The safety of our students is of the utmost importance. We endorse NAFSA’s Inter-Organizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility guidelines and the Forum on Education Abroad Standard 8 guideline focused on health, safety, security, and risk management. We've created and maintain a far-reaching health and safety plan to help ensure a sound and productive learning environment for students and faculty.
From comprehensive student orientations, to 24/7 emergency support, to retention of the services of a professional emergency preparedness organization, and much more, we are fully prepared to manage any type of emergency or serious issues.
The sections below provide details on our safety plan.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring 2020 semester, CAPA quickly assessed and responded to all information as it became available. The CAPA team ensured that institutional partners and students were regularly and consistently informed and provided with the latest guidance and medical and public health resources. Effective communication was ensured through a combination of regular emails and messages through CAPA’s student portal, the Community, as well as through Town Hall sessions. In response to expert advice and local government health department regulations, students were self-isolated. CAPA successfully helped students return to the US to complete their programs remotely following the directives of the US Department of State and CDC. As in all matters regarding health and safety, CAPA’s partner universities in the US were kept informed of the status of all their students.
To learn more, please read our answers to frequently asked questions regarding our spring programs: SPRING FAQs
Our staff undergo regular trainings on a range of topics covering best practices in the field of higher education and study abroad, which includes student wellness support. While our staff are trained to respond to a variety of health and safety situations, it is important to note that they are not qualified psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors. Instead, our staff is trained to provide students with appropriate referrals and guidance for gaining professional help while abroad.
CAPA refers to data from a variety of sources in order to make decisions regarding program operations. This includes the consular information sheets and advisory messages posted by the U.S. Department of State as well OSAC, CDC, and WHO briefings, international and local news alerts, and advice from local law enforcement. This data will be used to assess whether a local condition requires our students to exercise additional caution for which they will be briefed and advised, or whether there is a need to relocate all or part of the program or to suspend or terminate the program and evacuate participants. In the event of a relocation or termination of the program, CAPA will work closely with pre-identified local vendors and consular officials/US Department of State to ensure that students are informed and fully supported through this process. docleaf will serve as an additional resource for oversight.
In making individual decisions concerning participation, we suggest that participants and their parents carefully review the State Department Travel Advisories.
CAPA keeps home campuses informed of the welfare of their students and faculty, and informs them of issues arising abroad. In the event of a large scale local emergency, the CAPA locator plan will be activated and the home campus will receive regular updates on the security of all participants.
CAPA has the following recommendations for students and their emergency contacts:
Safety is a priority for CAPA in all aspects of the program. We select student accommodations through vetted and trusted housing providers, and students are placed in locations that are reflective of the global city in which they are studying. Accommodations are secure, with minimal risk to student safety. As in any major city, students are advised of best practices for safety and awareness in their accommodations and around the city.
Guardian is CAPA's official study abroad safety app (available for download on Android and iOS devices) which is loaded with many useful features and resources to help ensure that all CAPA students have a safe and healthy time abroad.
Some of the CAPA Guardian app's features include:
In an emergency, CAPA staff can send notification to students. When students check-in, CAPA staff is informed of their safety, along with a location and time stamp.
Emergency & Support Resources
Students can contact local or CAPA emergency services for immediate assistance, email or call CAPA staff for non-emergency support, or email recommended doctors and mental health counselors.