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Policy 302.6

Contents

1 Introduction

1.1 The health and safety of Appalachian State University personnel and participants abroad are of primary concern to Appalachian and its overseas partners. Senior administrators, study abroad administrators, study abroad program leaders, and host institution representatives abroad share the responsibility for monitoring local and national conditions affecting participant health and safety and providing relevant information to program participants. At the same time, participants themselves are responsible for becoming familiar with all materials provided and for following health and safety guidelines provided by Appalachian and host institutions abroad.

1.2 One of the most important components of any crisis planning process is an emphasis on crisis avoidance and prevention. Many crises affecting U.S. participants overseas rise from lack of preparation, misconduct, or carelessness. Other problems occur when participants are victimized by social, political, or natural circumstances beyond their control. Avoidance and prevention of crises are best accomplished through a pro-active approach by establishing effective crisis management protocols. The Appalachian International Crisis Management Protocols (Appalachian-ICMP) outlines health and safety protocols for all education abroad programs sponsored or sanctioned by the University.

1.3 While each crisis is unique, there are guidelines, which if followed and adapted to the situation, can assist the Appalachian community in reducing or eliminating any negative results of the crisis. Therefore, the purpose of the Appalachian-ICMP is to outline areas of responsibility, provide guidelines, and checklists on procedures to follow in the event of an emergency involving Appalachian participants and personnel while traveling abroad for purposes of study, service learning activities, internships and/or research.

1.4 The Appalachian-ICMP describes the organization, staff, and coordination necessary to reduce risks to Appalachian personnel and participants in education abroad programs. The Appalachian-ICMP recognize Appalachian's responsibilities and recommends actions to be taken in response to a crisis, how to mitigate damage, and resume program activities as soon as possible. The Appalachian-ICMP also establishes the concepts and policies for the integration of resources of various units at Appalachian to address the crisis.

2 Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of Appalachian State University who might travel abroad.

3 Definitions

3.1 International Crisis

a sequence of interactions between the governments of two or more sovereign states in severe conflict, short of actual war, but involving the perception of a dangerously high probability of war

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Principles Underlying Appalachian-ICMP

4.1.1 Appalachian follows the Health and Safety Guidelines for Study Abroad recommended by NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and practices the following:

  1. Monitors U.S. Department of State Travel Warning and Advisories regarding the health and safety conditions at Appalachian-sponsored or sanctioned education abroad program sites and in other programs in which Appalachian participants are enrolled.
  2. Does not send participants to locations abroad with political unrest, the threat of terrorism, and/or war or where a U.S. Department of State travel warning is in effect.
  3. Provides health and safety information to enable participants to make informed decisions concerning education abroad opportunities.
  4. Provides orientation to faculty, program leaders, and participants, including information on how to deal with health and safety issues, potential risks, and appropriate Appalachian-ICMP.
  5. Requires all education abroad participants to obtain an international health insurance policy that covers emergency evacuation and repatriation - all education abroad participants and Appalachian personnel traveling on University business are required to carry sufficient medical insurance for illness or accidental injury occurring while overseas.
  6. Conducts appropriate inquiries regarding available medical services at the education abroad sites and provides information to help participants obtain the services they may need.
  7. Communicates applicable codes of conduct and the consequences of non-compliance to participants and takes appropriate action when participants violated codes of conduct.
  8. Consistent with all applicable laws, maintains good communication with all stakeholders who need to be informed in cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant health and safety incidents.
  9. Requires all education abroad participants to attend pre-departure orientation to educate students about health and safety issues while abroad.
  10. Requires all education abroad participants to participate in on-site orientation sessions in the host countries prior to beginning their experience abroad - these sessions provide valuable information on local health services and safety issues, relevant legal issues, and guidelines for dealing with emergencies and natural disasters such as tropical storms, floods and earthquakes.
  11. Provides emergency action protocol that enables program leaders abroad to contact the Appalachian University Police on a 24-hour basis.
  12. Coordinates the on-campus action of the Appalachian International Crisis Response Team in case of a crisis abroad involving education abroad participants.

