CIEE's 2019 Health, Safety, and Security Report

Authored by:
Bill Bull

Bill Bull

CIEE is dedicated to expanding our collective understanding of the actual risks and exposures that our overseas participant report to us. The better we understand the risk environment, the better able we are to design specific and targeted interventions and mitigation strategies to improve student safety and our support response. 

In this blog, I will highlight some of the findings from our third annual report, but am thrilled to also provide you with a link to review the entire document yourself. Sharing this information can help all of us collectively improve our ability to inform all participants of the risks they will encounter. The full report can be found HERE.

This CIEE 2019 Health, Safety and Security Report is a comprehensive analysis of the incidents reported to us during calendar year 2018, as well as a comparison of the past three years of data on the risks, incidents, and trends for the 44,000+ individuals who participated in our overseas programs during that time.

Major findings of the report include:

  • Since 2016, the number of recorded health, safety and security cases has increased by 70%, mostly due to participant growth and changes in reporting practices, not from actual increase in risks. We have noted a dramatic rise in willingness to report, yet also saw that our incident rates stayed roughly the same these past two years. 
  • Only two percent of our students overall reported being victims of crime, and the vast majority of those crimes involved petty theft, followed by non-violent burglary and robbery.
  • Male and female students are victimized at similar rates.
  • Alcohol and walking alone are contributing factors to becoming a crime victim.
  • In contrast to U.S. college environments, sexual assault survivors were less likely to know their assailants. In fact, the offenders were much more likely to be strangers.
  • Crimes were most likely to occur after 10 p.m. with a disproportionate number occurring between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Burglaries, however, were more likely to occur in the late morning/afternoon.
  • The number of emotional distress cases has nearly tripled over the past three years, while the percentage of students reporting incidents has doubled.
  • Emotional Distress was one of the top three health case reasons cited in every single CIEE Region.
  • Yellow Vest demonstrations in France were the most high profile Safety/Security Events in 2018. However, the only impact on CIEE students was some temporary disruptions of classes and movement. No students were harmed.

CIEE's Health, Safety and Security Program will use the identified trends to refine our support practices, develop enhanced training tools for our staff, or add additional resources to support our participants.  We remain firmly committed to working with all of our partners and our schools to increase participant’s understanding of the unique risks associated with studying abroad and to prepare them to manage themselves safely when abroad. 

Enjoy the read and feel free to reach out to the HSS team at CIEE should you have any questions.  

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