independent of the study abroad program.

D. Engage the participant in a thorough discussion of safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad.

E. Be responsive to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding the participant.

F. Keep in touch with the participant.

G. Be aware that the participant rather than the program may most appropriately provide some information.

This material reproduced with permission from the Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad, Revised November 8, 2002.

http://www.secussa.nafsa.org/safetyabroad/default.html



Xavier University of Louisiana Center for Intercultural and International Programs