Most students returning from study abroad say that it was one of the most valuable parts of their college or university experience. While most students experience a safe and healthy time abroad, some are forced to deal with minor crises like pick–pockets, petty theft, or a minor illness or injury (similar to those faced by students in the U.S.). In an unfamiliar environment with communication and cultural barriers, a minor crisis may be more difficult to handle. In addition, similar to the realities on a U.S. campus, there may be a few students who encounter a major emergency while abroad, such as a serious illness or injury, traffic accident, natural disaster, or violent crime (see the Crisis Management section for more information). Many study abroad programs have developed comprehensive support strategies. The first place to start getting information about your program's support strategies is in your study abroad advisor's office in the
U.S. and your program director's office abroad. We have also provided the following resources: Emergency Card, Personal Emergency Action Plan, and Emergency Action Plan Steps, to assist you in being prepared before going and after arriving abroad.
The Emergency Card at the left is a condensed resource, which includes your most important contact numbers and personal information. We recommend that you print out the Card. Then, fill in all the requested names, addresses, phone numbers and personal information. Make several copies of your completed card. Make sure to leave a copy of it with each of your U.S. emergency contacts, with your abroad emergency contacts, and keep a copy with you at all times. For more information on dealing with an emergency, please see the Crisis Management section of the Handbook.
Personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
Whether studying or working abroad, we recommend you print out and fill in the emergency planning form we provide. This form should help you create a personal Emergency Action Plan (EAP). It is different from the Emergency Card above. Your EAP is equivalent to a strategy–planning device in case of an emergency, whereas the Emergency Card is a wallet–sized summary of your personal information and emergency contacts. For more information on dealing with an emergency, please see the Crisis Management section of the Handbook.
Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Steps
We suggest you print out the Emergency Action Steps and keep a copy with you at all times. We have included a list of suggested documents and items to help you respond more effectively during an emergency. For more information on dealing with an emergency, please see the Crisis Management section of the Handbook.