UConn Programs attract students in part because of the extra security and peace-of-mind that group travel and program leader oversight provide. Other than participants’ overall health, their safety should be the program leader’s highest priority.
All participant accommodations must be located in areas that the program leader, Education Abroad, and a possible third-party collaborator deem safe, secure, and reliable. To the extent possible, the program leader should utilize lodging with interior rather than exterior doors.
Activities and Excursions
Program leaders should select program activities and excursions such that all participants, regardless of ability or other status, can participate. Activities and excursions should also make positive academic or cultural contributions to the program.
UConn requires that all program participants have CISI Insurance for the duration of the program. The insurance policy does have exclusions, so program leaders should be familiar with the coverage and exclusions when planning excursions.
Education Abroad strongly encourages all program leaders to possess a working and accessible cell phone throughout the duration of the program. The leaders should provide participants with their cell phone numbers and encourage students to call at any time, day or night, for assistance in the event of an emergency. The leaders must also share their phone number and contact information with Education Abroad.
We also encourage all participants to possess working and accessible cell phones and share their numbers or contact information with the program leader. In non-emergency circumstances, parents, friends, or emergency contacts should contact a participant through their phone or e-mail.
Exceptions can be made for programs conducted in rural areas or countries where GSM or CDMA cell coverage is not available. Education Abroad urges leaders who are interested in conducting programs in countries where cell coverage is not available to carefully explore the possibility of obtaining a satellite phone or working with a third-party contractor that can provide a satellite phone.
Orientations: Pre-Departure and On-Site
The program leader should plan both pre-departure and on-site orientations for program participants. At these orientations the program leader should provide communications and accessibility information for local authorities and medical facilities. The program leader and third-party contractor should provide instructions regarding protocols for rare events like political crises, terrorist events, natural disasters, or other emergencies.
The program leader should also discuss with participants the relevant cultural issues that may affect their safety, including but not limited to language use, non-verbal communications, traffic patterns, drug laws, local dress codes, or sexual behaviors. In general, program leaders should advise students to be cautious, careful, and to use common sense at all times. Program leaders should review the UConn Student Code of Conduct with participants make them aware of laws specific to the host country.
Education Abroad recommends that program leaders identify a specific location or meeting place as a rally point should the group become separated in an emergency. The program leader should share these details with the participants.
Transportation and Driving Abroad
All participant transportation (international, U.S., and host-country) must be via means that the program leader, Education Abroad, and a possible third-party contractor deem safe, secure, and reliable. To select transportation the program leader should consider recommendations from Education Abroad, veteran program leaders, local contacts, or other universities offering similar programs.
As a general practice, we strongly discourage any and all faculty, staff, and students from driving vehicles outside of the United States while participating in any University-sponsored program. Instead, all participants should utilize public transportation whenever possible, and program leaders should hire licensed, professional drivers for all non-public transportation needs.