SIT's Role in Maximizing Health, Safety, and Security

Prior to the start of each SIT Study Abroad program, we work with students to prepare them for new health realities of their country of study.
 
Students receive country-specific health guidelines, including required and recommended immunizations as specified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as preliminary advising to set clear expectations around maintaining good health.
 
SIT Study Abroad also conducts a comprehensive review of each student’s medical history to ensure health needs can be met in the individual program context.
 
Once the program begins, local health issues are reviewed with students during an initial in-country orientation, and student health is monitored throughout the semester.
 
All students are covered by medical, evacuation, and repatriation insurance, which is included in the program fee.   

Maximizing Safety and Security
SIT Study Abroad infuses safety and security throughout the program. Key elements of the SIT model help to maximize in-country safety, including a regular and ongoing orientation. During the initial orientation period, academic directors and other staff educate students about potential safety risks and strategies to keep themselves safe within their new location. Our staff provide further safety and security briefings at key junctures throughout the semester, most notably when students move to new locations for excursions and prepare to embark on their Independent Study Project.

Homestays provide students with grounding in the local culture — critical to building realistic perceptions of risk. Host families help students navigate their new surroundings by providing firsthand exposure to local norms, modeling culturally appropriate behavior, and giving precautionary advice about the local environment. Students are provided with an emergency card with the contact information of program staff.

How SIT Evaluates Safety and Security Conditions
SIT Study Abroad staff are trained in risk assessment and crisis management, and we gather information from a variety of sources to continuously evaluate safety and security conditions:

  • SIT monitors US government advisories, considering those issued both by in-country embassies and consulates and by the State Department in Washington, DC.
  • In addition to our own academic directors and other in-country staff, we rely on the considerable in-situ knowledge and analysis of local institutional colleagues with whom we have long and trusted relationships.
  • SIT consults with academic and nongovernmental organizations through the global networks of World Learning, SIT’s parent organization.
  • Through personal, professional, and online networks, SIT maintains close contact with other study abroad programs and professionals around the world.
  • SIT senior staff have collectively lived and worked for decades in the regions where our programs operate. These staff members are on call 24 hours a day.

Safety cannot, of course, be guaranteed abroad, just as it cannot be guaranteed in the United States. SIT is committed to taking the reasonable steps necessary to maximize student safety and security at every program site.