Student safety, security, and health are of primary importance to SAI. While we can never guarantee an entirely risk-free environment, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure a positive and safe experience for our participants.
Following are the health and safety features included in all SAI programs:
- 24-hour emergency contact service on-site
- Experienced on-site staff based in each program location providing personal care and attention. Staff maintains close ties with local authorities and monitors public announcements and travel warnings issued by the U.S. State Department.
- Information regarding health and safety abroad provided in various mediums, including via a handbook, at orientation, and regularly throughout the SAI program.
- International student health insurance provided by CISI. SAI on-site staff can refer students to English-speaking doctors, and in more serious cases, accompany the student to the hospital.
- Robust Health, Safety and Emergency Management Procedures, an SAI Health & Safety Committee that meets regularly to review safety climate, and a clear crisis communication system. See COVID-19 updates for specific policy updates related to current programs.
SAI on-site offices are staffed by exceptional staff that are both native and American-born professionals in international education. All staff have spent significant time (if not their entire lives!) in the host city, and maintain strong networks with local authorities and U.S. Embassy personnel.
As part of all SAI on-site orientations, students discuss potential security threats in their host city, and learn best practices for overseas safety. Students receive emergency contact information, and review protocols for maintaining communication with on-site staff. SAI also convenes students halfway through the term for Re-Orientation, in which safety issues and concerns are discussed and reviewed.
As part of our commitment to safety, we work to carefully monitor the whereabouts of all our students. SAI students are asked to fill out Travel Itinerary forms whenever they are traveling so that our staff is able to contact all students should they need to. Additionally, all students are automatically registered with the nearest U.S. Embassy through the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
The following are important resources for monitoring the safety and security of U.S. student travel:
- Department of State, Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets: safety and security information by country.
- Department of State, U.S. Embassies: listing of all U.S. Embassies in the world.
- Department of State, Students Abroad Tips: tips for studying abroad.
- Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC): security resource for private sector and academia operations overseas. As an OSAC member, SAI reviews daily briefings.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Travel Health Notices: lists travel health notices by warning level.
Studying abroad drastically changes daily routines: students enjoy new foods, practice different social norms, and likely travel significantly. As a result of all this excitement, students’ physical and mental health can be affected. SAI provides all students with student health insurance coverage by CISI, Cultural Insurance Services International. Our on-site staff manage a comprehensive list of English-speaking doctors, and staff is always available to accompany students to doctor visits in severe cases. For information on the provided Health Insurance Policy see below.