4.2 Defining An International Crisis or Emergency

A crisis is a serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly, demands immediate action, and can often be minimized with good planning. In the Appalachian-ICMP, we make a distinction between real crises and perceived crises.

4.2.1 Real Crises

4.2.1.1 A real crisis or emergency poses current threats to Appalachian participants, faculty and staff at overseas locations. Examples of real crises and emergencies include the following:

  1. Death of a participant or faculty/staff member.
  2. Terrorist threats and/or action.
  3. Serious injury or illness that requires hospitalization or makes it impossible for the participant or faculty/staff member to continue the program.
  4. Health epidemics (e.g., Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or flu).
  5. Emotional or psychological condition requiring removal from the situation or professional attention.
  6. Being accused of committing a crime.
  7. Being a victim of a serious crime (e.g., assault or rape).
  8. A situation--either in the U.S. or at a program site--that causes serious concern, i.e., a political uprising (violent civil disorder or military action), a natural disaster, an act of war, or other event causing or threatening harm to program participants or faculty/staff member.
  9. Sudden evacuation of a participant or faculty/staff member in response to an emergency situation in the U.S.
  10. U.S. State Department's travel warning issued specific to a country, region, or world-wide.

4.2.1.2 The Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development or his/her designee will determine whether there is an actual threat for Appalachian participants and faculty/staff. The decision on the course of action to take is reached after consultation with host institutions and colleagues overseas, academic program leaders, administrative officers at Appalachian, and any other person or agency with appropriate information and judgment useful to the decision making process.

4.2.1.3 The U.S. Department of State regularly provides useful and appropriate guidance, especially its posted travel advisories and other sources of global intelligence. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), its national counterparts in other countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide useful and appropriate information for health-related crises.

4.2.2 Perceived Crises

4.2.2.1 Perceived crises or emergencies result from events that are not immediately threatening to the health or safety of program participants or faculty/staff, but which may be viewed as such by family and friends in the U.S. or the media. The Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development or his/her designee will rely heavily on the judgment of the program leader and/or representative of the host institution abroad in making the final decision on the course of action to be pursued in cases of perceived emergencies.

4.2.2.2 Both real and perceived crises share three common aspects:

  1. They can result in disruption or early termination of the education abroad program;
  2. They usually cause significant emotional stress to the individuals involved, resulting in predictable cognitive, physical, and behavioral reactions; and
  3. They can be managed.

4.2.3 Importance of the Participants' Selection and Orientation in Crisis Management

4.2.3.1 The process of managing a potential crisis begins with the approval of an education abroad program proposed by a participant, Appalachian faculty/staff and selection of program participants. Program leaders and representatives of the host institution abroad must be informed of their roles and responsibilities. Education abroad staff at Appalachian or program leaders are responsible for providing thorough pre-departure and on-site orientations. The orientation should include information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country, potential health and safety risks, and appropriate emergency response measures.

4.2.3.2 The following are steps program leaders should take to be proactive in this regard:

  1. Consider the health and safety issues of each proposed program activity in the initial risk assessment stage of a new program proposal;
  2. Consider health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual's participation in the program;
  3. Communicate applicable codes of conduct and the consequences of non-compliance to all participants;
  4. During the participant screening process, consider factors, such as disciplinary history that may impact the safety and health of the individual or group;
  5. Provide information for participants regarding when and where Appalachian's responsibility ends and the aspects of participants' overseas experiences that are beyond Appalachian's control, (i.e., Appalachian cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environment); and
  6. Inform all participants of sexual assault and harassment policies, including counseling and medical services, procedure for reporting, the handling of disciplinary actions, and options for changing living arrangements after an alleged sexual offense has occurred.

4.2.3.3 Crisis management is the process of preparing for, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from a crisis situation. Preparation, communication, and certain administrative procedures are essential in managing a crisis. Crisis responses occur both abroad and on the Appalachian campus.

