In light of current world events, the Office of International Education's mission of educating students to be informed, perceptive, reflective world citizens has become even more important. The health and safety of students while they are participating in off-campus study programs have also become the focus of increased attention and concern. We are deeply committed to ensuring that your student has a rewarding off-campus experience. As international education becomes an increasingly vital part of university-level education, we will do everything we can to make your student's experience off-campus safe and profoundly beneficial. Preparations have been made by the Office of International Education and members of the Bucknell University community to monitor the safety of our students.
For students attending off-campus programs, the Office of International Education continues to work with a carefully selected group of experienced program providers. These providers have on-site personnel that are trained in emergency protocols. We have 24-hour contact information for both their US-based and overseas staff. In addition the Office of International Education coordinates with the Crisis Management Team at Bucknell University that monitors the health and safety aspects of programs and countries on an ongoing basis.
The Office of International Education has taken steps to educate students about health and safety abroad through pre-departure orientation discussions and reference materials. The orientation materials include: Department of State Publications (www.travel.state.gov/travel/), such as, A Safe Trip Abroad, Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings, as found on the Department of State website. The Department of State Travel Warnings are an important source of information when assessing the health conditions, safety, and locations of our programs. We also encourage you to browse the Centers for Disease Control website for up-to-date health information at: http://www.cdc.gov/.
Students participating in Bucknell in London, Bucknell en France, Bucknell en Espana, and all "Bucknell in" programs are automatically enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). All students participating in a "non Bucknell in program" are required to register with the STEP program. We also urge parents to discuss this with their students and register the student with the U.S. Department of State, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if the student has not already registered. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. STEP allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency. STEP also allows Americans residing abroad to get routine information from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Register for STEP
Students have been asked to adhere to their program guidelines both on-site and when traveling independently. These guidelines include recommendations for appropriate behavior, dress and safe local and off-site travel. For travel off-site, each on-site program director normally requests an itinerary and contact information from the students. While students are often displeased by this request, it is a system through which we can be aware of their location, should we need to contact them on short notice.
During Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions students received an International Education Emergency Contact Card to list relevant contacts in the event of an emergency. The Emergency Contact Card should be carried by the student at all times while they are abroad. The Office of International Education hopes that this information will help students take responsibility for their own safety and well-being.
If at any time you have concerns or questions, please contact the Office of International Education at (570) 577-3796. In the event of an emergency, the Office of International Education may also be reached after hours through the Department of Public Safety at (570) 577-3333.