Student health, safety and security are our top priorities. The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) at Baylor University is prepared to deal with any emergencies that may arise. Our program directors and study abroad staff members are prepared to support students through pre-departure and on-site orientation information and 24-hour staffed telephone numbers.
We are committed to:
Our policies and procedures receive ongoing review and refinement from our Vice Provost for Global Engagement and Assistant Director for Study Abroad, as well as colleagues from Baylor’s Office of General Counsel, the Department of Public Safety, numerous compliance offices, and the student Health Center.
While our staff is prepared to respond in the unlikely event of an emergency situation affecting several people, most emergencies are personal. It is more likely that students will need advice on finding the services of a good doctor, specialist or counselor, or help with emergency travel needs, and our staff is prepared to support them. Additionally, we keep in regular contact with students through newsletters, on-going activities and site visits to campuses.
During the application process, we encourage students to self-disclose any personal, medical, physical and mental conditions which may affect their study abroad experience. Early disclosure ensures our ability to provide the most appropriate advice and counsel regarding program choice as well as enhancing our ability to provide appropriate support overseas. All information provided remains confidential and does not affect a student’s acceptance into a program.
Study abroad is a profoundly life-changing experience. Concerns about health, safety and security should not dissuade students from this wonderful opportunity. Instead, we encourage them to be informed and knowledgeable about the risks and rewards of such an undertaking.
Health and Safety Education
Education about health, safety and security when traveling abroad begins the moment a student enrolls in a Baylor program and continues throughout a student’s enrollment period. Information about health, insurance and safety policies in individual countries is available to students at any time from our program directors and study abroad staff.
When students arrive overseas, our partner providers or faculty program directors provide a thorough orientation about the local culture which includes a review of country- and program-related safety and security guidelines. We discuss culturally appropriate behaviors and explain how to contact local emergency services. We also share relevant Department of State notices, alerts and warnings and respond to students' questions and concerns.
Emergency Contact Cards
Students are provided with emergency contact cards which include an emergency number which is monitored 24 hours a day so students can reach our staff at any time during or after office hours and on weekends. We also ask students to leave contact information and intended itineraries with our staff when they travel away from their program sites. This way, in the event of an emergency, our partners or directors know where and how to reach our students.
Health and Safety Announcements
Students, parents/guardians, and study abroad advisors can expect announcements about safety and security from Baylor should conditions warrant such information. If you are a parent, please check with your student to find out if they listed you as an emergency contact on their application. If not, please ask them to contact their program manager to add you to their file; that way, we can email you in the event that there is a special alert during the program.
International SOS (ISOS)
Baylor contracts with ISOS, a company that provides integrated medical, clinical, and security services to organizations with international operations.
Services include planning and preventive programs, in-country expertise, and emergency response. ISOS has approximately 11,000 employees, led by 1,200 full-time physicians and 200 security specialists and provides health and security support to members in 89 countries. Its clients include 81% of the Fortune Global 100 and 61% percent of the Fortune Global 500 companies. The company's core offering is its medical, security and membership services that enable Baylor participants to get pre-travel advice, medical and security assistance abroad and emergency help.
Students, CGE staff, and Baylor program leaders can contact ISOS operators 24 hours a day to seek medical advice and referrals in most major travel destinations. They also assist with evacuations of groups or individuals should the need arise.
Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
As part of our regular monitoring of circumstances and events that may affect the well-being of our students, Baylor is a member of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) of the Department of State, a federal and private sector group established to share information and promote security cooperation between the United States government and private sector interests worldwide. The analysts at OSAC provide real-time security information and analysis as well as updates and background information on issues and developments throughout the world.
Travel to Countries with a Current U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Travel Alert
The US Department of State issues travel warnings and travel alerts to provide safety and security information to Americans traveling internationally. A travel alert is issued when a traveler should be aware of a short-term event or circumstance. A travel warning is issued for locations where the State Department believes there is a continuing or longer-term circumstance which warrants a review of travel to the country or location at all.
The Center for Global Engagement administration reviews data and information from a variety of sources before approving travel to a location or country for which a travel warning or a travel alert has been issued. Questions about Baylor's policy can be addressed to the Assistant Director for Study Abroad.