Office of International Education and Development
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Student Responsibilities

In study abroad, as in other settings, participants can have a major impact on their own health and safety through the decisions they make before and during their program and by their day-to-day choices and behaviors.
Participants should:

Assume responsibility for all the elements necessary for their personal preparation for the program and participate fully in orientations.

Read and carefully consider all materials issued by the sponsor that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies).

Conduct their own research on the country(ies) they plan to visit with particular emphasis on health and safety concerns, as well as the social, cultural, and political situations.

Consider their physical and mental health, and other personal circumstances when applying for or accepting a place in a program, and make available to the sponsor accurate and complete physical and mental health information and any other personal data that is necessary in planning for a safe and healthy study abroad experience.

Obtain and maintain appropriate insurance coverage and abide by any conditions imposed by the carriers.

Inform parents/guardians/families and any others who may need to know about their participation in the study abroad program, provide them with emergency contact information, and keep them informed of their whereabouts and activities.

Understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency procedures of the program.

Be aware of local conditions and customs that may present health or safety risks when making daily choices and decisions. Promptly express any health or safety concerns to the program staff or other appropriate individuals before and/or during the program.

Accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions.

Obey host-country laws.

Behave in a manner that is respectful of the rights and well-being of others, and encourage others to behave in a similar manner.

Avoid illegal drugs and excessive or irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

Follow the program policies for keeping program staff informed of their whereabouts and well-being.

Become familiar with the procedures for obtaining emergency health and legal system services in the host county.
Furthermore, be aware that the program coordinator or sponsor:

Cannot guarantee or assure the safety and/or security of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments.

Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of participants.

Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous, or unwise activities.
Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings, or provide or pay for legal representation for participants.

Cannot assume responsibility for actions or for events that are not part of the program, nor for those that are beyond the control of the sponsor and its subcontractors, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.

Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norm will apply in the host country.
Quoted from Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsbility in Study Abroad
(NAFSA) 1998-2009. Responsible Study Abroad: Good Practices for Health & Safety. Retrieved June 30, 2009, from the Nafsa website:  (Download the pdf here)

Contact Info

1740 S. Martin Luther King Blvd
302 Perry Paige
Tallahassee, Florida 32307

P: 850.599.3295
F: 850.561.2520