Health & Safety Abroad (for FACULTY)
If you are traveling with students, always fill out an Incident Report form after an emergency or during a minor incident.
Each Program Lead should review the Program Risk Assessment Questionnaire and create an emergency plan with the following information:
Prior to departure, work with UA Study Abroad or U.S. Embassy in country to locate and identify nearest and reputable:
Encourage students who need the following services to talk to their UA Study Abroad coordinator and/or use the Geo Blue Destination Dashboard to locate:
- Mental Health Professionals (English speaking), and
- Specialists for specific disclosed medical conditions, (English speaking).
Develop clear protocol that maps out program staff responsibilities before program begins. Answer questions such as the following:
- If a student is hospitalized and the group must travel who will stay with him or her and who will proceed with the group?
- In the case of a disciplinary issue, who will address the problem with the student and institute consequences?
Many countries do not mandate fire alarms or fire suppression systems. Be sure to verify their availability and plan accordingly. Are fire escapes available and accessible? In many cases arranging for ground floor lodging with several exits is a good safety precaution.
Determine Points of Rendezvous
In the case that technology (cell phones, internet) fail, pre-determine where a group will meet up in case of an emergency (in housing, on excursions, etc.)
Travel with Student Information
Be sure to have hardcopies with you, for each participant:
- Geo Blue insurance information
- Passport information (in UAbroad)
- Health Information Form (if the student has submitted one)
Pre-departure & In-country Briefings
Students must complete an online pre-departure orientation. All programs must hold an in-person pre-departure session, followed by an in-country session. Specific program expectations and policies should be presented both prior to departure and upon arrival. We recommend the following topics:
- Emergency procedures and rendezvous points
- In-country support, should the lead be incapacitated
- General safety with money and valuables
- General and unique safety concerns (e.g. fire safety, political demonstrations, or climatic conditions)
- Unique cultural aspects of the program country or countries
- Social media concerns
- Avoiding and handling sexual harassment (noting social and gender norms)
- STEP registration
- Contact information (enter important numbers into phones)
UA Code of Conduct
Students are still bound by the UA Student Code of Conduct while on UA Study Abroad Programs. Please be sure to review the manual, found at this link- https://public.azregents.edu/Policy%20Manual/5-308-Student%20Code%20of%20Conduct.pdf
Remind students of this during pre-departure and in-country information sessions.
Leads should never provide alcohol or drugs to students, promote the consumption of either or become intoxicated while traveling with students regardless of student presence in the immediate vicinity. If you suspect students are abusing alcohol or drugs, address the behavioral issues immediately according to the UA Student Code of Conduct.
If there are any concerns that a student is missing, follow Incident/Emergency Response Steps distributed at the Health & Safety sessions and begin immediate notification procedures. While local authorities may require a waiting period, you do not need to wait 24 hours to contact UA Study Abroad if you suspect a student is missing.
Medical and Mental Health
Students may have concerns about discrimination and stigmas associated with mental or medical illness. Always encourage open disclosure to provide adequate support and preparation for the student in the program. Please maintain confidentiality within the student group.
Prior to departure, invite students to complete a Health Information form found in UAbroad and distributed at Health & Safety sessions.
Advise students traveling with medications to:
- Memorize their medications and dosages;
- Travel with a written prescription for the generic name;
- Have medications translated into the appropriate language(s);
- Verify that the medication is legal and available in the destination;
- Travel with medications in original prescription bottles, with name; and
- Bring extra medication to allow for delays of up to a week
- Any disclosed medical/mental health conditions, diagnoses, and/or concerns must be addressed in pre-departure planning. Discuss and review any medical and mental health considerations and planning with the UA Study Abroad coordinator assigned to your program.
Hospitalization of a Participant
Students should never be left in a hospital without a UA representative. In program planning and preparation determine who would stay in the hospital with the student and who would manage the student group. Do not plan on using student participants in either role. Consult with UA Study Abroad if there are any concerns.
Transportation & Road Safety
Due diligence is expected in procuring safe transportation for students while on study abroad programs. Always use reliable transportation providers and request seat belts. If seat belts or other safety features are unavailable, consult with the UA Study Abroad coordinator assigned to your program.
Always consider road safety when determining routes of travel. Travel during the day is generally safer than at night. Due to road conditions and safety precautions, you may need to confine travel to daylight hours in some locations. Review routes of travel to identify any roads that may have frequent accidents and hazards.
It is generally best to request accommodations closest to exits and on the ground floor. It is also important to consider risks of natural disasters, fires, and rates of crime in determining safety considerations with lodging. Discuss crime and safety concerns with your coordinator. Once at the lodging, verify that these exit points are accessible and not blocked off. Make sure students know where to exit the building and group rendezvous point.
While planning for accommodations, identify any possible deviations from general safety standards, including (but not limited to) smoke detectors, fire exits, good locks on doors and windows, etc.
Student Free Time
- Program leads and/or TAs are expected to have a general knowledge of student whereabouts and activities at all times during the program. Have students fill out Emergency Contact and Independent Travel form if they will be traveling independently.
