Bill Hoye: Hi! I am Bill Hoye with IES abroad. Today I'm talking about, how to choose a study abroad program. And now, I'm going to discuss health and safety concern while you're abroad.
Quality study abroad program is meant to expose you to new culture and help you become a part of local communities. With these great rewards there may also be some risk. The very nature of travel to and living in a foreign country means you may be exposed to a few risks and dangers that you might not face on your home campus. Depending on where you are going potential threats might include illness or disease, natural disaster or political unrest.
In some parts, of the world the level of medical care availability and the time it takes for help to reach you in the event of an illness, natural disaster or other emergency may differ from what you are use to at home. Fortunately, by asking some basic questions before you go, you can choose a program that offers a strong health and safety measure, which means you and your parents, can rest easier.
First of choose a well established study abroad provider with years of experience and a solid reputation. A provider with only a few years of experience under its belt is unlikely to have had the first hand experience it takes, to develop and fine tune a solid health and safety plan in a foreign country.
Look for a provider with a history of providing programs in multiple countries and which has achieved quick or quality improvement standards; an independent designation that the provider meets the highest standards in the education abroad field as determine by the Forum on Education Abroad.
In addition here are five health and safety measures that you should look for in a quality study abroad provider. First an experienced tested crisis management team that trains regular and conducts drills every time. Second, pre-departure material & on-site orientation programs; they clearly address student health, safety, security, medical evacuation kind and other risk issue. Third oversea staff will maintain close relationship with local police. Receive regular safety updates from the US Embassy and other sources and who attend to students who become ill or injured on a 24x7 basis. Four local crisis management plans for every programs site that identify local risks and outline how best to response to them. Fifth, a protocol to conduct comprehensive risk assessment of its program.
You should also research the programs housing and home safety standards. For example, how does the provider of that its homestay standard. What types of other housing are offered and is it located in safe areas?
Choosing a program that's integrated into the local community with homestays for local housing options usually means that you'll be safer. By living with a local family or in local university resident's hall, you are less likely to stand out as a foreign student and become a target for potential scam, crimes or other threats.
There are many questions they ask you to first choose to study abroad programs provider, but I hope that I've helped you identify the health and safety measures that you should look for in study abroad provider.