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Learn International considers health and safety matters in every aspect of programming. We want every participant, faculty and staff member to have a successful experience abroad, and we do our best to prepare those involved on these issues.
We believe by preparing participants prior to, during and post study abroad programmes, we can eliminate many issues that may arise. Although we cannot 100% guarantee health and safety due to unforeseen occurrences, we do our very best to prevent, prepare and inform.
Learn International observes the following events as emergencies. While there are always exceptions to rules, please use the following as a guideline.
While these are general areas we deem as emergencies, Learn International will provide support and assistance in any areas related to health and safety that arise.
Learn International does our best to provide safe and secure environments for all of our participants. However, there may be occasions which are out of our control, such as natural disasters, civil or political unrest, health epidemics and pandemics, warfare and acts of terrorism, prompting us to initiate our Emergency Protocol.
When there is a crisis that affects all of our participants, Learn International Health and Safety Committee will enact the following procedures:
Learn International will maintain the above protocol unless immediate adaptations are needed based on the severity of an event.
It is recommended that all participants research the health and safety risks of the country or countries, they plan to visit while abroad. Participants are fully responsible for their health and well-being. It is important to prepare for your physical, mental and emotional well-being prior to arriving by seeing physicians to get check-ups, prescriptions and the like. Participants should discuss and make a plan with their physician in relation to any health concerns prior to departure.
Once abroad on a Learn International programme, it is the participant’s responsibility to manage and maintain their health. Participants should continue their daily routines for medication management, pre-existing conditions and addictions, where applicable. If a participant does not maintain their health, they are solely responsible for the consequences. If a participant or a Learn International staff member feel that a participant cannot maintain their health abroad and need help, a doctor should be contacted immediately. Then a decision will be made as to whether a participant should remain abroad or return home.
We also encourage you to attend your home institution’s pre-departure session where available, and keep open communication with your study abroad adviser for any additional tips on studying abroad, where applicable.
We recommend that all participants visit a travel clinic before travelling abroad; they are great resources for obtaining information on potential risks and information on immunisations with studying abroad. Check to see if your home university or local community has one available.
Learn International has also prepared a pre-departure and arrival page for additional information regarding your trip abroad.
All participants must arrive with International Health Insurance, no exceptions.
Learn International uses Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), which offers a comprehensive insurance plan abroad for International Health Insurance. Depending on the type of programme a participant is accepted on, CISI insurance fees will be added to the final programme payment or students will be directed to pay directly on the CISI website.
CISI issues international health insurance in one-month increments, regardless of duration of programme. Participants cannot negotiate lower insurance costs and get insurance for less than one-month increments. However, this means that, for example, if a student is doing a 10-week programme, they will need 12 weeks (3 months) of coverage, so two weeks will be available for extra travel within Ireland or Europe.
Further, if a student would like to stay longer and travel after their study abroad programme, they may contact CISI and extend their health insurance coverage.
It is also recommended that participants contact their regular health insurer to understand the benefits, if any, while abroad. Please note, this does not mean that participants can opt out of CISI insurance; it is still mandatory.
All students are enrolled in the comprehensive plan, which is found below:
All participants must read the benefit plan and understand the policy while abroad, including the claims policy and procedures. If students have any questions about CISI coverage, they should contact CISI directly.
CISI Contact Information: Toll free: (800) 303-8120 Direct: +1 (203) 399-5130 or on CISI website.
Learn International is not responsible for international health insurance policy, benefits, claims, or anything related to medical reimbursements and the like. It is the participant’s sole responsibility to manage their health and health insurance.
If the participant’s home university offers international health insurance and it meets the following the criteria, then this insurance will be acceptable. Proof of your home institution’s international health insurance policy may be requested by Learn International.
There are no other exceptions to not having international health insurance. All students must be enrolled and meet the above minimum requirements.
The above items will be collected prior to arrival and upon arrival.
If a participant travels while attending a Learn International programme, outside of the programme-related excursions, it is recommended each participant contact their insurance to fully understand their benefits and coverage. Learn International is not responsible for any emergencies, medical issues or inadequate travel or international health insurance while a participant travels or participates on any non-programme related activities.
All medical issues that occur on Learn International programmes must be reported as soon as possible to Learn International staff, for the best and quickest support to be provided by on-site staff team.
Learn International is not responsible or liable for a participant’s personal health and wellness. This includes but is not limited to: medical, emotional and mental health concerns, medical emergencies and/or pre-existing conditions. Students are fully responsible for their personal health and wellness while on a Learn International programme.
Further, participants are fully responsible for understanding their current health insurance and international health insurance coverage, benefits, and claims processes. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their insurance coverage is sufficient for the duration of their programme. Learn International is not liable or responsible for any deficit in benefits, complaints handling or policies not covering health needs or claims made by a participant with their health insurance(s).
Learn International is not an insurance broker or reseller. Learn International recommends speaking with a qualified insurance agent to ensure that participants are satisfied that they have sufficient coverage. Learn International will not be liable for any shortfall in insurance coverage of any type for any reason.
Learn International has 24/7 staff available to assist participants, faculty and staff for general support (logistics) and any emergencies that may arise, so no participant will be on their own in a time of need.
While we cannot guarantee safety due to unforeseen occurrences or things out of our control, we provide necessary precautions to keep participants and staff safe to the best of our ability.
All participants need to update their home institution and Learn International of their Emergency Contacts in the event of an emergency. This contact should be someone you trust or a close family member, such as a parent or guardian.
Participants need to maintain regular communication with their Emergency Contact while travelling or abroad on their study abroad programme. By having regular communication, the amount of potential worry or panic-stricken calls or emails, simply due to lack of communication, will be avoidable.
Participants agree that Learn International can contact their Emergency Contact in the event of an emergency. Please review, What Is An Emergency in the Health and Safety Section.
Many participants take the opportunity to travel while studying abroad. This is a huge benefit to studying abroad and one that is popular among participants.
When a participant is attending a Learn International programme and chooses to travel, it is required that when they travel on weekends or outside of the programme schedule, that they inform their Learn International point of contact prior to departure. It is helpful for Learn International to be aware if a participant is away in case of emergency or if they need to be contacted. We want to be sure our programme participants are safe while abroad, so if any issues arise, we can always locate a participant if needed.
Whether you are travelling within your host country or to a different country, we always advise that participants travel in groups, never alone, and have access to a cell phone at all times, in case of an emergency.
If you are an American citizen, we highly encourage you to sign up with the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (STEP) and update your travel plans throughout your time abroad. This is a great resource and easy to do.
When entering and re-entering your host-country, it is recommended that you bring: your exit ticket from your host-country (your plane or train ticket) proving exactly when you plan to leave, your acceptance letter into your study abroad programme and keep your address on hand for immigration. At times, when students are flying in and out of a country, immigration can be strict and require documents proving why you are coming and going.