CIS Abroad On-Site Risk Management and Preparation for 2024

Dec 13, 2023 9:02:26 PM

CIS Abroad is heading into 2024 with a renewed focus on Risk Management and Risk Mitigation.  We’ve made great strides in recent years to prepare our on-site staff and to design our programs in a way that mitigates risk and prepares CIS Abroad for crisis and emergency response.  Recently we’ve invested in our services and systems, we’ve developed new relationships with vendors, and we’ve further trained our staff.  Our goal is to make 2024 the smoothest year ever for CIS Abroad’s students, staff, and partners.  

Here are some of the things that we’ve done and are continuing to work on to reach this goal:

  • All CIS Abroad Site Directors are independently employed by CIS Abroad, not by the academic institutions that we partner with abroad.  
    • On-site staff priorities are aligned with CIS Abroad and there are no competing interests when it comes to program delivery, communication protocols, enforcement of rules and regulations, and communication.  
  • All CIS Abroad Site Directors are CPR and First Aid certified
  • All CIS Abroad Site Directors are Mental Health First Aid trained
  • Site Directors will carry a very well equipped and updated first aid kit on all program outings and excursions
    • We want CIS Abroad site directors to be prepared for things that happen to students beyond knicks and scratches.  We want them to be able to help students who need sunscreen, have blisters, are feeling dehydrated, or worse. Things happen and the better prepared we are, the smoother the student experience will be.  Site Directors have students' backs - this is just one small way that we show that we care and we’re prepared.
  • CIS Abroad’s Site Directors review known risk factors in the local environment to help mitigate risk.  Some examples of this are:
    • In earthquake zones we talk with students about earthquake safety, knowing that many students do not come from areas where earthquakes are a threat. 
    • Where we know that students will be heading to the beach we talk with students about ocean safety, knowing that some of our participants are not experienced in navigating big waves or rip currents
    • In places where eating certain types of street food can cause illness we make sure that students are aware of tips and tricks for enjoying food safely.  
  • CIS Abroad has invested in ‘Let’s Talk’ a mental health support service 
    • This service, modeled after Cornell University’s Let’s Talk, is delivered and funded by CIS Abroad.  The idea behind this service is to create the easiest possible access to a trained mental health professional…easy scheduling, no billing, no red tape.   
    • Our in-house mental health professional knows how to work through the unique challenges that US college aged students who are traveling far from home are facing.  
  • CIS Abroad has recently increased the benefits in our Medical Accident and Illness Insurance policy for all program participants
    • Our participants are covered for up to $500,000 for accidents and illness
    • Parents or guardians are able to use a $5,000 reunion benefit if their student is hospitalized for 24 or more hours.  This benefit can be split between parents. 

CIS Abroad knows that our US university partners, our students, and their parents rely on us to deliver quality program experiences abroad.  We work hard to make sure that we’ve planned for exceptional cultural, academic, and residence life experiences.  We pride ourselves in delivering amazing programs that help students to further their educational and career goals. We also know that by focusing on Risk Management and Risk Mitigation we’re helping to set students up for successful experiences abroad.  We’re working to make 2024 the best year ever for CIS Abroad’s students, staff and partners.