Health and Safety for Off Campus Programs
St. Lawrence University strongly supports study abroad as an excellent way in which students can prepare for living and working in a world of complex international interdependencies. For fifty years the university has maintained its own programs abroad and has selected additional programs in which our students may participate.
The St. Lawrence University Center for International and Intercultural Studies has primary oversight for off campus study and is responsible for selecting well-qualified students, providing orientation and helpful information about health, safety, insurance and other risk concerns, and developing good practices in each program for the health, welfare, and safety of students.
While St. Lawrence University is vigilant about its off-campus programs, it cannot eliminate all risks or guarantee the safety of each participant.Safety depends on a partnership between the program, St. Lawrence University, program participants, and their families.
- Thoroughly read and evaluate all materials issued by CIIS and the host institution that pertain to safety, health, legal, political, and cultural conditions in the host country.
- Prepare yourself by consulting a wide variety of sources, including the US Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for the country/ies you plan to visit to develop an independent assessment of the risks involved in off-campus study.
- Register your trip with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or your country’s equivalent of this system.
- Carefully consider your physical and mental health. Discuss your needs, in the context of your study abroad program, with your physician or counselor. Disclose all health concerns, both physical and psychological, on the Medical Report and to program personnel and update when necessary.
- Maintain adequate worldwide health, accident, and hospitalization insurance.
- Consult SLU Health Services or a reputable travel clinic and obtain all necessary immunizations and medications specific to your program site.
- Attend all orientation sessions. Take responsibility for preparing yourself for all facets of the program.
- Inform the Program Director, your host family, your family/ friends of all health concerns and travel plans and provide itineraries and emergency contact information.
- Abide by the laws of the host country and all applicable policies, procedures and requirement of St. Lawrence and other institutions involved in the program, including without limitation the St. Lawrence Student Code of Responsibility, and CIIS safety precautions and other instructions.
- Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the appropriate program staff.
- Avoid illegal drugs and irresponsible consumption of alcohol.
- Due to unfamiliar traffic laws and regulations, do not operate a motor vehicle while abroad.
- Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system services in the host country.
Parent, Guardian and Family Responsibilities
- Be informed and involved in the decision of your student to enroll in a particular program.
- Obtain and carefully evaluate program materials, as well as related health, safety and security information from the program sponsor.
- Discuss with your student any travel plans or activities independent of the program.
- Discuss safety and behavior issues, insurance needs, and emergency procedures related to living abroad with your student.
- Respond to requests from the program sponsor for information regarding your student.
- Keep in touch with your student and remain informed of his/her whereabouts. Be aware that the student, rather than the program provider, may be the most appropriate source of some information.
- Conduct periodic assessments of health and safety conditions and maintain emergency preparedness and crisis response plans.
- Consider health, safety and disciplinary issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual’s participation in a particular study abroad program.
- Provide health and safety information to participants and their families through pre-departure and on-site orientations and handbooks; and encourage them to inform themselves further.
- Stay abreast of health, safety and security issues at program sites.
- Inform all participants of applicable policies, regulations, and codes of conduct.
- Require participants to maintain worldwide insurance coverage including evacuation and repatriation.
- Hire staff and vendors to provide reputable services in the host country.
- Collect information on medical and professional services at program sites and share as necessary with participants and their families.
- Provide health and safety training for St. Lawrence Program Directors including guidelines with respect to intervention and referral that take into account the nature and location of the study abroad program.
- Respond to expressions of health, safety and/or security concerns. In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant safety concerns, maintain good coummunication among all program sponsors and others as needed.