4.3 Appalachian-ICRP

The Appalachian International Crisis Response Plan (Appalachian-ICRP) provides a framework for contingency planning and defines the communication network to be used in a crisis situation. We intend for this to be a living document that will be reviewed and updated annually. The Appalachian-ICMP will be distributed to all study abroad program leaders, and representatives of the host institution abroad, Appalachian-ICRP Team members, the Office of International Education and Development staff, the Vice Chancellors, the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Chancellor. It is strongly recommended that a copy of the Plan be kept at one's University office, as well as at home given that a crisis can occur at any hour of the day or night.

4.3.1 Appalachian-ICRP Team

4.3.1.1 The Chancellor charges the Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development with the responsibility of coordinating the management of crises affecting participants in all education abroad programs sponsored or sanctioned by the University. The Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development is assisted in this role by the Appalachian-ICRP Team. The Team addresses critical issues involving Appalachian participants, faculty and staff abroad. In the event of a crisis or emergency, the Appalachian-ICRP Team will be mobilized to assess and respond to the crisis or emergency.

4.3.1.2 The Team is comprised of permanent and temporary members depending on their positions. Permanent Team members or their designees include:

  1. Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development (Chair);
  2. Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Dean of Students (Co-Chair);
  3. Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs or his/her designee;
  4. University Chief of Police;
  5. University Emergency Management Coordinator;
  6. Appalachian General Counsel or his/her designee;
  7. Director of University Health Services;
  8. Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services;
  9. Director of Appalachian Overseas Education Program;
  10. Director of International Student Exchange and Study Abroad; and
  11. Executive Director of International Education and Development.

4.3.1.3 Temporary Team members or their designees include:

  1. Study abroad program leader;
  2. College dean(s) representing program participants; and
  3. Department chair(s) representing program participants.

4.3.1.4 If the Chair or Co-Chair of the Team believes that activation of the entire Team is necessary in response to a crisis or perceived crisis, he/she will notify the University Police at 828-262-8000 and request that the Team be activated through the AppState?-ALERT notification system. The initial message will include a time and location of the initial meeting. Notifications that do not require the entire Team to be activated will be handled on an individual basis by the Chair or designee(s).

4.3.1.5 The responsibilities of the Appalachian-ICRP Team include the following:

  1. Addressing immediate action necessary to maintain the safety and health of program participants, faculty and staff;
  2. Addressing health, safety, academic concerns, financial aid, public relations, and legal liability issues;
  3. Identifying additional appropriate steps to take abroad (e.g., addressing student reactions, creating a written action plan, and sending Appalachian faculty/staff to program site);
  4. Developing and helping with an evacuation plan should one become necessary;
  5. Preparing a list of persons to be alerted;
  6. Developing a communication document to be utilized by all personnel involved;
  7. Developing a daily communication plan; and
  8. After the crisis, assessing the effectiveness of the crisis preparedness procedures and revising as appropriate.

4.3.2 Communication

At the heart of any crisis management protocol is the procedure by which key individuals and offices are notified of the likelihood of occurrence or presence of a crisis situation. Effective communication is critical to the Appalachian-ICMP. The Appalachian-ICMP outlines the communication system and procedures to be followed in a crisis situation.

4.3.2.1 Emergency Calls to Appalachian

The person calling from abroad to Appalachian to report a crisis or an emergency (program leader, program participant, or representative of the host institution abroad) should only have to dial one number which is the 24 hour contact number for Appalachian University Police (828-262-8000). The caller should provide the Appalachian Police with appropriate details of the crisis situation following the guidelines provided in the International Incident Report Form. Upon receiving the information, the Appalachian University Police officer will immediately contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development or Executive Director of International Education and Development who will take further action.

4.3.2.2 Information to the Media and Public

During the crisis situation, Appalachian will assume responsibility for dealing with the media. Media professionals elicit information in the most trying of situations, especially during a crisis. Information might be sensationalized and broadcasted, often before family members or Appalachian university leaders have been informed. Inconsistent or premature responses to media may produce unnecessary anxiety and fear for concerned parties which may complicate an already difficult situation. For these reasons, all media relations will be coordinated and conducted by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, in consultation with the Appalachian-ICRP Team, Chancellor, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, and Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development, will prepare a statement for press release to appropriate media services (depending upon the scope of the crisis) and set up a system to respond to public inquiries. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs or his/her designee is the only official spokesperson authorized to speak to the media on behalf of Appalachian during a crisis situation. This will insure that the information provided to the media and general public is accurate, consistent and non-inflammatory.

