The Study Abroad Office places the utmost importance on the safety, security, and well-being on education abroad program participants. Moreover, the Study Abroad Office and the Faculty Leader must follow prudent measures to verify that accommodation, transportation, and medical facilities are safe and of reasonable quality, and that communication plans and emergency responses are in place to provide a safe environment for program participants.
While on a K-State Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program, K-State expects all participants to take the same precautions that they would follow in their home communities in the U.S. and to make smart decisions at all times. Faculty Leaders should caution students to use common sense, be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times, travel with a buddy, and to never put themselves in compromising positions with the use of drugs or alcohol.
K-State considers an emergency to be any circumstance that poses a genuine risk to, or that has already disturbed, the safety and well-being of program participants. Emergencies will include, though not be confined to, the following types of events and incidents:
- Physical assault
- Disappearance or kidnapping of a student
- Sexual assault or rape
- Serious physical or emotional illness
- Significant accident and/or injury
- Hospitalization for any reason
- Terrorist threat or attack
- Local political crisis that could affect students’ safety and well-being
- Arrest or questioning by the police or other security forces
- Any legal action (lawsuit, deposition, trial, etc.) involving a student
- Natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood, fire, tornado, hurricane, volcano, etc.
While K-State can not guarantee a risk-free environment, K-State makes every effort to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of our Faculty Leaders and student participants on a faculty-led program.
Faculty Leaders Should Follow These 10 Steps To Prepare for an Emergency:
- Acquaint themselves thoroughly with region-specific health and safety concerns.
- Prepare themselves and program participants for a safe program, both physically and emotionally, by urging participants to consult with their health care providers prior to departure.
- Review the K-State Student Code of Conduct with participants.
- Conduct pre-departure orientations covering region-specific health and safety precautions and procedures.
- Distribute emergency contact information to all participants.
- Conduct an on-site orientation that acquaints participants with in-country medical procedures/facilities; reinforce emergency protocols; and revisit the K-State Student Code of Conduct.
- Be available 24-7 to respond to the needs of student participants.
- Carry the student information (emergency contact information and health information form) provided by the Faculty Services Coordinator and a cell phone at all times and be prepared to communicate via phone, e-mail, or fax with the Faculty Services Coordinator in the event of an emergency.
- Delegate to the Logistics Coordinator only those tasks that he/she is capable of understanding and executing.
- Follow K-State procedures when dealing with an emergency or student misconduct. For detailed information, please visit the K-State Office of Student Life website at: http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife
Faculty Leaders Should Follow These 10 Steps to Respond to an Emergency:
Step 1: Carry K-State Study Abroad Office information with you at all times! Emergencies are always easier to handle when preparations are in place and basic information on program participants and emergency protocol is easily accessible. It is only helpful to you when you have it in your possession and it has updated information as to the whereabouts of all students.
Step 2: In an emergency, your first responsibility is to preserve the safety and well-being of student participants. Do whatever is necessary to assure this: obtain prompt and appropriate medical attention, police protection or intervention, and/or U.S. embassy involvement. You will be reimbursed for all expenses relating to the management of an emergency.
Step 3: Locate and contact all program participants as quickly as possible to ascertain their well-being, and to coordinate an immediate response plan. Depending on the situation, the Faculty Leader may or may not gather the participants together in a group. Advise student participants to inform their parents, guardians, and/or emergency contacts of their safety and whereabouts as soon as possible.
Step 4: When you have done all that you can reasonably do to assure the well-being of participants and to get a sense of the danger, immediately contact the Faculty Services Coordinator. Together the Faculty Leader and the Faculty Services Coordinator will collaborate in fact-finding, communication, and a response plan. Depending on the severity of the situation, the Study Abroad Office will make all U.S. contacts as appropriate: the participants’ emergency contacts, K-State offices and authorities, and so on.
Kansas State University Study Abroad Emergency Contacts:
If an emergency occurs during regular business hours, please call the Study Abroad Program front desk. If the emergency occurs after regular business hours, please contact the Study Abroad Office 24-Hour Emergency Line - Please keep in mind that this number is - ONLY - for emergencies that need immediate assistance from Study Abroad Staff when the office is closed.
