Commitment to Health and Safety
Topics on this page:
Student Health, Safety, and Security
Student health, safety and security are critical to a high-quality learning experience abroad. These concerns are the priority of The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University. This means that we are committed to:
- the ability for students and staff to be reachable at all times timely and effective communication with parents and/or home institutions in the event of an emergency
- being knowledgeable about local conditions and making resources available to students while they are abroad
- safe and secure housing
- access to appropriate health care
- medical insurance coverage for all students throughout the duration of their overseas programs
- promoting responsible student behavior regarding drugs and alcohol
- providing support for special needs
- anticipating and avoiding emergency situations whenever possible and providing prompt and appropriate responses to those that do arise
- having clear and secure plans and procedures in each overseas office to ensure students’ safety in the event of an emergency
- review and assessment of travel to any country with a current U.S. Department of State travel warning or travel alert
Our policies and procedures receive ongoing and careful attention from our Director, and our North American-based Health, Safety, and Security Director, as well as from our experienced and well-trained staff overseas.
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
As part of our regular monitoring of circumstances and events which may affect the well-being of our students, Arcadia University is a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) of the Department of State, a federal and private sector group established to share information and promote security cooperation between the United States government and private sector interests worldwide. They provide real-time security information and analysis as well as updates and background information on issues and developments throughout the world.
National Health and Safety Task Force
Arcadia is also actively involved in a national health and safety task force for education abroad. This task force works with a group of distinguished international educators to draft and disseminate statements of good practice intended to protect the well-being of the thousands of students who study abroad each year.
It is impossible for anyone to anticipate every contingency that might affect our students. But longevity and experience count. From our more than six decades of experience directing and administering programs overseas, we have a wide network of contacts in government agencies, among local police forces and in the communities where students are studying. We maintain regular communication with U.S. embassies and consulates for the latest security information. This allows us to keep aware of situations as they develop and to plan emergency management procedures appropriate to the emerging situation. If events warrant, we can quickly notify students, advisors and parents about the steps that are being taken. If the need arises, we are prepared to move students from places where they may be at risk.
When students arrive overseas, our in-country staff provides a thorough orientation about the local culture which includes a review of country- and program-related safety and security guidelines. We discuss culturally appropriate behaviors and explain how to contact local emergency services. We share relevant Department of State notices, alerts and warnings and make sure staff members are available to respond to students' questions and concerns.
Emergency Contact Cards
Students are provided with emergency contact cards which include a toll-free emergency number which is monitored 24 hours a day. Thus, students can reach our staff at any time—even after office hours and on weekends. Help and support are literally just a phone call away. In the event of an emergency, our staff knows where and how to reach our students. We ask students to leave contact information and intended itineraries with our staff when they travel away from their program sites.
While our staff is prepared to help and respond in the unlikely event of an emergency situation affecting several people, most emergencies are personal. It is more likely that students will need advice on finding the services of a good doctor, dentist or counselor, or help with emergency travel needs. Our staff is able to help and advise in these areas, too. And we are in regular contact with students through newsletters, on-going activities and personal visits to campus where appropriate as well.
Health and Safety Education
Because these concerns are our top priority, education about health, safety and security when traveling and while abroad begins the moment a student enrolls on an Arcadia program and continues throughout a student’s period of enrollment. Information about individual countries’ health, insurance and safety policies is available from the program managers. We encourage students to self-disclose any personal, medical, physical and mental conditions which may affect their study abroad experience on their application. All information provided is confidential and does not affect a student’s acceptance or denial into a program. Early disclosure ensures our ability to provide the most appropriate advice and counsel regarding program choice as well as enhancing our ability to provide appropriate support overseas.
Travel to Countries with a Current U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Travel Alert
The US Department of State issues travel warnings and travel alerts to provide safety and security information to Americans traveling internationally. A travel alert is issued when a traveler should be aware of a short-term event or circumstance. A travel warning is issued for locations where the State Department believes there is a continuing or longer-term circumstance which warrants a review of travel to the country or location at all.
Arcadia's senior administrators review data and information from a variety of sources before approving travel to a location or country for which a travel warning or a travel alert has been issued. Questions about Arcadia's policy can be addressed to the Director of Health, Safety, and Security.
Health and Safety Announcements
Students, parents, and study abroad advisors can expect announcements about safety and security from The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University should conditions warrant such information. If you are a parent, please register your email address with us to receive these announcements.
A Final Word
Finally, study abroad is a profoundly life-changing adventure. Concerns about health, safety and security should not dissuade you from this wonderful opportunity. Instead, we encourage you to be informed and knowledgeable about the risks and rewards of such an undertaking. Take into account the quality and experience of the program in which you intend to enroll. It will make a difference.