If an Appalachian participant is involved in an emergency situation, a program leader or and representative of the host institution abroad should never provide the name of the participant to the media prior to consulting with the staff in the Office of International Education and Development.

4.3.3 Participants Communication with Friends and Families

4.3.3.1 A participant's instinct when a crisis or an emergency occurs is to call, text message, or e-mail home or friends. However, a panicky cryptic telephone call, text message, or e-mail message could elicit unnecessary anxiety and impair reasoned judgment. Emergency communications MUST be discussed with participants prior to their departure and again at the inception of any crisis/emergency situation. Program participants abroad should be careful about their discussions with local or international media about the crisis. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs is the only official spokesperson authorized to speak to the media on behalf of Appalachian during a crisis situation.

4.3.4 Notification of Next of Kin in Case of Death Abroad

4.3.4.1 In the event of a death abroad, the Appalachian Dean of Students (not the program leader or representative of the host institution abroad) will be the person designated to appropriately and promptly notify the next of kin. It is the responsibility of the program leader or representatives of the host institution abroad to immediately notify the Office of International Education and Development staff first and then the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the participant's death. In the event of death of a U.S. citizen abroad, appropriate U.S. Embassy officials will take charge. In most cases, the next of kin are contacted directly by representatives of the U.S. Department of State. This, however, may take place after Appalachian has already notified the next of kin.

4.3.5 Evacuation

In some cases (e.g., a serious civil disturbance or a naturally-occurring disaster), it may be necessary to evacuate participants from the program site or host country. As a crisis situation unfolds, the program leader or representative of the host institution abroad together with the Office of International Education and Development staff and the Appalachian-ICRP Team will assess the nature and extent of the emergency and evaluate the danger to participants, including:

  1. The incident's proximity to the program site; its impact on the availability of housing, food, water, and medical supplies; the protection of law and order; the intensity of military presence in the program area; and if political, the target of the unrest.
  2. Consultations with U.S. Embassy or Consulate personnel concerning the feasibility of continuing program activities, and the ability of participants and faculty/staff to relocate the program in a different site.
4.3.5.1 Criteria/Factors for Suspending or Cancelling a Program

Appalachian will consider the following factors in making a decision to suspend or cancel an education abroad program:

  1. Partner institution or program leader's recommendation of suspension or cancellation;
  2. Travel warning and/or specific directive by the U.S. Department of State and/or U.S. Embassy;
  3. Travel warning and/or specific directive by the World Heath Organization and/or the U.S. Center for Disease Control;
  4. Outbreak of hostilities between the U.S. and the host country;
  5. Terrorist activities and/or a declaration of martial law in the program host city or country;
  6. Civil unrest or violence that affects participant safety and security;
  7. Declaration of war by a third country against the host country of the program;
  8. Protracted or indefinite closure of the host university;
  9. Inability of the program leader to organize and carry out the academic program at the host location or alternative location; or
  10. Prolonged disruption of public utilities and/or services at the host institution, site or country.
4.3.5.2 Evacuation Procedures

Should evacuation be deemed necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of program participants, the following procedures will be followed:

  1. The Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development or his/her designee will contact the U.S. Department of State's Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (202-674-5225) to discuss the need for evacuation and any measures that the U.S. is taking to evacuate its citizens from the host country.
  2. The program leader or representative of the host institution abroad will contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host country to discuss the need for evacuation and any measures that the U.S. is taking to evacuate its citizens from the host country.
  3. The Appalachian-ICRP Team or staff will develop an evacuation plan, including transportation modes and travel routes, determination of the cost of the evacuation, and the possibility of reducing the level of danger by dispersing participants in small groups to reconvene later in another location.
  4. The program leader or representative of the host institution abroad will share information with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate about Appalachian's evacuation plan.
  5. The program leader or representative of the host institution abroad will assess and mitigate participants' concern(s) by doing the following:
    1. Recommend appropriate participant behavior (i.e., keep a low profile, blend in with the local population, etc.);
    2. Review the course of action with program participants. If any of the participants refuses to comply with the evacuation procedure he/she should sign a release form;
    3. Remove public signs that indicate U.S. affiliation. Cancel public activities or large group functions that could draw attention to the program participants;
    4. After the participants have been evacuated to safety, the Appalachian-ICRP Team will make academic and financial arrangements appropriate to the program at the time of its termination.

