Seven Safety Checks for Students’ International Travel
Educational trips sometimes take students all over the globe, and gaining cultural experience is a learning opportunity unlike any other. As you prepare to teach your students the value of exploring new horizons, make sure you are fully aware of the unique safety and liability challenges your school will be facing. Creating a risk management plan and providing travel training will be essential. As you identify potential issues, make sure that you can answer questions including:
1. What age are the students?
Age is important because while younger students require additional adult supervision, older students will still need to be provided with clear information and proper instructions.
2. Will there be orientation meetings before the trip?
Always inform your travelers of any security and safety issues, cultural practices and school policies.
3. Where will students be staying during the course of their travel?
Arrange student accommodations only with fully vetted locations. Many foreign locations do not follow U.S. building codes, so request information about emergency evacuation procedures and other safety measures. Inform all travelers regarding these safety procedures.
4. Risks for food and water?
Certain foods in international restaurants may not always be safe for your students to eat. Because of the ways they are cooked or processed, food quality and water purity are often a serious issue. Instruct your students to drink only bottled or filtered water, use ice that only from filtered water and show them what to look for in choosing foods that are safe to eat.
5. What types of waivers are you requiring?
Be sure that you have signed releases disclosing the details of all potential risks from all students as well as their parents or legal guardians.
6. Who will be responsible to take charge during an emergency, and what will be their course of action?
You’ll need to create a clear emergency response plan that fully identifies the individual in charge. Also, provide 24-hour contact information. Provide all travelers with the essential contact information.
7. Does the school have insurance for international travel?
Most standard school liability insurance policies provide coverage for events occurring within the U.S. or for domestic lawsuits. These policies may not provide proper international travel insurance coverage, so we recommend that your insurance policy is reviewed prior to any international travel. A travel medical policy that includes medical evacuation may also be needed. Locating and obtaining proper health care overseas can be challenging, and international travel policies typically provide valuable assistance.
At Beacon Insurance of Pace, Inc. we have nearly two decades of experience in specialized insurance policies for churches and private Christian schools and have formed a strong partnership with GuideOne Insurance. This partnership has been extremely beneficial in providing us with the unique ability to offer access to safety resources our clients need to keep their schools and their students safe in a wide variety of situations. Above all, our greatest mission at Beacon has always been to illuminate our clients’ path to peace of mind, and we strive to empower them with the tools they need to stay safe as they go out in service to the world. Call Beacon Insurance Agency of Pace, Inc. to learn more about GuideOne and how we can help keep your school students safe in the world!