The view from Cinque Terre

The health, safety and security of all students is LeadAbroad’s highest priority. We are focused on preventative measures and we also have extensive emergency and communication response plans to activate when the need arises. The following provides an overview of our strategies to reduce risk and our general response in an emergency.

LeadAbroad Staff Support

LeadAbroad staff members are highly knowledgeable and prepared to support our students during all situations. We are committed to a strong program culture and relationships, made possible by our student to staff ratio of less than 15:1. Furthermore, our staff participates in extensive training including first aid and CPR training, pre-departure training and ongoing safety training during the program.

By staffing and training our team properly, LeadAbroad is able to provide a unique program design which creates daily interaction with students on most programs. In the event a student needs medical attention, LeadAbroad staff members will facilitate the doctor’s office or hospital visit and accompany the student.  If our medical insurance is required we are able to help the student navigate this process at the hospital and file a claim for reimbursement afterwards. Finally, staff members are always available to students 24/7 via cell phones, text or email.

In addition to our on-site program support, LeadAbroad employs a robust domestic team to serve parents, students and universities. The Atlanta-based office is available during regular business hours (404.720.5657) and for emergencies 24 hours a day. In the event of an emergency, we will post updates on our website.

Student Education & Support

Our student education is an important tool in reducing risk and keeping students healthy and safe abroad. This process begins with collecting health information from students and our pre-departure orientation, which provides students with an overview of health, safety and security. Our staff conducts a review of each student’s medical history and creates a plan to address any concerns. Upon arrival, our team members reiterate these pre-departure lessons and educate students about health and safety risks and tactics to help them stay safe in their new environment. Additionally, we continue to provide lessons and information throughout the program to keep students focused even as they become accustomed to living abroad.

In addition to directly educating students, LeadAbroad supports program participants through several tools. First, we register all students with the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This program ensures the U.S. government is aware of our students’ travel and connects them with information in an emergency situation. Second, all LeadAbroad students are automatically enrolled in our medical insurance which covers students in case of health accidents, medical evacuation, repatriation and other medical risks. Third, we provide students with emergency contact information and instructions that we strongly encourage them to keep on their person at all times. Finally, we leverage many social media and technology tools to communicate and locate students in a crisis situation. These tools are instrumental to our emergency communication plan and allow us to keep students safe.

Program Assessment

LeadAbroad programs are designed with safety and security in mind. This begins by placing our accommodations in neighborhoods with strong safety records. Most locations maintain 24-hour security and front desk support and are always proximate to medical facilities. LeadAbroad uses proven vendors who employ high quality vehicles, retain strong insurance policies and earn good references from trusted resources.

Health, Safety & Security Monitoring

Domestic and on-site LeadAbroad staff members continuously monitor and evaluate information from a variety of sources to predict and interpret program conditions. These resources include our direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, local partners and expert consultation. If conditions warrant, situations may merit changes to the itinerary and overall program. Our team is prepared to respond and communicate these changes should the need arise.

Emergency Response Protocol & Communication

While LeadAbroad is committed to ensuring the safety of all participants, we also proactively prepare and train our staff members for emergencies. Each of our programs has an emergency action plan in place which is communicated to students during our on-site orientation. In large scale situations, these plans begin with locating students through email, text and other technology tools and then assembling in a predetermined meeting space.

Though each emergency will require a unique response, our staff members are prepared to act and support students in any way necessary. Mass communication will occur through the alerts section of our website and our company phone number will also be available (404.720.5657).