The safety, security, and well-being of study abroad program participants are of utmost importance to ISA.
ISA’s Health, Safety & Security
Student Health & Safety
While neither ISA nor ISA’s host institutions can guarantee a risk-free environment, all efforts are made to best ensure the safety and well-being of our participants throughout the duration of the program. ISA follows prudent measures to verify that all transportation, lodging, medical facilities, communications, and emergency procedures are in place to reduce risk for study abroad participants.
While ISA is firmly committed to the provision of this support, we also emphasize to students, faculty, and parents that all program participants must take responsibility for their own safety and security. This is highlighted during pre-departure preparations, on-site orientation, and throughout students’ stay in the host country. Points of emphasis during the orientation include students using common sense, being aware of their surroundings, and not putting themselves in compromising positions with the abuse of drugs or alcohol. The same precautions anyone would follow in their home communities in the U.S. should be maintained when traveling abroad.
The information below describes ISA infrastructure, procedures and guidelines that will help ISA reduce students’ risk while abroad.
ISA employs local personnel at the majority of our international sites. Most were raised in the program city and all, without exception, are highly knowledgeable about the available facilities, customs, support services, and local people. A staff to student ratio of 1:20 is maintained with few exceptions on all ISA programs, and staff members are available 24-7 to respond to the needs of the program participants. In addition, each main ISA Resident Director has a cell phone, at least two land-lines (home and office), and email services at their disposal.
The ISA Director of Health, Safety and Security and ISA staff work together to answer emergency calls and respond appropriately by following the ISA emergency guidelines.
ISA on-site staff provides support to students in the event that a program participant must go to the hospital or to a doctor. The on-site staff will assist in scheduling the appointment, accompanying the student on the visit, and aid the student in any other way necessary. Additionally, they will ensure that the student is aware of all procedures required to file a claim for reimbursement for medical services.
A Blanket Accident and Sickness Policy is included in the program price and covers the participant for the official on-site period of program. This is not an optional benefit; every ISA participant will be covered by this plan. A detailed description of the coverage may be found here.
We recommend that all program participants maintain comprehensive health insurance while abroad. This is particularly important for pre-existing conditions, but is also beneficial if the participant has an injury or illness while abroad and requires further treatment upon return home.
While there are no risk-free residential areas in any foreign city, ISA’s student housing accommodations are located in areas deemed to be of lower risk. The same attentiveness is given to the arrangement of lodging during ISA-organised excursions. Hotels are selected based on the security of the area in which the accommodations are located, and also on their proximity to the sites to be visited. Furthermore, all students are provided with a description of their host family or housing arrangements and a contact telephone number prior to their departure in the event that a family member in Australia needs to contact the student abroad.
ISA is consistent in utilising the safest and most reliable transportation (bus and plane) for ISA-sponsored travel. The companies are selected based on their prior safety records, insurance coverage, their administrative responsiveness, and the mutual trust that has developed as a result of the well-established relationships with ISA. In the selection of a transportation company, ISA also takes into account the recommendations from trustworthy external advisors.
Whether you’re an interested student, learning abroad professional or academic, ISA is here to help!