Health and Safety
The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. As an integral part of our orientation program, students receive site-specific health and safety information tailored to the location and unique circumstances of each of our semester programs. CELL staff also receive ongoing training in health and safety issues. Health and safety concerns cover the following areas:
- Students are housed in clean, safe lodges and/or homestays throughout the entire semester.
- On an ongoing basis, CELL assesses the health and safety conditions for all programs, including developing and maintaining emergency-preparedness plans and a crisis-response plan (includes an evacuation plan in case of an emergency).
- During our programs, CELL provides access to appropriate health care facilities as needed.
- All students participate in a semester orientation, including information on health, safety, food and water, legal, environmental, cultural, political, and religious concerns in the host country. Appropriate emergency response measures are also covered during orientation.
- Student’s maturity, motivation, physical and emotional preparedness, disciplinary history, and health are considered in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual’s participation in our programs.
- CELL has a Code of Conduct for all semester programs and communicates the code and the consequences of noncompliance to participants. In order to participate in a CELL semester program, students must agree to the conditions outlined in our Code of Conduct.
- All participants are required to be insured, to submit a copy of a recent physical examination (including their medical history), and to show evidence of immunizations (where required).
- CELL continuously monitors possible changes in country conditions.
- All vendors, including lodging, transportation, food, and program services are hired based on their reputation for quality service and advised of our expectations regarding their role in the health and safety of participants and our expectations regarding quality service.
- CELL staff receive ongoing health and safety training, and the availability of professional and medical services is explained to participants.
- In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant health and safety circumstances, CELL staff maintain effective communication with students, staff, program sponsors, and others who need to know.
- CELL’s in-country partners have lived and worked in the regions where our programs run, and at least one staff member is always on call 24 hours a day.
- In preparation for and during our programs, CELL staff are alert to and knowledgeable about local conditions and make resources available to students while they are abroad.
- CELL staff and in-country partners review and assess the safety of travel to and within the countries where our programs are offered.
- We monitor the U.S. Department of State consular information – especially if a travel warning has been issued.
- We stay in touch with our affiliates and program sponsors.
- When you are abroad, CELL instructors keep a copy of your passport and emergency contact information.
- Our policies and procedures receive ongoing and careful attention from CELL staff, as well as from our experienced staff overseas.
- The CELL work environment is substance-free for employees and students. Participation in a CELL semester program is much more than an academic experience. Our educational programs are tight-knit “learning communities” where students, faculty, community and environmental leaders, and others work hand-in-hand toward a common goal called sustainability. Each member of our community has responsibility for creating an environment which recognizes the intrinsic worth of all people, endorses human dignity, nurtures individual potential, encourages team building, and promotes environmental stewardship. Personal integrity and honesty are essential for developing the trust needed for a healthy community. CELL employees and participants agree to maintain the highest ethical behavior and to support your fellow community members in doing the same. This includes abstaining from use of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, etc.
- It is important that participants and families understand that we place a top priority on health and safety, but that we cannot eliminate all risks associated with a study-abroad program. We can, however, reduce these risks through thoughtful planning and attention to the details of health and safety.
What can parents do for your student?
- Have a valid passport (in case of emergency).
- Purchase a flexible airline ticket.
- Have your student leave her/his itinerary and contact information with you.
- Monitor the State Department and program provider’s websites.
- Have copies of your student’s passport, credit card(s), ATM card and other financial information.
- Make sure your student has an international cell phone/calling card/Skype access, etc. once s/he is abroad.
- Keep in contact with the CELL office in Maine.