The health and safety of our participants is paramount in CIS Abroad programs. And while we cannot guarantee the safety of our participants, our Risk Management guidelines follow best practices in our field as outlined by NAFSA: The Association for International Educators and the Forum on Education Abroad. Additionally, we receive regular counsel and updates from OSAC: Overseas Security and Advisory Council and the US State Department as well as the providers of our international insurance plans. In summary:
We first mitigate the risk:
- We only operate our programs in countries that are deemed “safe” for US travelers based upon criteria provided by the US State Department.
- We work with locally trusted organizations who have solid records of health and safety.
- We ensure that there are local hospitals, clinics and medical professionals that can provide quality medical care, should the need arise.
- We assess participant’s health needs prior to departure to ensure that appropriate care and coverage are available on site.
Then we manage the risk:
- We train our US and locally based staff on the risk management issues and procedures.
- We prepare students by orienting them at least twice; once before they depart and again onsite.
- We stay current on world events by monitoring the local news and government outlets, State Department updates, and other resources.
It is uncommon for students to require medical treatment in a foreign country. However, should the need arise, CIS Abroad works hard to ensure that students are adequately covered. Comprehensive overseas medical and accident insurance coverage is included in the program fee for all our participants traveling to a country outside of the United States.
Finally, if and when an incident occurs that causes harm or potential harm to our participants, we enact our Emergency Response Plan. Both our in-country staff and our US-based staff are trained in responding appropriately using resources that are readily available to them.
More detailed information about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management can be found here on our site.