Student safety on education abroad experiences is a combined effort among the staff from the Office of International Affairs, Office of Risk Management and Insurance, Ohio State faculty and staff leading programs, international program partners and the individual students choosing to participate. Ohio State regularly monitors and reviews the health and safety of our programs abroad, but there are many facets that rely on the actions of the individual participant who is traveling abroad. Individual safety cannot be guaranteed abroad or in the United States; however, Ohio State is committed to maximize safety for students who participate in Ohio State education abroad programs. We encourage participants to take the necessary steps to enhance their safety and security abroad by carefully reviewing all of the information contained in the Health and Safety section, completing the online orientation and attending all additional orientation meetings for their travel.
The Office of International Affairs uses multiple resources to establish a protocol for health and safety. These include:
Ohio State has safety protocols for all of our education abroad students, and:
- Employs a full-time international risk management team who proactively monitors the university’s international programming.
- Provides a 24/7 international emergency phone line (+1-614-292-6677) that connects travelers to the Department of Public Safety who can put participants in touch with the international risk manager or other key staff trained in the emergency response protocol.
- Maintains practices and implements an international emergency response plan and emergency response protocol.
- Monitors security updates from multiple resources including:
- Directs all students to enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for the duration of their program.
- Requires student traveling to countries with an active risk designation to undergo review by the International Travel Policy Committee and authorization by the Office of the Provost.
- Enrolls all participants in Ohio State’s education abroad programs in a comprehensive supplemental medical and security insurance policy through GeoBlue.
- Trains all program leaders on the university’s Clery Act protocol, and Clery reportable data is sought for all programs. This data is included as part of the university’s Annual Security Report.
- Provides a Health and Safety Orientation to all participants.
- Requires all faculty and staff leading Ohio State programs to participate in an in-person orientation prior to leading their program (or at least once every 12 months.)
- Surveys participants of university approved programs at the conclusion of their education abroad experience in order to assess all aspects of the program, including health and safety.
- Makes Office of International Affairs staff available for contact by telephone or email to address education abroad student concerns before, during and after their study abroad program.