As the newest member of the CIEE/AIC team whose home base is on the West Coast, I had the pleasure of beginning my tenure this June with a two week tour of our east coast offices and Detroit where I was able to dive into the current trends and best practices in the world of international internships at the annual Global Internships Conference (GIC).
Though the conference covered various subjects of importance, one of the more eye-opening sessions for me was a pre-conference workshop titled International Health, Safety, & Security 101: Basic Training presented by Colin McElroy and Bill Bull of CIEE. As a veteran to student health and safety, I went into this session thinking I would have a handle on most of these issues. I quickly realized that much of what I knew was based on experience rather than standards per say. Luckily, much of this matched up in my case but it was great to learn more about the established best practices and where to learn more. A few key takeaways included:
- The Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad is our industry standard for health and safety. Not only this, but these are the standards recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and the standards that must be met in legal scenarios
- A helpful cycle to consider when looking at health and safety is: Analysis/Reporting → Risk Assessment → Mitigation → Response (and repeat)
- Risk = threat x vulnerability / Impact vs probability
- It is important to differentiate between real vs perceived emergencies
- We always need to consider duty of care
- Clearly defined roles and responsibilities between all parties involved is key to success
Thank you to Bill and Colin for walking those of us that were able to attend through this basic training and I hope to continue to learn best practices as my tenure with CIEE/AIC grows.