Landmark College programs abroad have high standards for student support, and health and safety is our top concern. We are committed to helping students receive the support that they need at any phase of the application and pre-departure processes as well as while on location abroad. The information below may answer some of your questions, but the Office of Experiential Education and our programs’ faculty leaders are always available to address any individual concerns you may have. Please visit our office (Administration 218) or e-mail us to get the conversation started: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health, Safety & Support
The health and safety of our participants is our number one priority.
Staying Healthy Abroad
New foods, jetlag, air travel, and a change in climate can all affect student health while abroad. In addition to the usual coughs and colds, program destinations may present additional health risks related to heat, food, water, or local flora or fauna.
As a part of our program planning process, Landmark College faculty leaders and program administrators complete thorough research into the health risks of each program location and how to mitigate those risks. Students are presented with thorough guidelines and advice for staying healthy.
In case a health issue arises on our programs, leaders have identified local resources in each location, including English-speaking doctors, walk-in clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, and trauma centers. Each program has at least two leaders as well as local program contacts, so a student who needs care will not have to fend for him/herself.
Participants in Landmark College programs abroad are automatically enrolled in health insurance through STA Travel, a highly-regarded travel and insurance provider for international programs.
The insurance policy includes the following coverage:
Luggage delay (after 12 hours) and Trip delay (after 24 hours)
Emergency medical treatment for sickness and injury, including emergency dental treatment, and prescriptions related to this treatment
Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation for medical treatment
Detailed information about the insurance coverage can be found here.
In most cases, students will need to pay for any medical services or treatments up front, then submit a claim for reimbursement to the insurance company. Landmark staff can help guide this process. For this reason, we suggest that each participant bring a credit card for emergencies.
Insurance claim forms can be found at www.gbg.com.
Students who currently see (or have recently seen) a mental health professional are encouraged to talk with their counselor or therapist about their plans to study abroad. We suggest that students consider their strategies for coping with new and different situations and develop a plan for responding to any feelings of destabilization, culture shock, or other issues connected to the student’s mental health history.
We encourage all students to disclose their health and mental health history on Landmark College’s program confirmation forms (see “Forms, Fees, and Deadlines,” left) and to keep lines of communication open while abroad. If necessary, the College may be able to arrange for a student to visit a counselor while abroad, although it is important to note that awareness of and education about mental health conditions vary widely by country.
Academic and Cultural Support
One of the strongest characteristics of Landmark College’s study abroad programs is the high level of student support they offer students. Students participating in a study abroad program may need support for academic work, cultural adjustment, homesickness, social relationships, executive function, or a variety of other concerns.
Each program includes at least two faculty leaders: an Academic Director, who teaches the coursework, and a Program Director, who coordinates program logistics and planning. Some of the ways these leaders support students are through:
Regular “office” hours for academic support
Frequent reflection sessions with the whole group
Availability to advise students one-on-one
Intercultural expertise and experience living abroad
Support for health concerns
For any questions about student health, safety, and support on Landmark College study abroad programs, please e-mail email@example.com or the individual program faculty.
LGBTA Students Abroad
Levels of awareness and acceptance of homosexuality vary widely across cultures. If you identify as an LGBTA student, you may have many questions about studying abroad, including concerns about safety.
Depending on the location, students may find their host country has very progressive ideologies and LGBTA students may feel very comfortable being open about their identities. In other locations, students may find that homosexuality is highly taboo or even illegal.
Landmark College program leaders and others in the U.S. can help students understand the culture and laws of the country they plan to visit. We encourage students to share any concerns or questions they may have about studying abroad.
The following resources may be useful:
Information for Female Travelers
Women’s roles, and cultural attitudes towards women, are also varied around the world. Religion, history, and cultural values can all contribute to gender roles and relationships that might be different from those in the United States.
Female students traveling or studying abroad may be surprised (pleasantly or unpleasantly) to observe and experience different expectations and attitudes towards women in the country they visit. In some places, feminism and gender equality may be commonplace in government, the workplace, and the home. Unfortunately, in some locations female travelers may experience catcalling and stares while out in public, and such things as smiling or making eye contact may be interpreted differently than they would be here. Observing these differences can be eye-opening, frustrating, and sometimes frightening.
Landmark College study abroad programs are led by experienced faculty, and nearly all programs are led by at least one person who had significant experience living in the destination country. These leaders can answer questions about gender roles and attitudes, and can share their own experiences.
See the following resources for more information:
DiversityAbroad: Women Abroad
Information for Parents and Families
Supporting your student’s experience abroad
Much of the health and safety information listed on this page can be useful as your student prepares to study abroad. We encourage you to take a look at the information and links provided, and to contact us with any questions you may have.
Where can I find details about my student’s program?
Individual program web pages provide comprehensive information about the program course, leaders, and locations. For courses that have run in the past, you can see the complete itinerary and read the program blog. Final details for upcoming programs are posted at least a month before departure.
Program web pages include:
Student Handbook: contains program itineraries, emergency phone numbers, contact information, a suggested packing list, recommended readings, information about housing, and more
Course syllabus: contains course goals, grading information, and a schedule of coursework and assignments
Travel information: flight details and meeting times
How much unstructured free time will my student have while abroad?
The amount of free time, and restrictions given to students during that time, vary per program. We encourage you to get in touch with us to learn more about what guidance is given to students for free time.
We realize that students occasionally make short-term, individual travel plans during a program. If so, they are required to provide their itinerary and contact information for the place(s) they will be staying to the Program Director. We strongly recommend that students also inform their families of any individual plans.
How will I be in contact with my student while they are abroad?
On most programs, students will have frequent, but not constant, internet access, and you can be in touch by e-mail, on social media, or through communication apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, or Google Duo. However, we strongly encourage students to consider how closely they want to be in touch with family and friends back home. We encourage students to unplug as much as possible in order to focus on the intercultural and academic aspects of their program. Parents and families will be given emergency contact numbers for program leaders and can also contact Landmark College in an emergency. We suggest that you talk to your student ahead of time to establish reasonable expectations for communication.
Program blogs, maintained by faculty with input from students, are a great way to keep up with program activities. Please take a look at the various program blogs here.
Preparing to study abroad
As your program approaches, you will receive additional information about the program flights, itinerary, and any other requirements specific to your program. Please remember to read these very carefully!
Spend some time thinking about what you want to get out of your program abroad, both personally and academically. Starting a travel journal (physical or digital) can be a good way to record these ideas.
If you currently see a mental health counselor or therapist, please discuss your plans to study abroad with them. Now is a great time to talk about how you think you might cope with new and unfamiliar situations while you’re abroad.
Finally, you to learn as much as you can about your destination:
Set up alerts on your phone for news stories about the country
Read books, or watch movies or TV shows about the destination (the College’s library staff will be happy to help you find them!)
Check out Google Maps street view for the location, if possible
Look at photos online, or search for blogs by other travelers