CIEE Process for Evaluating Location Safety

Authored By:

Bill Bull

In light of global tensions related to the Israel-Hamas war, we want to share an overview of how CIEE evaluates location safety, and what stakeholders can expect from CIEE if any changes to current or upcoming programs become necessary due to concerns for student safety or our ability to provide a program free from academic disruption. CIEE has a long history of preparing for and responding to world events as they unfold, whether they be natural disasters, social unrest, or disease outbreaks. At all times, student safety is our absolute number one priority. 

Our analysis suggests that at present there are no imminent specific threats to the safety of students in any of our CIEE locations and no barriers to the continued safe operations of our programs. We remain concerned about protests and demonstrations and continue to monitor all locations should conditions change.

Our assessment includes information from all available intelligence, including local staff, our intelligence providers, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), and cross-reference with our partner health and safety professionals in academia. CIEE staff is in regular contact with the U.S. Department of State.

Given the current increase in protests in so many cities, we have communicated with all students on CIEE programs, advising them how to exercise caution to best ensure their safety. They were reminded to, among other things, stay informed about local news, follow local authorities’ instructions, and avoid protests and demonstrations.

Students have emergency contact information for CIEE staff members, who are available at all times, and each CIEE Center has tested emergency plans and protocols to ensure responsiveness in the event that emergency action is needed. 

Our internal alert system includes the ability to contact students quickly through combined text, phone, and email blasts. We also advise students to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to ensure they receive the latest information about security issues from the U.S. Embassy.

As events unfold, if we find circumstances jeopardizing the safety of our students at any CIEE location, we will promptly keep participants and advisors apprised of our contingency plans.

As always, to obtain the latest information on health, safety, and security concerns, we recommend that you:

  • Visit our website Health, Safety & Security | | CIEE for information about how we manage safety and security.
  • Visit our website It is regularly updated with security alerts to help communicate any health and safety updates regarding our students on programs.
  • Sign up for our Health, Safety, and Security updates RSS feed. This web-based news feed will allow you to receive alerts from CIEE about significant events via email, an alert notification on a web browser, and/or a push-notification on your cell phone or other mobile device. Instructions for how to configure your device(s) are located on the alerts page of the CIEE website.