- Study Abroad Office Front Desk
Available 8:00am-6:00pm CST, Monday-Friday
- Rebecca Murrow, Faculty Services Coordinator
Available 8:00am-6:00pm CST, Monday-Friday
- Study Abroad Office 24-Hour Emergency Line
Available 24 hours
Step 5: Take immediate steps to gather more information about the problem and assess the situation utilizing all in-country resources available. Consult with the Third Party Program Provider, U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Interest Section, other study abroad providers, other U.S. enterprises in the area, local authorities, the media, and so on. The Study Abroad Office will take similar steps.
- U.S. Department of State: http://www.travel.state.gov
- U.S. Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/travel
- U.S. Embassies & Consulates: http://www.usembassy.state.gov
- World Health Organization: http://www.who.int
Step 6: If appropriate, contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate regarding the crisis and follow whatever procedures they may require. Ask the Embassy or Consular Officer to advise you on a regular basis about the developments of the emergency and about how you should direct K-State’s on-site response.
Step 7: In a medical emergency, never leave an injured or sick student on his/her own. Assist the student in coordinating the necessary arrangements, including payment of fees on behalf of the student.
- While on an excursion with only one K-State faculty/staff member present: Remain with the students, or, if necessary, select a responsible student to serve temporarily as the group leader and ensure that all students return to their accommodations while the Faculty Leader stays with the student in need. Give the student leader all necessary instructions.
- While on an excursion with more than one K-State faculty/staff member present: One K-State representative should remain with the group, while the other one stays with the student in need. Establish a time and place for the group to reunite. Maintain contact via cell phone. If the student is unable to rejoin the group, the K-State representative or Third-Party Program Provider should ensure the safe return of the injured or sick student to the student’s accommodations.
Step 8: In an on-going crisis, continue to keep the Faculty Services Coordinator informed on a regular basis through telephone (785) 532-5990, fax (785) 532-6550, or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com). This is essential as we will be working closely with you throughout the emergency to develop a situation-specific response plan. It will be the Study Abroad Office’s responsibility to consult with all appropriate K-State offices in the development of that plan. All program participants will be expected to abide by the situation-specific response plan. It is important that after all emergencies (small or large), an Incident Report Form (available on the Study Abroad Office website) is completed and faxed to the Faculty Services Coordinator.
Step 9: Try not to overact or panic: the students are counting on you to help get them through a difficult time. You are not alone! Keep in mind that the Study Abroad Office has experience dealing with crises and is ready to assist you during and after any type of incident.
Step 10: Continue to keep a clear focus on the emergency; everything else must take a back seat. Here are some tips to reduce anxiety and increase organization:
- Do not try to handle all aspects of an emergency: delegate responsibility as is possible.
- Never say more than necessary and stick to the facts.
- Remember that student confidentiality is very important.
- Remember that K-State and the Study Abroad Office will support you in every way possible.
It is unlikely that an outbreak of war, a coup d’etat, terrorist activity, or political instability will occur at a site where K-State is conducting a Faculty-led Study Abroad Program. It is more likely that a medical emergency or a natural disaster may occur.
K-State cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environment. Nor can we monitor students’ choices and behaviors at all times, or prevent them from engaging in dangerous, unwise, or illegal activity.
Nonetheless, we must do our best to run a safe program, and the Faculty Leader and Logistics Coordinator comprise our front line response team. Please plan ahead and prepare accordingly!
Please fill out this form as completely and legibly as possible. In the event of any legal action, this form will serve as the official college record of what transpired and what actions were taken by responsible college officials at the scene of the incident and thereafter. Attach any documentary evidence and extra sheets as necessary.
E-mail or fax a copy of this report to the Study Abroad Office at: 785-532-6550 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Submit the complete original report and all supporting materials immediately upon return to the United States.
For detailed information on K-State crisis protocols, please visit the following website: http://www.k-state.edu/studentlife/crisisassistance/