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SAFETI Clearinghouse
SAFETI Online Newsletter

Volume 3, Number 1, 2005 Edition


Gary Rhodes, editor
Co-edited by:
Tiffany Stevens
Hai Hong

Since the events of September 11th, 2001, people in the U.S. and in communities around the world continue to feel uncertain about their safety. Study abroad participation numbers have continued to increase, the diversity of locations has increased, and many students are studying abroad for a shorter period of time. Ten ways that health and safety issues have impacted study abroad since that time include:

  1. The London, Madrid, Bali, and New York bombings have raised awareness about terrorism abroad and in the U.S.
  2. The U.S. Department of State's Travel Warnings for Israel, the Philippines and other countries have made a significant impact on the reduction of study abroad programs there. At the same time, the U.S. has been on a continuous yellow-alert, the only country with a self-imposed travel warning.
  3. Avian flu issues have raised questions of what to do in case of a viral outbreak that could be much worse than SARS in terms of the number of people affected.
  4. Various factors in Europe are resulting in citizen discontent, including recent rioting in Paris and other cities in Europe.
  5. Post-911 visa screening requirements for international students coming to the U.S. have resulted in increased challenges for U.S. students obtaining visas for abroad.
  6. The Interorganizational Task Force had developed a set of health and safety guidelines in 1998 that were revised in 2002 to become “Good Practices for Study Abroad”
  7. A new organization, the Forum on Education Abroad was started. It is recognized by the U.S. government as a stardards organization and has created a draft “Standards” document for study abroad.
  8. Mental health issues have risen to be one of the health and safety areas affecting institutions in a much larger way than in the past.
  9. International and domestic news has included challenges of Tsunami, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, which, from Asia to Louisiana have created health and safety challenges on a very large scale.
  10. One of the biggest U.S. news stories over the past year focused on a high school girl on a trip to Aruba who is missing. News stories suggested that she may have been sexually assaulted and murdered.

Study abroad participation numbers have continued to increase, the diversity of locations has increased, and many students are studying abroad for a shorter period of time. With current challenges around the world, it remains critical for colleges and universities offering study abroad to take health and safety issues and crisis management seriously in order to support their institutions and their students effectively.

In March 2004, the Center for Global Education and the SAFETI Clearinghouse moved from the University of Southern California to Loyola Marymount University (still in LA). We continue to be committed to trying to help faculty, staff, students, and parents in supporting health and safety issues for study abroad.

This edition of the SAFETI Newsletter provides information to help colleges and universities respond to many of the issues that are being faced, with articles on:

Study Abroad and Mental Health: Identifying, Assisting, and Referring Students in Distress

Crime and Incident Reporting: Best Practices

Risk Management, Safety Issues and How WPI Meets the Inter-organizational Task Force Good Practices for Health and Safety

Last Call for U.S. Students Studying Abroad? Continuing Concerns About Alcohol Use and Abuse During Study Abroad

Personal Safety Workshops: Good Opportunity for Study Abroad Students

Considerations for Avian Flu When Developing Policies, Procedures, and a Crisis Management Plan

We have also maintained articles from previous newsletters as many continue to provide useful information about issues ranging from the Peace Corps approach to safety abroad, language and liability, to sexual harassment and assault issues for study abroad

We would also like to make you aware of new student- and parent-centered resources: The Study Abroad General and Country-Specific Handbooks, which provide information, resources, communication sheets, and emergency preparedness resources written for students and their parents.

SAFETI exists because of the support of FIPSE: U.S. Department of Education as well as other sponsors. I'd like to thank Tiffany Stevens, Esq., for her help in working with authors in this edition of the SAFETI Newsletter and Hai Hong for his assistance in updating content for the Newsletter. Each of the authors of the articles are writing to help faculty, staff, students and parents, and I'd like to thank all the authors for their ideas, time and energy to help others.

We hope that the above documents can help you develop effective support services and resources for your students, faculty, and staff abroad. As always, it is critical to include colleagues across your own campus to help develop policies and procedures that are appropriate for your campus, as well as colleagues from other colleges and universities and other experts (insurance, medical services, police, counseling, etc.) around the world.

Study abroad programs continue to be one of the most important ways that U.S. colleges and universities inform students about the rest of the world by having citizens of other countries interact with our students, faculty, and staff abroad. This is a critical time to continue to support study abroad in a safe, supportive, and well-informed context.

If there are any additional resources that you would like us to develop and disseminate to help you through the challenges of today, please, as always, feel free to contact me.


Gary Rhodes, Editor and Director
Center for Global Education
SAFETI Clearinghouse
Center for Global Education
UCLA Graduate School of
Education and Information Studies
8907 Math Sciences Building,
Box 951521
University of California, Los Angeles
Phone: (310) 206-5376

Gary Rhodes, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Global Education at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Editor of SAFETI (Safety Abroad First - Educational Travel Information) Clearinghouse. Before this, Dr. Rhodes served as Program Coordinator in the USC Office of Overseas Studies for nine years. His doctoral dissertation for his Ph.D. in Comparative and International Education Systems/Administration of Higher Education is titled Legal Issues and Higher Education: Key Issues for Institutions and Administrators (May 1994). He has served as an expert witness, written articles, given presentations, led workshops, and has been widely cited at the local, national, and international level in issues related to health and safety, risk management, and legal issues for study abroad. He has served NAFSA: Association of International Educators (NAFSA) as the Region XII (California, Nevada, and Hawaii) Representative for Study Abroad (SECUSSA) and is currently a NAFSA Professional Development Program trainer for Education Abroad Advising. He is co-author of the chapter "Legal Issues" in NAFSA's Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators, 3rd Edition (2005). He is a Co-Chair of the SECUSSA Research Committee, as well as a member of the steering committees of the SECUSSA Committee on Underrepresentation and the Subcommittee for Data Collection.