4.4 Planning Travel Abroad

All Appalachian education abroad programs should adhere to and implement the procedures outlined below in planning for travels abroad.

4.4.1 Travel Advisories

4.4.1.1 Education abroad staff, program leaders, and university personnel traveling abroad should regularly review the U.S. Department of State's travel advisories both when planning education abroad programs and prior to traveling abroad. See http://travel.state.gov (which includes safety and security information specific to countries). Travel should never take place to countries on the U.S. Department of State's warning list.

4.4.2 Travel and Transportation

4.4.2.1 Participants on independent study, internship, service learning, direct enrollment, or exchange programs abroad should provide complete travel and contact information for their files maintained in the Office of International Education and Development at Appalachian.

4.4.2.2 For faculty-led programs, information on travel methods and routes should be as specific as possible (by bus, train, air, sea, private, and/or commercial). Program leaders should present and prioritize alternative methods of travel and routes in the event that the usual route is no longer safe or feasible. Maps should be available demarcating participant and faculty/staff sites, meeting points, pick-up points; and maps should include estimated travel time under normal circumstances. In airports, airplanes, trains and train stations, participants should engage in appropriate conduct. All education abroad participants should:

  1. Maintain a low profile; blend in with the population; and not wear clothing with identifying information.
  2. Not accept anything from a stranger ("accept nothing from anyone" is a good rule of thumb).
  3. Not agree to watch someone else's bags regardless of how innocent the request may sound. Participants should also not allow strangers to handle their bags.
  4. Keep their luggage with them at all times?once they have checked in, make sure no one gets near their carry-on luggage.
  5. Report any unattended baggage immediately to authorities.
  6. Comply immediately with security instructions from airport, airline, train or train station personnel.
  7. Be patient and cooperative and answer questions truthfully when asked by appropriate security personnel representing airports, airlines, trains or train stations. Searches of luggage ensure the safety of all (including the Appalachian participants) aboard an airplane, train or in a public place.

4.4.3 Health Care Issues

  1. The program leader and/or participants should consult the Appalachian Travel Clinic well before the date of travel abroad to receive health-related information or vaccinations recommended for the country where the participants are going.
  2. The University of North Carolina (UNC) system health insurance is provided to all participants in Appalachian education abroad programs and all personnel traveling on University business for the duration of the programs. Exceptions are made for students who participate in private provider programs whose required insurance is comparable to the North Carolina Program. Health insurance coverage is provided through HTH Worldwide Insurance Services located in Fairfax, Virginia ([www.HTHstudents.com www.HTHstudents.com]). The UNC system policy provides excellent low-cost comprehensive primary coverage with no deductible. Participants should be aware that any injury or illness resulting from alcohol use is excluded from coverage.
  3. Emergency assistance is included in the UNC system health insurance. In the case of medical evacuations, HTH Worldwide Insurance coordinates all arrangements. If participants need help finding an English-speaking doctor or need other assistance in obtaining appropriate health care, they should contact either of the numbers listed below and call collect if necessary.
    1. 1-610-254-8771 or 1-610-254-8772 (collect call from outside the U.S.)
    2. 1-888-243-2358 (toll-free call inside the U.S.)

4.4.3.1 Request verification of required immunizations prior to departure. Contact Appalachian's Health Services at (828) 262-6578 or check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov.

