Office of Global Citizenship

Safety and Risk Management

Today, there is some inherent risk wherever one travels today. A study published by the Forum on Education Abroad has also shown that the risk of death to students is twice as high on college campuses in the U.S. than it is while studying abroad. Rather than shy away from studying away from Sewanee or ignore risk of being abroad, Sewanee’s approach is to assess and mitigate risk. We have carefully screened our approved program providers, and they typically have well-developed safety measures at their program sites. Before students depart for programs, the Office of global citizenship consults with the U.S. State Department’s webpage for travel warnings for locales. In addition, we are developing a system to provide information about risk and security alerts through an app on students’ cell phones. Some of our program providers require students to carry cell phones at all times to provide alerts about risks that may arise.

            Below is a set of good practices to observe when abroad in order to protect yourself:

  • Check the U.S. Department of State website for government-sponsored information regarding travel abroad, individual country profiles, travel alerts, travel warnings, and worldwide cautions.
  • Register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to provide the Department of State with information that can be used to better assist you in the case of an emergency.
  • Avoid hanging out in crowded places and tourist areas where pickpockets may operate and that may be sites of attacks.
  • Do not participate in political events as they may turn violent or anti-U.S.  Observe from a distance or in the news.
  • Avoid dangerous and poorly lit areas, especially at night. When traveling at night, walk in pairs or small groups.
  • Try to defuse altercations and avoid getting into heated arguments.
  • Take any immediate actions necessary to protect your safety and/or welfare.