GEO Crisis Management
The vast majority of students who study abroad through GEO do so without encountering serious health or safety issues, but safety abroad cannot, of course, be guaranteed any more than it can be guaranteed on the home campus. Maximizing student, staff and faculty health and safety while abroad is GEO's top priority. GEO has a number of health and safety protocols in place to support this priority, and draws on more than 50 years of experience supporting students and faculty abroad in anticipating and resolving any health and safety issues that may arise.
Prospective students, faculty and their families are also encouraged to take health and safety preparations seriously.
Students receive information about health and safety preparation prior to departure, and comprehensive information specific to their site (including safety information, guidance and resources, and communication protocols to be followed in the event of emergency) after arrival at the site. GEO enrolls students in the Department of State STEP program. To find the nearest US Embassy or Consulate and select the country where you are.
GEO communications regarding emergency situations will be as follows:
- In the event of a health or safety emergency involving an individual student, GEO will make every effort to notify the student's sending school as soon as possible, and typically within 24 hours. GEO will also notify the student's emergency contact as allowed within FERPA guidelines and in coordination with the student's sending school.
- In the event of an emergency affecting an entire location (political unrest, natural disaster, etc.), GEO will post a message regarding the status of the program and students on our website, and send this information directly to all sending schools within 24 hours. Updates will be provided as available until the situation is resolved.
All participants are covered throughout the duration of their program by a comprehensive health insurance plan, which includes medical and security evacuation and repatriation insurance.
Student Advice and Responsibilities
- Students are expected to participate actively in preparation and orientation, pay attention to safety and health information, and comply with all health and safety requirements communicated to them by GEO staff.
- Students are expected and encouraged to carefully review their personal health with their primary care provider prior to departure, especially regarding any pre-existing conditions that may require treatment and/or be impacted by the experience overseas; to fully disclose any pre-existing medical concerns on their pre-departure medical form; and to discuss any anticipated health needs that may arise abroad with GEO staff prior to departure.
- Students are encouraged to make sure that their parent(s) or other emergency contacts have up-to-date local contact information for them.
- Students are encouraged to keep in regular contact with their emergency contacts, friends and family, and immediately notify them of any health or safety emergency or incident that affects them.
- Students are expected to notify the site staff of any health situation or of any safety concerns immediately.