Health & Safety

Arcos Learning Abroad prides itself in providing a safe and supervised program environment for our students. Our onsite directors and staff are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If medical attention is needed while abroad, our onsite staff will accompany you to an appropriate facility. We only choose program locations that we deem safe for our students. However, even in the best of circumstances situations can arise that compromise the health and safety of our students. For that reason we have the following preparations and plans in place.

Risk Management

  • Our onsite staff is trained in how to handle any type of problem that may arise during your study abroad experience.

  • We continually monitor and analyze any information available that may affect our program locations.

  • We are in constant contact with the onsite program directors. Our local staff are the eyes and ears of the program!

  • Our onsite staff give a program orientation for all students upon arrival about the health and safety of the program location.

  • We keep the Country Handbooks updated with relevant health and safety information.

  • We recommend students register with their embassy prior to departure.

  • We communicate with our students any concerns of which they should be aware.

  • We adjust the activities to avoid any potential problems that may affect the program adversely.

Travel Warnings & Travel Advisories

Arcos Learning Abroad monitors any announcements made by the US State Department. In the event of a Travel Warning or Advisory we email all students, and when we deem it necessary, the student's home institution. There is always constant communication with our students, onsite staff, and the home office!

Natural Disasters & Other Threats

If a natural disaster or any other situation arises that affects the health and safety of our participants our staff is well-versed in contingency plans. As soon as we have information we immediately contact students and when necessary your home university.

Evacuation Plan

Every health or safety threat is unique and we must customize our actions based on the situation. In the event of an emergency that may affect the health and safety of participants, the Arcos Learning Abroad evacuation plan is as follows:

  • The onsite director will account for all of the students to make sure they are safe and accounted for.

  • The onsite staff will provide information and instructions to our students about where to meet or if they are to stay with their homestay, as well as information about what is happening.

  • A plan of communication amongst the onsite staff and participants will be created for the situation.

  • If there is no electricity or internet for communication or phone lines and cell phones are down, each staff member will have a section of homestays to visit.

  • The executive team will be informed.

  • The families and home universities of the participants will be alerted and provided with updated reports by Arcos Learning Abroad. Continued updates will be provided as necessary and available.

  • The onsite director must collect all information possible about the event and provide it to the executive team in order to finalize an action plan.

  • The event will be analyzed and evaluated to determine the severity and thus what steps must be taken. The onsite staff will maintain a running report of the situation.

  • The onsite staff will contact the U.S. Embassy or Consular Agent in the program city (or nearest location).

  • An evacuation plan will be created tailored to the situation.

  • Transportation will be arranged if necessary.

Medical Emergency

If there is a medical emergency while you abroad we will make sure your emergency contact is notified before making any major decisions. You are responsible for paying for medical attention. In most emergency cases the insurance provider will make arrangements to pay the medical facility directly.

Sexual Assault/Sexual Abuse

1. Call the local emergency number (911 for Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina, 112 in Spain).

2. Call the onsite program director.

3. Staff is to ensure the physical health, safety, and emotional support of the victim (they should not bathe or shower in case of rape).

4. Staff accompanies the student to the hospital and requests a Rape Kit and healthcare.

5. Staff to write an incident report within 2 hours of the incident.

6. Staff accompanies the victim in making a police report.

7. Staff supports the victim and arrange on-going professional health and psychological support.


When traveling, you may be more susceptible to theft because you are in unknown surroundings. If you are robbed your program director will assist you in filing a police report.