SFS provides adventurous programs that interact with extraordinary and unfamiliar cultural and natural environments to encourage personal growth and learning. Traveling and studying abroad in these new environments offers transformative rewards that we must earn through the associated challenge and risk, and this interaction presents physical and emotional hazards that are a vital element of an SFS experience. Our management of these risks is designed to balance the need to achieve our program and educational goals while preventing injury and illness; all the while understanding it is not possible to ensure absolute safety.
The safety of our students is our constant priority, and proactive risk management is integral to everything we do. Along with robust Safety Systems and a reputation for safe, structured programs, SFS takes care to manage the entire timeline of a student experience; through diligent medical screening, providing students with clear expectations regarding living and health preparations, and educating about environmental and cultural awareness, personal responsibility, and conduct, we can give students the right tools to facilitate the opportunity for success.
An important piece of the safety system is a comprehensive communications strategy. SFS seeks input from a variety of external resources and continually monitors world news, U.S. State Department Warnings, and daily briefs from the Overseas Security Advisory Council. Additionally, every SFS Center has a satellite phone, cell phones, land lines, and Internet access. We have 24-hourcommunication lines, as well as regularly scheduled conference calls with SFS headquarters to monitor the day-to-day situation. Outside of office hours, the safety department is on call 24/7. In the event of an emergency or serious incident, SFS is in contact with parents and sending institutions as the situation necessitates.
In case of emergency, please call SFS directly: 978-741-3544. If during office hours, please ask for the Safety Department. Outside of office hours, the voicemail system will instruct you to press option 2 for student-related emergencies. The call is then forwarded to a staff member.
SFS provides students with emergency medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. If your institution provides additional travel-related insurance, be sure your student is aware of the policy.
To read more about SFS’ risk management systems and to find updates on current events, please review the Health and Safety Section.