- Encourage students to travel or go out in groups or at least pairs. Discourage students from leaving anyone behind, especially if they are consuming alcohol.
- Leads should share with students and UA Study Abroad expectations of any travel restrictions to certain locations due to safety concerns, including activity related to political, weather, or crime patterns.
- In locations of higher risk, it is a best to limit student free time. This can be done by filling the schedule with program-related events outside of formal class time, including evenings and weekends.
The following are best practices for both faculty and students:
- Travel with extra cash, no less than $100
- Keep $100 in fresh bills, in a variety of denominations
- Review safety measures when withdrawing funds from ATMs
- Always notify banks and credit cards of travel to prevent blocks on accounts
- Travel with at least one extra credit card, in case an account becomes blocked or debit cards are not accepted (this is often the case in hospitals)
- Create a “throw wallet” with a little cash and an old credit card to give to or throw at potential attackers
- Separate your assets. Consider placing money, credit cards, passports, etc. in different secure locations.
Study Abroad Leads and TAs acting within reason and without negligence, consulting with UA Study Abroad, and following UA Study Abroad guidance, receive liability coverage.
Communication with Parents
Whenever possible, defer communication with parents directly to student and UA Study Abroad. If you speak with a parent, obtain their contact information to relay to UA Study Abroad. Inform the parent that UA Study Abroad will get in touch with him/her. Immediately contact UA Study Abroad to report and relay contact information.
Termination from the Program
Termination is always a last-resort. The program lead is expected to always contact UA Study Abroad for guidance and support prior to dismissal. If students are displaying problematic or worrisome behavior, UA Study Abroad will work with Leads to seek assistance from CAPS and/or in-country mental health resources.
Whenever possible, provide a verbal and written warning to student prior to dismissal.
Leads are able to immediately send a student home (without prior warning) if he/she poses an immediate danger to him/herself or others and refuses help. If a student displaying worrisome behavior refuses treatment and (s)he poses a danger to him/herself or others and/or it is advised by a mental health professional that the student is not able to continue in the program, the Program Lead should request the student leave the program. If a student refuses to voluntarily leave, the Program Lead may determine to terminate the student’s participation in the program.
Have students directly contact a family member or friend to notify them of termination from a program. If this is not possible, coordinate with UA Study Abroad to determine who should contact family member or friend.
Program Leads are expected to assist students with appropriate arrangements to leave the country. If a student is terminated from a program and refuses to leave the country, they must not attend any programmatic activities or associate with other students remaining on the program. Consult with UA Study Abroad and consider involving local law enforcement if a student refuses to disengage from program activities.
Addressing and Reporting Incidents
An incident is a non-life-threatening occurrence, but that requires the involvement of local authorities or medical professionals, and/or is of a disciplinary nature. Program Leads are expected to report to UA Study Abroad any and all incidents, whether directly witnessed or reported to them by a third party. This should occur as soon as possible (within 24 hours), after an initial assessment of the situation and the situation is stabilized.
You are required to report all incidents online at http://global.arizona.edu/study-abroad/incident-response-form and via email to the Assistant Director for Student Health & Safety and the appropriate regional coordinator. You may also call UA Study Abroad directly at (520) 626-9211. If impossible to directly report within 24 hours, maintain thorough documentation of events and provide the report to UA Study Abroad as soon as possible.
Addressing and Reporting Emergencies
An emergency is a life-threatening or potentially life-threatening event that requires immediate response. Examples of emergencies are: life-threatening injury or illness (generally requiring hospitalization), death, kidnapping, extortion, involvement in a violent crime, arrest or detainment, missing student(s), civil unrest, natural disaster, and/or disease outbreak.
Responses to an emergency must occur swiftly. Your first priority is to quickly assess the situation, gathering as much information as possible and to stabilize the situation. Always remember to address the safety of those directly involved and then the rest of the group. Maintain calm and order by providing the group clear instructions.
As soon as possible contact the UA International Emergency Line (520) 307-9576 or UA Police at (520) 621-UAPD (8273). First, provide at least two ways to reach you, in case the call is dropped. You may also text the International Emergency Line, but never assume a message is received unless there is a direct response to the text.
Title IX and Clery Act Mandates
Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All UA employees traveling with students are required to have completed mandatory Title IX training, available on this link, http://equity.arizona.edu/online-training. This includes reports of sexual misconduct harassment, and assault. All UA employees traveling with students are expected to provide support for any UA student victims and participate in any subsequent investigations per Title IX .
The Department of Education requires that all U.S. universities request reports from local police jurisdictions regarding crimes perpetrated on any property rented to or contracted by a university for any purposes involving students for three days or longer. For this purpose, an email confirming reservations constitutes a “contract”. In order to comply with this federal regulation, you must provide to either Study Abroad or the International Risk Analyst prior to departure the addresses as well as dates and times of use for all of these properties using our online Clery form. When making your arrangements, as possible, specify in your reservations the dates and times of UA control.
If you are working with an approved vendor, you are not required to report this information. We recommend that you consult with either UA Study Abroad or International Risk Analyst for further details.
The properties described above include, but are not limited to: hotels, apartments, classrooms, or any other rented public or private spaces.