Health and Safety
CAPA International Education understands that the decision to go abroad is not one made lightly, and that the health and safety of your student is paramount in this incredible opportunity. Similarly, we do not take this incredible responsibility to your student lightly. In this section, you will learn about the myriad ways in which CAPA International Education endorses, abides to, and leads in this capacity. This includes not only preparedness, professional support, risk assessment, and training but also practical concerns such as insurance abroad, orientation and 24 hour emergency support. Our support ensures that your concerns become our considerations.
A member of your family has made the decision to study abroad. It may be for a semester, it may be for a year, it may be for three weeks. No matter the length of the program, the decision to study abroad is no small matter. Whether he or she has traveled internationally previously or not, it is a significant undertaking, and you might be filled with questions and concerns. Where will they live? What will they eat? How will they get to class? And then there are bigger questions: What happens if they have to go to the hospital? What happens if they are robbed? What happens if they lose his or her passport? The question underneath all of this is truly, who will take care of my family member while he or she is abroad.
We understand your concerns, and the inherent involvement of the entire family in someone's decision to study abroad. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. It is quite likely that part of the decision to study on a CAPA program is a result of the support of the CAPA staff on each CAPA program – the knowledge that there is not just one, but several members of the CAPA team who are working collaboratively throughout the entire process of the program to ensure a safe, healthy and successful experience abroad. We recognize that there is an incredible opportunity for students to hone their independence whilst abroad, and we are committed to implementing tools and strategies to support them in this development in a way that is organic, rather than abrupt and jarring.
The CAPA team works hard to ensure that each individual has access to the tools that they need to navigate the experience abroad in an increasing independent way. Whether it is providing them with trusted resources for the process of obtaining a visa, or an orientation session in understanding the ins and outs of the London Tube system, CAPA views these experiences as true educational opportunities, and thus takes a teacher’s approach – with the intention of leaving them with the self satisfaction of these new accomplishments. Similarly, we understand that some events – crises and emergencies, demand a more intimate level of care – that in these instances the trust that both you and your family member have in CAPA is of the utmost importance. We strive to assure that in the case of an unfortunate event, the response and care provided exceeds the expectations of students and their families alike.
“CAPA Care” is ultimately about supported learning. Just as your family member will engage in this supported learning within the classroom, we at CAPA are committed to finding opportunities for this supported learning throughout each experience, no matter how minute, as a whole. The goal throughout each step of this journey is for students to return home happy, healthy, and with the fulfillment of a deep feeling of personal growth.
Preparedness and Professional Support
The health and safety of students studying abroad on CAPA program is of the utmost importance to us and is a top priority across all locations where our students study. CAPA maintains a comprehensive health and safety plan in order to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for students. This plan includes specific guidelines for dealing with emergencies such as student assault, suicide, serious accident or emotional issues as well as large scale crises such as natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Teams are in place to lead the plan, to locate all students to confirm their whereabouts and safety and provide them information, instructions and advice, and to keep home campus informed at all times. CAPA’s relationships with tour operators, housing providers and other third party providers in each program site ensure it will be possible to relocate students should such a need occur.
CAPA has retained the services of docleaf for professional support. docleaf has 15 years of experience providing strategic crisis management, communication support and psychological intervention. They have worked with CAPA to create a full crisis response plan specific to our organization, and are on call 24/7 to provide staff with support for dealing with any student emergency or large scale crisis.
Please see www.docleaf.com for further information on docleaf.
24–Hour Emergency Contact
Each CAPA program has a dedicated emergency mobile phone, which is manned by a trained CAPA staff member 24/7. Students are given instructions to call the emergency mobile any time they feel that they are in distress and require urgent CAPA assistance. A US-based emergency mobile phone is also covered 24/7 by a trained member of the Boston staff, which gives parents and universities an easy way to reach CAPA in urgent situations, particularly on weekends or outside of normal business hours.
Within the first few days of arrival in-country, all CAPA students are provided with a full program orientation, which includes a section on health and safety specific to their program location. Students are informed how to contact CAPA in the case of an emergency, given an emergency card and asked to put the CAPA 24-hour emergency number into their mobile phones.
Students are also advised to contact their parents, guardians, or emergency contacts as soon as possible should there be any serious incident within the country they are studying. This is the case even if the student or their host city is not directly affected. Students are reminded that US news can amplify situations abroad and frequent contact with home is that much more important during those times.
CAPA is registered with the U.S. Embassy and is on the State Department’s advisory list to receive regular updated on security issues abroad. Updates pertaining to our program locations or potential travel areas are always communicated to students. CAPA also keeps home campuses up-to-date on the welfare of their students and keeps the campuses informed of any serious issues that arise while students are abroad.
