Health and Safety
The Office of International Education (OIE) is committed to doing everything reasonably possible to ensure a healthy and safe experience for the participants in the study abroad programs it sponsors. Students also have individual responsibility to ensure their own health and safety.
The OIE considers health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of a student's participation in a study abroad program. We provide orientation meetings and materials to students prior to departure, including information about health, safety, security, cultural issues, and academic issues.
Richmond degree students selected to participate in UR semester abroad programs are automatically enrolled in ACE Travel Assistance (AXA), which provides health and travel coverage. Students participating in short trips sponsored or funded by Richmond are also enrolled in this coverage. In some cases, the insurance will be factored into the cost of the trip if it is a faculty-led program. Exception: Students studying in their home countries (e.g., a French national studying in France, etc) cannot be enrolled in ACE Travel Assistance (AXA).
While students are abroad, we monitor conditions in host countries and keep students informed of changes that are likely to affect their health or safety in a significant way. Our emergency response plan includes a means of communicating with students via email, Blackboard, and/or cell phone.
We ask students to share all health and safety information with their parents or guardians so that they can make informed decisions regarding participation in study abroad and behavior while abroad.
The OIE cannot:
- Guarantee or ensure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environment
- Monitor or control all of the daily decisions and activities of individual participants
- Prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous, or unwise activities or behavior
- Provide or pay for legal representation of its students while abroad or ensure that U.S. standards of due process will apply to them
- Fully replicate home campus support services at the host institution
- Assume responsibility for consequences arising from the failure of a student to disclose pertinent information to OIE in a timely manner
The OIE expects students to attend all orientation meetings at UR and abroad and heed the advice offered at those meetings. We ask that students include their parents or guardians in their study abroad plans, including sharing information with them regarding health and safety.
Students should stay in contact with the OIE, including:
- Giving accurate physical and mental health information to OIE in a timely manner
- Give the OIE your new contact information (address abroad and cell phone number)
- Keeping the OIE informed of your whereabouts and well being, especially when traveling away from the program site
While abroad, students are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the University of Richmond Code of Conduct and to comply with OIE's emergency procedures, with the rules of your host institution, and with the laws of your host country.
Students should not:
- Abuse drugs or alcohol
- Buy or lease a car while abroad (traffic-related injuries or fatalities are common when not familiar with local driving conditions)
- Engage in risky behavior