For CFHI, the safety, health, and security of students, faculty, staff, and host communities is a top priority. The responsibility to engage in global health activities safely and ethically has never been greater for organizations and individual participants in these experiences.

CFHI has been successfully running programs since 1992, sending over 15,000 students abroad. CFHI’s leadership is certified in the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and is recognized by the United Nations, GreatNonprofits, GoAbroad, GoOverseas, and others.

Through a robust health & safety infrastructure, CFHI upholds its commitment to do no harm in global health settings and protect the health, safety, and well-being of our program participants and our longstanding host communities worldwide. 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 a suite of measures and protocols in place including:

  • A dedicated Director of Health and Safety available on call.
  • A trusted support network of professional and responsive in-country partners. The longevity, open communication, and close relationships with our on-site partners are organizational assets. 
  • Safe and conveniently located housing. All housing is thoroughly vetted to meet CFHI’s safety standards. 
  • Airport pickup
  • Robust pre-departure orientation covering health and safety guidelines
  • Dedicated materials, protocols, and infrastructure to foster mental health and wellness abroad
  • In-country welcome orientation, including logistical information, safety and emergency procedure guidelines, cultural awareness, local resources, and available activities.
  • Local cell phone number for every participant 
  • Insurance: Unless waived by your University, all CFHI participants are enrolled in an international emergency medical and evacuation insurance before departure
  • Emergency Procedures: CFHI regularly updates our emergency procedures in consultation with key stakeholders, maintaining a country-specific approach. Specific protocols are updated as governments adjust policies and local realities necessitate. Each CFHI program site maintains relationships with clinics and hospitals to ensure the access to quality healthcare. 
  • Clinical Safety: The following policies and procedures provide a safe environment for learning:

    • Preceptors are informed of participants’ skill levels and limitations of student scope based on training, local and international regulations and legal frameworks, best practices, and more.
    • Participants are informed about the limitations of practice in clinical and health settings.
    • Participants are not placed in high-risk environments. Participants are informed about standard precautions, protective gear, and course of action in case of exposure to blood-borne pathogens.

  • Safety net: Students have a robust support system through the program:

    •  On-site Local Coordinator and staff, health centers pre-identified
    • ­ On-site Medical Director available to assist and coordinate care
    • ­ 24/7 CFHI Emergency Line, text/Whatsapp communication
    • ­ CFHI Global Medical Director and Health & Safety Director guidance and support 

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 are asked to pay close attention to safety guidelines explained in detail during CFHI’s welcome orientation and to be respectful of local cultural norms related to dress, communication style, and more.

In addition, CFHI orients participants to take steps toward 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 through their CFHI Pre-Departure Training, and utilize resources such as the U.S. State Department’s Study Abroad webpage, to be an informed traveler. We also require 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.