CAPA provides insurance for each student, including health, travel and accident coverage; emergency evacuation and repatriation; basic accident; sickness; trip cancellation; trip delay; trip interruption; and baggage loss. Additional coverage is also made available to participants prior to departure.
Advice for Participants and their Families
CAPA has the following recommendations for students and their emergency contacts:
- Students should keep in touch with their families and emergency contacts throughout their time abroad.
- Students should ensure that their parents and/or emergency contacts have their accurate and up-to-date local contact information at all times.
- Students should immediately notify their emergency contacts in the event of any emergency, accident, serious health problem, or other serious mishap.
- Students are required to notify the Resident Director in the event of any health condition that lasts longer than a day or two.
Communication between CAPA and our student’s home institutions is considered “internal communication” in regards to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). CAPA has the right and the duty to communicate all relevant information concerning a student’s health and safety, academic progress, behavior, etc. to appropriate officers at the student’s home institution on a need-to-know basis.
It is important to note that the U.S. Department of State Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management will generally not release information about specific individuals to CAPA or to other third parties.
The U.S. State Department website includes the following statement: “Families in the United States whose U.S. Citizen relatives abroad are directly affected by a crisis can communicate with the Department of State through our Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (202) 647-5225."
CAPA provides travel insurance for all students and visiting faculty who are traveling abroad.
All students on CAPA programs are covered under CAPA’s international world student health insurance policy which will cover up to $100,000 in medical expenses, up to $500 for lost baggage, up to $3,000 for trip interruption, and coverage for accidental death or dismemberment and emergency evacuation. All enrolled students will be provided with detailed policy details and instructions on how to file a claim. Please contact the CAPA Student Services Line at 1-800-793-0334 for any questions concerning student insurance coverage while abroad.
You will receive an electronic insurance brochure outlining your coverage in your Program specific pre-departure website that includes International Student Insurance (under which you are covered). The medical claim form is within the insurance brochure, should you need it.
Healthcare abroad and health insurance coverage during your time abroad can be one of the most confusing aspects of preparing for your travels. Healthcare and insurance do function differently while you’re overseas. We’ve tried to answer some of the questions you might have so that you can manage your own health appropriately abroad!
CAPA’s International Student Insurance Policy insures you. Be sure to bring a copy of the policy and claim form with you. If you plan to travel independently prior to or after official program dates, you should obtain additional insurance coverage for that period as International Student Insurance will only cover you for the program dates.
When reading through the coverage provided under this policy, be sure to note whether or not it covers your own independent needs – specifically regarding pre-existing medical conditions that may require more frequent care. Pre-existing conditions can be nominally covered under this insurance, and students with pre-existing conditions who anticipate needing care whilst overseas will want to consider exploring alternative options for additiona coverage. You may require additional insurance coverage in this instance. Your total coverage is up to $100,000 per medical claim during the length of the program.
How does my health insurance work while I am abroad?
CAPA International Student Insurance will reimburse you for medical care up to $100,000 in cost, for care that included under the plan, but it is important to note that you will have to pay out of pocket up front for these costs. Be sure to hold onto ANY receipts in order to more easily reclaim the money spent once you have returned to the United States. Keep ALL receipts! You are responsible for filing your own claim directly with the insurance provider within 30 days of the end of your program. If you have another insurance policy that is covering you this time, you will need to present a letter that the policy will not cover medical costs in order for our insurance policy to reimburse you for this. The International Student Insurance is considered secondary insurance in an event in which the student has another policy.
If I am sick, can I go to the doctor or is there an easier and quicker place to get treatment?
You can go to the Hospital to receive care and treatment! Also, keep in mind that for mild illnesses, particularly in Europe, pharmacists are as equipped at diagnosing and prescribing medications as doctors in the United States. This method is quicker and less expensive and generally recommended for non-serious illnesses.
Why don't I have a health insurance card?
Your health insurance works to reimburse you for your costs, it does not cover them up front. Therefore, hospitals abroad do not need a record of your health insurance as they will be billing you directly.
How can I plan to make sure I can pay out of pocket in the case of an emergency?
Try to keep some money aside for an emergency and also you can keep a credit card with a higher balance that you can use for an emergency as well. Although basic costs for treatment range far lower than in the US, it’s better to prepare for the unexpected.
Is there anything for which I am not covered?
It is important that you read the International Student Insurance brochure for the exact coverage and exclusions before departing. It is also advised to print the policy our and bring it with you overseas or keep an electronic copy in your email for reference. The insurance does not cover you while in a motor vehicle).