Health & Safety Information for Parents
Preparing your student to go abroad can be an exciting time as you all plan for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the time for studying abroad nears, it’s normal to feel anxious and worried, especially given recent world events – a global pandemic, protests, economic uncertainty.
While we cannot guarantee that your student’s experience will be problem-free, USAC values student health and safety above everything else and we will provide your student with the knowledge and support to help them have a meaningful experience abroad.
Here are some of the ways we support students:
- Pre-departure Support
- One-on-one advising with students who have identified health conditions.
- Medical assistance provider available for guidance on medications and health referrals.
- Wellness Guide
- USAC Toolkit for students and parents.
- Assistance in obtaining classroom accommodations for students with learning and/or physical disabilities.
- Health and Safety Team available to answer questions and provide guidance.
- Experienced On-Site Staff
- Resident Directors at Specialty Program sites have been with USAC for an average of 15 years.
- On-site staff have established relationships in the community, including with healthcare providers and local authorities.
- USAC has relationships with host university international office staff at partnership program sites and works with staff to address any serious concerns that arise.
- Staff works closely with housing providers to ensure all student accommodations are safe and conducive to a supportive academic and cultural experience.
- Students participate in mandatory orientation upon arrival at all program sites.
- Staff are experienced in dealing with a variety of student concerns, including adjustment, connecting socially, mental health issues, illness, academic issues, safety concerns, and misconduct.
- Comprehensive Insurance
- Policies and Procedures to Encourage Health and Safety
- Committed to follow local and CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.
- Student housing will be professionally cleaned prior to move-in.
- Students will sign a Program Agreement and view COVID-19 webinar before departure.
- Students will have access to advising and information regarding health/safety before departure from their Program Advisor and the Health and Safety Team.
- All students will sign COVID Safe Travels Pledge prior to departure.
- USAC will post signage where possible to remind students about masks, social distancing, and hand washing.
- Students will be encouraged to explore local area rather than travel away from the host country.
- Failure to follow laws, rules, and set procedures will result in disciplinary action, which may include removal from the program.
- Communication Plan - Illness or Health & Safety Incident
- USAC has an established communication plan in place at all program sites.
- In the event of an event that impacts the entire program, we will notify students, home schools, and emergency contacts via email.
- On-site staff will also contact students directly.
- For individual student incidents, the Resident Director is the main point of contact for students on-site.
- USAC Health and Safety team is also available to assist.
- Experienced Central Office Staff
- The Health and Safety Team has worked with student health and safety issues for many years. We collaborate with our program advisors, on-site directors and staff, and others to make our programs as safe as possible.
- We are available to parents, home schools and students to provide information and advice before and during the study abroad experience.
- How You Can Help Your Student
- Make sure health forms are completed accurately and fully.
- Check to see that your email addresses and phone numbers are correct in your student’s Gateway account so that we can contact you without delay if necessary.
- If your student experiences any problems while abroad, encourage them to contact the Resident Director or host university international office staff.
- We offer plenty of support for students while abroad, but they need to let us know they need help.
- Contact Us
- The USAC Health and Safety Team is available to help!
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for pre-departure health-related questions.
- Contact us at email@example.com for health and/or safety-related questions.
- Contact USAC Central Office at (775) 784-6569 in the event of an after-hours emergency that cannot wait until business hours and you will be directed to the emergency line where someone is available 24/7.
Elizabeth Huskin Rice
Health and Safety Manager & Support Officer
Dr. Christine Sieben
Health and Safety Manager & Support Officer
Health and Safety Assistant