USI Policy Regarding Program
All program directors responsible for USI student or faculty travel abroad
must adhere to the USI
policy regarding Study Abroad and Faculty-Led Travel programs. These
guidelines have been established to ensure the health and safety of all
Responsibilities of Program
- Obtain approval for proposed programs from appropriate sources in
department, college, and from the Office of Academic Affairs.
Attend the orientation program fro program directors sponsored by the
offices of International Programs and Services, Travel Services, and
- When possible, conduct site evaluations for proposed new programs as
well as periodic reviews of existing programs with regards to health and
- Consider health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness
of an individual's participation in a study abroad program.
Monitor health-related issues through the
US Center for Disease Control.
- Monitor the social and political situations of the host countries,
at a minimum, through the US
Department of State's Travel Advisories and Warnings. In case
of a travel warning, consult with the Study Abroad Risk Management team
to determine the necessary action.
- Participate in an annual orientation covering safety and liability
and other pertinent topics sponsored by the offices of International
Programs and Services, Travel Services, and Risk Management.
- Work closely with the offices of the Registrar, Student Financial
Assistance, the Dean of Students, and the Bursar on the program
participants' status, registration, tuition, and financial
- Conduct, or have conducted on their behalf, regular, on-site
inspections and reviews of their respective programs to ensure the
safety of each international experience and location. Every USI
student should have timely on-site access to a USI faculty/staff member
or officially designated in-country professional provided by the host
institution/organization to assist with academic, logistical, and
organizational problems during the program.
- Provide their respective participants with accurate and reliable
pre-departure information through orientation meetings and publications,
including information on the culture as well as on travel advisories
announced by the US Department of State, disclosure of known risks to
health and personal safety, academic practices at the host institution,
and cultural and legal norms that vary from customs in the United
- Require participants to show evidence of appropriate health
insurance coverage for the duration of the program. Either provide
appropriate health and travel accident insurance to participants, or
provide information about how to obtain appropriate coverage.
- Require that all participants enroll in supplemental travel
insurance which includes repatriation and medical evacuation.
Coverage for the group through ACCESS America is strongly recommended,
as it includes medical evacuation, repatriation and additional emergency
services. It is recommended that the premium ($15 per person) be
included in the program fee. ACCESS America coverage is arranged
through Travel Services.
- Ensure that all participants read and sign a Participant Agreement
and Release Form, an Authorization of Medical and Surgical
Consultation/Treatment Form, and complete the online forms Participant
Data Form and Health Information Form before participation in the
program. Forms available at
- Provide information for participants and their parents/guardians
regarding when and where the sponsor's responsibility ends, and the
range of aspects of participants' international experiences that are
beyond the sponsor's control. In particular, program sponsors and
- Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or
eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments;'
- Cannot monitor or control all the daily personal decisions,
choices and activities of individual participants;
- Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous,
or unwise activities;
- Cannot assure that US standards of due process apply in legal
proceedings outside of the US or provide or pay for legal
representation for participants;
- Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not
employed or otherwise engaged by the program sponsor, for events
that are not part of the program, or that are beyond the control of
the sponsor and its subcontractors, or for situations that may arise
due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent
- Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will
apply in the host country.
- Develop contingency plans to follow in case of an emergency while
leading a group outside the US. Provide information to
participants on whom to contact in case of an emergency both at home and
abroad. Follow appropriate USI
Emergency Action Protocol when an emergency occurs in the US or
- When reasonable and appropriate, conduct a post-program debriefing
for participants which addresses issues of reverse culture shock and
re-entry into American society.
The Office of International Programs and Services
- Maintains the Web site for program participants and manages the
submission of required documents.
- Provides information and resources to program directors on issues of
health and safety abroad.
- Upon request, provides consultation and review of program proposals.
- Upon request, assists with pre-departure orientation and re-entry
- Provides emergency action protocol that enables program directors
abroad to contact USI on a 24-hour basis.
- Coordinates on-campus action of the Study Abroad Risk Management
Task Force (in cooperation with the Provost and the Vice President for
Student Affairs) in case of an emergency abroad.
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