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At Asbury University, we prioritize the safety of our students as they travel abroad with our faculty and staff members. It is important to us that our faculty and staff members are well informed, properly trained, and equipped to prepare students for international travel. In the case of The China Semester abroad, this includes:

  • As the University plans for travel courses and study abroad programs, each and every program is reviewed by the Risk Management person on campus as well as our University’s Insurer, which is currently AIG. We also consult with the U.S. State Department travel advisories as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for country/region pertinent information. See the current U.S. State Department information on China.
  • Prior to departure, students are required to attend a Study Abroad Orientation in which they go over necessary safety procedures as well as other pertinent and preventative information related to living and traveling abroad. Staff and Faculty members who are leading the trip also undergo orientation where they review the “Emergency Response Procedures”, are properly trained for CPR & First Aid, receive thorough briefings by the Counseling Center, Student Development Office, and by the Academic Accessibility Resources (AAR) coordinator.
  • All students who travel abroad with Asbury are required to have an International Student Identification Card (ISIC), which includes a travel insurance policy that helps cover emergencies abroad whether they are dental, health, or political.
  • We encourage all students to register with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
  • Throughout the semester, the Global Engagement Office is in frequent contact with both the Faculty lead and with the students, checking in on everyone. We continue to monitor travel advisories and have a plan in place in case any situation should arise.
  • After the study abroad semester, students are required to attend a debrief to assist them with entry back into campus life here on the stateside. Students also have the opportunity to meet with the Counseling Center should they feel it is necessary or helpful to their adjustment back in the U.S. and on campus.
  • As a study abroad alumni, students are now part of a campus cohort that meets monthly with the Global Engagement Office to share in on their experience with their fellow classmate as well as continuous check-ins to help them with reverse cultural shock.

At the mandatory Study Abroad Orientation, Asbury staff addresses the following:

  • State Department advisories (if pertinent)
  • Information concerning health insurance, safety issues, and standards of conduct
  • Regional information on crime, illness, and emergencies that may reasonably be expected to occur in the host city/country
  • Information about the availability of medical care in the host city/country
  • An emergency phone contact list linking students with those to report to in the event of an emergency (All students are required to have cell phones)
  • A list of emergency contacts on the home campus and a list of contacts at the program
  • An orientation to cultural practices and beliefs
  • Particular risks of criminal activity are identified
  • Health risks
  • Risks posed by the political climate, including war, civil unrest, or terrorism, and action plans should these risks unfold
  • The plan of action following possible natural disasters in the area, such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis
  • Transportation problems, such as poor roads
  • Guidelines on “free time” and excursions