Marist Abroad adheres to the safety guidelines of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, headquartered in Washington, D.C. NAFSA offers a useful framework and discussion of the responsibilities of safety abroad in terms of the home institution, overseas program, and student participant. Indeed, Marist, our programs overseas, and students all have a vital role to play in terms of minimizing risk and staying safe.
We would like to share with you what we are doing from our end and what we would like of you to do on your side:
- We are in touch on a regular basis with all of our programs, and routinely discuss any updates to safety and security contexts;
- We would like all of you to do the following:
- Be aware of your surroundings;
- Take responsibility and accountability for yourself. While incidents can occur anywhere at any time (including in the USA), how you carry yourself, choices you make in terms of where you go and at what time of day, and public displays of wealth are major factors in determining risk levels.
- Try to avoid being in large, touristy groups, while at the same time not travelling alone in uncertain contexts.
- US Americans have a global reputation for talking loudly. Be aware that carrying yourself outside of local cultural norms can make you more of a target.
- Stay Informed of political, economic, cultural, and social developments in your host country and other countries to which you travel.
- Follow the advice of Program Advisors;
- Stay calm at all times;
- Overseas programs are in touch with US Embassy and Consular officials and other sources of information as appropriate. Resident Advisors will provide appropriate and necessary local and regional information to you when necessary;
- All sites have our contact information in case of an emergency;
- Host sites will arrange information meetings and counseling sessions (when warranted) to assist you; feel free to talk to your Resident Advisors;
- If you are planning independent excursion, provide a detailed itinerary to the Resident Advisor as to the places you are visiting, with who, for how long, and name of hotel;
- For semester and academic year programs, if you did not book your flight through Advantage Travel, please send us a fax of your ticket for our records.
We work closely with our travel agents. Should the US government advise evacuation and/or if Marist College deems evacuation necessary for any reason, Advantage Travel will make arrangements to put you on the first available flights.
Each year thousands of US college and university students study abroad safely and return to the U.S. with stories of personal transformation, academic development, and enhanced career direction. In nearly all cases students study abroad without incident. It is nevertheless vital that we work together to make the experience a positive one, to minimize risk, and to effectively communicate and work to solve problems where they arise.
As always , we are here should you have any questions or concerns.