Students' safety is our top priority. Our commitment to safety is three-fold: first, as a condition of program approval; second, as an integral part of student meetings and Pre-Departure Orientation; and third, in our Crisis Management Plan should an event (natural, political, or otherwise) occur while students are abroad.
First and foremost, students are not permitted to study in a country for which a Travel Warning has been issued by the US Department of State. If a Travel Warning is issued prior to departure or while students are participating in a program in that country, the program will be canceled or alternate arrangements will be made outside of the affected country. Students will also not be approved to participate in outside programs which do not demonstrate adequate safety and emergency preparedness. See the University of Virginia Policy on Student International Travel for more information.
UVA Education Abroad Advisors work with students individually as well as at the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation to educate students on how to prepare themselves for a safe experience abroad. Topics covered include general safety, traveling safety, medical concerns, and responsible and respectful behavior.
While we hope for smooth and uninterrupted programs, unexpected world events can occur. The International Studies Office has developed a Crisis Management Plan to handle emergency situations. The ISO utilizes a variety of safety and risk management organizations to gather information regarding world events and responds accordingly. When appropriate, updates will be shared with those individuals who students have identified as emergency contacts. Students, parents and family are encouraged to read more information related to Health and Safety in the Education Abroad Handbook.