Participant safety and security are our number one concern. The Study Abroad Office regularly monitors events overseas, receives daily briefings from the U.S. Department of State, and keeps in constant contact with our global partners.
“Aren't Americans Often the Target of Terrorists and Others Unfriendly to Our Nation's Values or Foreign Policy?”
There are very few documented instances in the history of study abroad when political violence appeared to specifically target American students.
However, carrying a U.S. passport, in and of itself, is no guarantee of safety or absolute security. In certain places and certain times, it is very possible to get caught in political strife that may or may not be directed at foreigners, generally, or Americans in particular.
“Who Can Help My Daughter or Son If Trouble Erupts?”
In those few locations where even remote danger might occasionally exist, program directors work with local police, U.S. consular personnel, and local university officials in setting up whatever practical security measures are deemed prudent.
In such places, students will be briefed during orientation programs and reminded at times of heightened political tension about being security-conscious in their daily activities.
Terrorism is a 21st century reality. To succumb to the threat by reacting in fear may well be the objective that terrorists seek to achieve. On the other hand, no one wants to make this point at the expense of the health and safety of your daughter or son.
All Ball State study abroad programs include overseas insurance, which includes major medical, evacuation, repatriation, and 24-hour emergency assistance.
How Can I Tell in Advance Which Countries Might Be Dangerous? Is Watching the Nightly News and Reading the Newspaper Enough?
The U.S. government monitors the political conditions in every country of the world daily.
Parents with concerns about crime and security threats in a given country are urged to take advantage of U.S. Department of State travel advisories, which are available to the public free of charge. Travel warnings are issued when the State Department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country.
Consular information sheets are available for every country of the world. They include information such as location of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties.
If an unstable situation exists but is not severe enough to warrant a travel warning, this is duly noted. Public announcements contain information about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and transnational conditions posing significant risks to the security of American travelers.
If Our Son/Daughter Is Abroad When Something Dangerous Develops, How Can We Make Contact? What If Something Happens Here and We Need to Communicate Immediately?
Don't let your student leave home without having as many reliable means of contact as possible in place: a mailing address, an email address, and phone and fax numbers.
You should develop a family communication plan for regular telephone or email contact, with contingencies for emergency situations.
With this in place, in times of heightened political tension, natural disaster, or other difficulty, you should be able to communicate with each other directly about safety and well-being.
Instant international communication in emergency situations continues to improve with easy access to international email access and cell phones around the world.