Resources for Emergencies
In light of the recent and tragic attacks in Paris, many universities, students, faculty and providers are reevaluating programs to Pais and surrounding European destinations. While decisions regarding these programs are generally being made on a case to case basis, below are some resources and advice faculty members and universities can reference.
When deciding whats best for your program in terms of safety, it is important to be educated on the facts and not intimidated by fear. These resources will provide you with official and up to date information on all security matters.
- The CIA Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
- Provides detailed country information and current updates on people, history, geography, the economy and more.
- The Department of State: http://www.state.gov/travel/
- Allows users to enroll in a alert and travel advisory program for real time updates (STEP – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program).
- Also issues travel warnings (long term advisories) and travel alerts (short term advisories).
- Local Embassies: http://www.embassy-worldwide.com
- Embassy Worldwide provides search and contact information for any embassy in the world.
- OSAC (Overseas Security Advisory Council): https://www.osac.gov/
- Provides reports and travel warnings as well as daily news and the ability to search by region.
- Contact your 24/7 Emergency Assistant Provider
- Ask for a report and advice on future travel.
*Additionally most of these pages have Facebook and Twitter accounts in which advisors, faculty and students and receive real time updates on security issues as well as communicate.
When Talking to Students: Tips!
- When thinking about programs for a summer term offer students all of the above information and allow them to speak with their families to make informed decisions about traveling
- Allow additional time for approaching deadlines, many people may need time to reconsider their travel plans
- Be familiar with the cancelation policy of your program as well as the refund policy, if students back out make sure others are aware of any changes in the cost of the program
- State any backup plans or changes to the itinerary if avoiding certain areas
- Remind students this is a learning experience and a chance to explore the world and talk about the realities of current events
- Be available for student and parent questions, many parents make look to program leaders and study abroad staff for resources and questions
- Monitor the current situations, it is likely that Paris and other cities will be a different place in six months, so keep up to date on current events