At CISabroad, we know our greatest responsibility is to develop and operate programs with the health and safety of our participants at the forefront of our decisions. We also know that studying or working abroad involves a certain amount of risk. Our job is to mitigate these risks while providing the wonderful opportunities that only life abroad can offer. Here’s a brief outline on some of the ways we manage risk, prepare our participants ahead of time, and respond if things don’t go as planned:
- Risk Management Training and Professional Development
- Careful Choice of Program Locations and Overseas Partners
- Student Health Questionnaire
- Pre-departure Orientation
- On-site orientation
- International Medical and Accident Insurance
- On-site support and 24/7 Emergency Assistance
- Experienced CISabroad Crisis and Emergency Response Team
Risk Management Training and Professional Development
We are vigilant about staying on top of the latest guidelines and protocols available to us in the field. We employ best practices as defined by the field of International Education, are involved in professional discussions and workshops, and also actively work with our U.S. based- and field staff on an ongoing basis to ensure we mitigate risks and are well prepared to manage situations should they arise.
Careful Choice of Program Locations and Overseas Partners
We are very careful in selecting destinations for our programs, and operate programs only in locations which have no active travel warnings issued by the US Department of State. Potential new locations and partners are thoroughly evaluated by a senior staff member to ensure they meet our company’s needs for academic excellence, on-site services, and risk management. Once a program location has been developed and is up and running, we continuously monitor the situation in that country through 1) our overseas partners; 2) news; 3) the U.S. Department of State website; and; 4) the many professional organizations to which we belong.
Student Health Questionnaire (submittal and staff review)
As part of the application process we ask applicants to disclose if there is anything in their medical history that could impact their time abroad. Do they take prescription medications? Do they have any physical or psychological ailments? It is important to to consider this information as the availability of treatment and medications abroad is often different from the U.S. and we want to set participants up for success! If there are any issues indicated, a staff member will follow up with a phone call.
We take extra measures to ensure that participants are fully prepared for any health and safety issues that may come up; once before they depart the U.S. and again when they arrive in the foreign country. During our web-based pre-departure preparations, we share what health and safety issues participants might encounter when they arrive. Participants are also provided with a wallet-sized Emergency Information Card that contains contact information of individuals in-country who will assist participants with any issues that arise while abroad, be it emergency or otherwise.
After arriving in the program destination, an on-site orientation program, required for all participants to attend will highlight, once again, local health and safety issues. At such time, participants are also given information regarding how to work with our team in the event of an emergency or incident. These orientations will be led by Site Directors, overseas partner or both. International Medical and Accident Insurance International medical and accident insurance is included on each CISabroad program. This insurance covers students for accidents and illness while on the program, and includes a 24/7 hotline for medical emergencies . Also, in the event that we have to cancel a program due to a severe situation, such as a natural disaster, terrorist activity, or war, the insurance company and CISabroad collaborate to arrange evacuations.
On-site Support and 24/7 Emergency Assistance
CISabroad is available via a 24 hour emergency hotline to assist our participants and their parents in the U.S. and in-country. The U.S. hotline is staffed 24 hours a day and available for participants and/or parents to call day or night; In addition, participants are given contact information for local staff with 24 hour contact ability on site in all of our locations, and a network of local on-site providers (police, fire, hospital, embassy) with whom we can be in contact should the need arise.
Experienced CISabroad Crisis and Emergency Response Team
CISabroad has a dedicated, appointed crisis and emergency team trained and at the ready to work with on-site staff, partners and participants in the event of a crisis or emergency. Our members continuously monitor world events through recognized health and safety channels and on-site contacts, and meet regularly and as needed to discuss and if necessary, act upon issues that may affect our program participants.
More information on health and safety guidelines, our emergency response plan, medical insurance, safety tips, news and updates and FAQs are available on this section of our website by following the links on the left. Should you have any other questions about our preparedness for the health and safety of our participants abroad, please do not hesitate to contact us at 413.582.0407 x 5011 or via e-mail at riskmanagement(at)cisabroad.com. We are more than happy to answer any of your questions and address any of your concerns. Remember, participant safety is our number one priority.