CFHI’s Focus on Safety
Safety is of the utmost priority for CFHI. CFHI has been successfully running programs since 1992, sending over 11,000 students abroad. CFHI is well versed in the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and has an impeccable reputation, recognized by both the United Nations and the Better Business Bureau. While no organization can guarantee participant safety 100%, CFHI’s longevity, track record, and close relationships with our international partners provide a network for safe and secure student experiences abroad.
To minimize risk, CFHI has several measures in place including:
- A trusted support network of professional and responsive in-country partners.
- Safe and conveniently located housing
- Airport pickup
- In-country welcome orientation, which includes logistical information, safety and emergency procedure guidelines, cultural awareness, local resources, and available activities.
- Cell phone for every participant
- Emergency and medical evacuation insurance
In the unlikely event that an emergency occurs, CFHI San Francisco and in-country partners work as a team to ensure that the best care is offered to the participant and that all parties coordinate not only the provision of services or care, but also deal with alerting parents, university contacts, and insurance companies in a timely and structured manner.
The CFHI Participant’s Role - Being Proactive About Safety
Once in country, it’s important for participants to be aware of their surroundings and mindful of their behavior as a guest in an international community. Participants should pay close attention to safety guidelines explained in detail during CFHI’s welcome orientation and be respectful of local cultural norms related to dress, communication style, and gender roles. While some of the guidelines may not seem that important or relevant once you feel more at ease and comfortable in your new environment, it is important that you abide by them throughout the program.
To minimize negative attention, participants should travel in groups whenever possible and be cautious when going out at night.
In addition, CFHI orients participants to take steps towards being a responsible traveler and making wise decisions to further ensure safety. For example, participants should take time to learn about their host country prior to departure and utilize resources such as the U.S. State Department’s Study Abroad webpage, to be an informed traveler. We also recommend that participants enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), or similar program for non U.S. citizens, and carry contact information for the nearest embassy or consulate.
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