As a recognized leader in emergency response and crisis management for international education, IFSA has a comprehensive crisis response plan in place. Your safety and wellbeing is our top priority, and we employ experienced and dedicated IFSA staff around the world to help you have a safe study abroad experience.
Once you arrive to your study abroad location, our resident staff will conduct an in-depth orientation that includes extensive information about health, safety, and how to respond in an emergency. Many sessions are led by experts and practitioners in the field, such as local police, U.S. embassy officials, doctors, and mental health professionals. You will be given an emergency number to contact IFSA resident staff 24/7 in a true emergency. This is a great time to ask questions, so you feel most comfortable in your new home.
Cell Phone Requirement
We require all students to bring with them, or purchase upon arrival abroad, a cell phone that can exchange calls and texts with our resident office. We recommend a local number so that you are better able to connect with local health, safety and security support services and are easily reached in a crisis.
It is mandatory that your phone number is added to the student portal by the end of orientation. We may be able to assist with the purchase of a cell phone in the event of financial difficulty. Please contact us as we consider these requests on an individual basis.
We are proud to employ talented and experienced resident staff in each country where we operate programs. Our full-time resident directors and support staff have a deep understanding of the host culture and its nuances, which helps you navigate the medical system, emergency services, insurance, and support resources. Resident staff are trained in emergency response and student affairs. They are available to meet with you to talk through problems and concerns, refer you to support services, or assist you in an emergency.
Emergency Response and Crisis Management
IFSA has been navigating personal and program-wide emergencies abroad for almost three decades. Our Crisis Management Team works closely with our resident staff, emergency assistance provider and local emergency services in times of crisis, using our Critical Incident Response Plan as a guide. A member of our staff is on-call 24/7, both in the U.S. and in program countries, should a true emergency occur that requires immediate attention. You, along with your family and home campus study abroad office, will be kept up-to-date until an emergency situation has been resolved.
Reporting an Emergency
Students Currently Studying Abroad
Contact the local emergency number provided to you during orientation or local authorities. For non-emergencies, reach out to resident staff during office hours. If you are experiencing an emergency or need to report an emergency, contact:
• Local emergency services
• Your local resident staff
• Your embassy or consulate
Families Members or Advisors of Students Abroad
Our health and safety staff are located globally to assist you in the event of an emergency. For assistance, you can reach a crisis manager at the following number, 24/7: 1 (866) 726-9540