3 Risk Management Procedures Your Study Abroad Program Needs

October 16 , 2018

risk management meeting

While there are a number of benefits and valuable experiences to be gained from studying abroad, there are also inherent risks that students and programs are exposed to. In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your students, learn about the three must-have risk management procedures.


Require Travel and Medical Insurance

Many study abroad programs include a certain level of travel and/or medical insurance, but it’s important to ensure that your students are fully covered when they head overseas. To guarantee that your students are adequately equipped with travel and medical insurance, your program or university can offer full-coverage options or require that students provide proof of insurance before they depart.

Options students can consider:

  • Speak with your current insurance provider to see if they include international coverage, or if it is possible to add this on for an additional cost during the duration of the program.
  • The International Student Identity Card offers Basic, Premium and Explorer level cards with varying coverage. This card also offers the benefit of student discounts in over 130 countries.
  • Research supplemental insurance plans for your time abroad. There are many insurance providers who specifically provide additional insurance for traveling abroad.

Include Safety Training in Program Orientation

For a large percentage of study abroad students, their time abroad will be their first experience living in a foreign country. It is an essential responsibility of the study abroad program staff or professors to provide the necessary information in regard to safety and legalities students should be aware of during their stay.

Recommended included trainings:

  • Provide an introduction to the local laws and customs. Study abroad students should not be in situations where they are in hot water simply because they were uninformed of the laws within their host country and city. Educate your students on the major legal differences that need to be aware of most.
  • Present an overview on tips and relevant information for traveling safely within the country and throughout Europe. Many students will be traveling during their time abroad, which is a different experience than traveling throughout the U.S., so including helpful information on how to travel safely is crucial.

Have Staff Available 24/7

Having program staff available via a 24/7 emergency phone line, for both students and parents, ensures that your program is accessible to handle any problem that may arise. The staff member on call can address the issue immediately or escalate through the organization’s emergency protocol when necessary.


Have questions about risk management for your specific program? Contact us.

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Sammi DiBacco

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