4.4.4 Emergencies

  1. Develop an emergency notification plan with contact information and details on how to access emergency funds as well as an emergency evacuation plan.
  2. All participants shall supply the name and telephone numbers of emergency contact persons. Copies of the master list shall be left at the Office of International Education and Development for reference and at the Dean of Students Office.
  3. For programs that involve host families, outline procedures for host families in case a participant is injured in their home.
  4. Make sure that information on disciplinary history that may impact on the safety and health of the individual or group is available.
  5. Make sure that all participants have signed the Participant Agreement, available from the Office of International Education and Development.

4.4.5 Faculty/Staff Pre-Departure Orientation

4.4.5.1 Prior to the travel, the education abroad staff should conduct a pre-departure orientation for faculty/staff. At the minimum, the orientation should address the following issues:

  1. The need to develop a detailed itinerary which specifies course activities and activities that are outside the scope of course work.
  2. Cultural, safety, and other issues.
  3. Roles of faculty and staff while abroad.
  4. Duties of program leader and foreign national staff, if any.
  5. Travel procedures and processes.
  6. Reporting incidents, including serious injuries, crimes, medical problems, and others.
  7. The need to provide periodic updates to appropriate staff persons in the Office of International Education and Development.

4.4.6 Participant Pre-Departure Orientation

Education abroad staff or program leaders should conduct participant pre-departure orientations. At the minimum, the orientation should address the health and safety issues below:

4.4.6.1 Emergencies
  1. Education abroad staff or program leaders shall be responsible for obtaining information about and advising participants on how to seek help in emergency situations, including medical care, housing, food, and law enforcement assistance.
  2. Remind participants of the aid available from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and how to contact them. One of the responsibilities of the U.S. Embassy diplomatic corps is tending to the needs of U.S. nationals.
  3. Program leaders MUST register all participants with the U.S. Department of State. Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens traveling abroad to other countries. The registration allows U.S. citizens to record information about their upcoming trip abroad that the U.S. Department of State can use to assist them in case of an emergency. Registration can be done online at Travel.State.Gov: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.
  4. Students on semester/year or private provider programs assume the responsibility of registering themselves. Instruction on how to do so is provided during pre-departure.
4.4.6.2 Personal Safety
  1. Encourage a "buddy system" and advise participants that they should not travel alone, especially at night.
  2. Avoid crowds, protest groups, volatile situations, and known dangerous places.
  3. Lock doors and windows of rooms.
  4. Do not divulge personal information to strangers.
  5. Remind participants to be inconspicuous by keeping a low profile and to not draw attention to nationality or wealth.
  6. Advise participants of any planned activities in the program that may require physical exertion.
4.4.6.3 Behavior
  1. Discuss code of conduct and expectations.
  2. Provide information on counseling and support programs available in host country.
  3. Discourage abuse of alcohol or illegal use of drugs and discuss consequences of such behavior. Participants should be informed that Appalachian does not provide attorneys.
  4. Educate participants as to cultural differences including local laws pertaining to illegal drug and alcohol use.
  5. Emphasize proper use of medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter).
4.4.6.4 Vehicle Use While Abroad

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide are killed every year due to road accidents, and as many as 50 million are injured or disabled. The majority of these deaths, approximately 85 percent, occur in low to middle-income countries. According to the U.S. Department of State, an estimated more than 300 U.S. citizens die each year due to road accidents abroad and thousands more are injured. The majority of road crash victims (injuries and fatalities) in developing countries are not the motor vehicle occupants, but pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists and non-motor vehicle occupants.

Participants on Appalachian sponsored or sanctioned education abroad programs are strongly discouraged from renting or driving vehicles while in foreign countries. Participants should recognize that driving or renting motor vehicles and motor bikes expose them to risks. Should participants elect to rent or drive a vehicle for their personal use they are advised to make sure that they have adequate insurance coverage for the host country and a host-country driver's license or an international driving permit (http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html).

Participants on education abroad programs who decide to drive are urged to carefully review the Road Safety section of the U.S. Department of State's Country Specific Information,which is available for every country in the world. The Road Safety section is intended to provide U.S. citizens with an overview of road conditions in a particular country. Participants may also want to review the U.S. Department of State's Background Notes (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/) for any country in which they intend to drive or travel by road as a passenger. Also check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the countries where you will visit to learn about local requirements for driver's licenses, road permits, and auto insurance. It is important to understand the rules and laws of the road in other countries, as they can differ significantly from those in the United States. Participants should know that they will be responsible for obtaining adequate insurance to cover risks of liabilities, as well as costs of litigation and other expenses that may be incurred as a result of accidents or infraction of local laws in the host country.

