Unfortunately, emergency situations do arise both at home and while abroad. In the event of an emergency, students should engage in the following activities as appropriate:
- Contact the Site or International Program Director immediately.
- Students should have this information with them at all times.
- Local Resident Directors provide students with emergency contact information upon arrival.
- Contact their insurance company.
- This step is especially important, if a student needs to be evacuated or need to have someone flown onsite as some insurance companies require that company representatives make the arrangements (rather than reimburse customers later).
- Students should acquaint themselves with their insurance policies before they go abroad.
- Contact the:
- Study Abroad Office: 1.903.813.2309 (M-F 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CST)
- Campus Police: 1.903.813.2555 (anytime)
- Contact parents.
- We encourage this line of communication that way students have solid information and resources before they contact parents and that way emergency action plans are already put into action.
Emergency Prevention and Preparation
- Students should register with the STEP program and know which U.S. Embassy is closest to their abroad location.
- Registration allows student to receive State Department warnings and to be formally recognized as an American citizen abroad in the event that a country-wide evacuation is required.
- Ensure that the Study Abroad Office has contact information for the student and program site director as well.
- Students should discuss how the family may handle a family emergency before they go abroad, such as a death in the family, severe illness of someone at home, etc.
- Ensure that family members have the student’s current contact information and the site director’s information as well.
- At least one family member should have an active passport.
- If there is an emergency and a guardian needs to go the student, it takes 4-6 weeks to process a passport application.
- Family members should know what insurance the student has and who their beneficiary is.
- Austin College requires that students complete a notarized Power of Attorney before they leave the country.
- Leave copies of these materials with close family members.
- Stay informed about local political and social situations.
- While abroad, always tell someone where you are going and what general time you may return, i.e., weekend trip to another city or an evening stroll down to the park.
- Students should always be aware of the things going on around them.
Don’t not look like a target. Blend in and do not carry too much cash or valuables.