Student health, safety and security are our top priorities. The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University is prepared to deal with any emergencies that may arise. Our experienced and well-connected Glenside and overseas staff members are prepared to support students thorough pre-departure and on-site orientation information and 24-hour staffed telephone numbers.
We are committed to:
Our policies and procedures receive ongoing review and refinement from our Executive Director and senior leadership team; our North American-based Health, Safety, and Security Director; and our experienced and well-trained in-country staff.
Maureen Gordon, Arcadia’s Director of Health, Safety and Security, works alongside a team led by Tim Barton, Director of Student Life and Support Services, to ensure the highest standards of safety, security and well-being support for our students. The team has the most up-to-date health and safety information and procedures in place in order to make thoughtful decisions, while keeping parents and our partner institutions in the United States informed about situations occurring in-country.
While our staff is prepared to respond in the unlikely event of an emergency situation affecting several people, most emergencies are personal. It is more likely that students will need advice on finding the services of a good doctor, specialist or counselor, or help with emergency travel needs, and our staff is prepared to support them. Additionally, we keep in regular contact with students through newsletters, on-going activities and personal visits to campus.
During the application process, we encourage students to self-disclose any personal, medical, physical and mental conditions which may affect their study abroad experience. Early disclosure ensures our ability to provide the most appropriate advice and counsel regarding program choice as well as enhancing our ability to provide appropriate support overseas. All information provided remains confidential and does not affect a student’s acceptance into a program.
Study abroad is a profoundly life-changing experience. Concerns about health, safety and security should not dissuade students from this wonderful opportunity. Instead, we encourage them to be informed and knowledgeable about the risks and rewards of such an undertaking.
Education about health, safety and security when traveling abroad begins the moment a student enrolls in an Arcadia program and continues throughout a student’s enrollment period. Information about health, insurance and safety policies in individual countries is available to students at any time from our program managers and our in-country staff.
When students arrive overseas, our in-country staff provides a thorough orientation about the local culture which includes a review of country- and program-related safety and security guidelines. We discuss culturally appropriate behaviors and explain how to contact local emergency services. We also share relevant Department of State notices, alerts and warnings and make sure staff members are available to respond to students' questions and concerns.
Students are provided with emergency contact cards which include an emergency number which is monitored 24 hours a day so students can reach our staff at any time—even after office hours and on weekends. We also ask students to leave contact information and intended itineraries with our staff when they travel away from their program sites. This way, in the event of an emergency, our staff knows where and how to reach our students.
Students, parents/guardians, and study abroad advisors can expect announcements about safety and security from Arcadia should conditions warrant such information. If you are a parent, please check with your student to find out if they listed you as an emergency contact on their application. If not, please ask them to contact their program manager to add you to their file; that way, we can email you in the event that there is a special alert during the program.
It is impossible for anyone to anticipate every contingency that might affect our students. But longevity and experience count. With more than six decades of experience directing and administering programs overseas, we have a wide network of contacts in government agencies, among local police forces and in the communities where students are studying. We maintain regular communication with U.S. embassies and consulates to stay abreast of security information. This allows us to develop and implement emergency management procedures appropriate to an emerging situation. As events warrant, we can quickly notify students, advisors and parents/guardians about the steps that are being taken. If the need arises, we are prepared to move students from places where they may be at risk to a more secure environment.
As part of our regular monitoring of circumstances and events that may affect the well-being of our students, Arcadia is a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) of the Department of State, a federal and private sector group established to share information and promote security cooperation between the United States government and private sector interests worldwide. The analysts at OSAC provide real-time security information and analysis as well as updates and background information on issues and developments throughout the world.
Arcadia has been actively involved in a national health and safety task force for education abroad. This task force worked with a group of distinguished international educators to draft and disseminate statements of good practice intended to protect the well-being of the thousands of students who study abroad each year.
The US Department of State issues travel warnings and travel alerts to provide safety and security information to Americans traveling internationally. A travel alert is issued when a traveler should be aware of a short-term event or circumstance. A travel warning is issued for locations where the State Department believes there is a continuing or longer-term circumstance which warrants a review of travel to the country or location at all.
Arcadia's senior administrators review data and information from a variety of sources before approving travel to a location or country for which a travel warning or a travel alert has been issued. Questions about Arcadia's policy can be addressed to the Director of Health, Safety, and Security.