In situation where the program leader decides to contract the services of a local transportation company, he/she must check and make sure that the company has sufficient insurance coverage and conduct the driver's background check.

4.4.6.5 Early Termination of Travel
  1. Remind participants of Appalachian travel cancellation and refund policies found on the website: www.international.appstate.edu/education/shortterm.html (see the Courses, Payment Schedule, or Cancellation Policy Form link).
  2. Remind participants of the process and criteria for an individual participant's termination from the program.
  3. Be clear that travel costs not included in program costs are the participant's responsibility.
4.4.6.6 Communications

Encourage participants to communicate and check in with their parents from time to time. Remind participants and program leaders that they must register themselves with the U.S. Embassy upon arriving in the host country. Program leaders should maintain weekly or bi-weekly communication (depending on the length of the program) with appropriate staff persons in the Office of International Education and Development. Program leaders and participants should check the U.S. Department of State website for periodic updates on travel advisories, during their trip.

4.4.6.7 Participant Agreement

All participants must sign a Participant Agreement which clearly outlines expected participant conduct, the consequences for non-compliance, and the responsibility assumed for personal activities, including the use of a motor vehicle abroad. Participants who elect to organize their own independent travels before and/or after the official Appalachian program's dates should complete and sign an Assumption of Risk Indemnity.

4.4.6.8 Location and Inspection of Host Country

Conduct inquiry of the health and safety risks of the local environment of the program, including program sponsored accommodations, events, excursions and other activities on an ongoing basis and share information with participants. Education abroad participants should not reside adjacent to U.S. government offices or facilities abroad (e.g., embassies) since official buildings are potential targets for terrorist activities.

4.5 Appendices

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

7.1 Medical Emergencies

For medical emergencies, contact HTH Worldwide Global Assistance Services:

  • 1-610-254-8771 or 1-610-254-8772 (collect call from outside the U.S.)
  • 1-888-243-2358 (toll-free from within the U.S.)

7.2 Health Insurance

For health insurance related issues, contact HTH Worldwide at: 1-610-254-8769 (collect call from outside the U.S.)

7.3 Office of International Education and Development

  • Jesse Lutabingwa, Associate Vice Chancellor

Office: 828-262-2046 Home: 828-355-9319 E-mail: lutabingwajl@appstate.edu

  • Robert White, Executive Director

Office: 828-262-2811 Home: 336-385-6424 E-mail: whitera@appstate.edu

  • Nancy Wells, Director of International Student Exchange and Study Abroad

Office: 828-262-2816 Home: 828-264-2791 E-mail: wellsnw@appstate.edu

  • Meg Marck-Kennedy, Director of Appalachian Overseas Education Programs

Office: 828-262-6692 Home: 828-262-1423 E-mail: marckkennedy@appstate.edu

  • Nathalie Turner, Assistant Director, of Appalachian Overseas Education Programs

Office: 828-262-8034 Home: 828-265-4915 E-mail: turnernm@appstate.edu

  • Jeanne d'Arc Gomis, Assistant Director, International Student Exchange and Study Abroad

Office: 828-262-2465 Home: 828-262-5144 E-mail: gomisjd@appstate.edu

7.4 Appalachian University Police*

Emergency Line: 828-262-8000

  • Please call the Appalachian University Police only after trying to reach the Office of International Education and Development staff without success or after office hours and weekends.

7.5 Office of Student Development

J.J. Brown , Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Dean of Students Office: 828-262-2060 E-mail: brownjj1@appstate.edu

7.6 Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

Dan Jones, Director Office: 828-262-3180 E-mail: jonesdl@appstate.edu

7.7 Student Health Services

Robert Ellison, MD, Director of Health Services Office: 828-262-3100 E-mail: ellisonrs@appstate.edu

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates