Health, Safety & Security

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The CIEE Philosophy

Tens of thousands of students study abroad without incident each year. However, we are keenly aware that life is unpredictable and that it is critically important to prepare for any eventuality. So when our students need assistance, our worldwide team focuses on compassionate, respectful individual support, following protocols and safeguarding others, if needed.

And while the immediate remedy is often focused upon, our service continues into the secondary phase including academic support/continuity, financial implications and institutional communication. We understand the reality of risk and embrace its challenges on behalf of our students, their families and partner institutions. Preparedness plus response equals total care.


Any time we leave home, there is an inherent risk calculation we undertake to determine what is “safe” including the decision including study abroad. At CIEE, we calculate risk using data-driven analyses by experienced global risk management professionals to ensure the safety of all participants and staff.

From best practices in reducing Covid-19 transmission and bystander intervention training to mental health support and site-specific information, our staff’s priority is – and always has been – a primary focus on our students’ wellbeing.


The pandemic that began in early 2020 has affected life around the globe in profound ways, especially study abroad. And yet our mission – to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world – it just as critical as it was at CIEE’s founding in 1947.

As a baseline to operate programs safely, we developed the Health Risk Index (HRI), an relative numeric score to calculate various data points to assess the relative risk of each CIEE country. We also outlined a series of best practices and guidelines for all our sites to follow in academic year 2020-2021. And lastly, all students and staff are required to sign a Covid Code of Conduct which aligns behaviors amongst the CIEE community and to create a safer environment for all.

While the risks associated with travel and Covid-19 will continue in to early 2021, we believe there are meaningful and practical ways to reduce these risks. Indeed, many countries around the world are excelling at containing the virus in ways the U.S. is likely months from achieving.

2019 Health, Safety, and Security Report

To contextualize actual risk to CIEE’s overseas participants, the Health, Safety and Security (HSS) team annually performs a comprehensive analysis of the incidents reported to at our sites.

The 2019 Health, Safety, and Security Report examines incidents reported during calendar year 2018, and provides comparisons to the previous three years of the risks, incidents, and trends for our 44,000+ participants in our overseas programs.

It is from this data our HSS team designs specific and targeted interventions and mitigation strategies to improve both student safety and our support response.

Don't hesitate to give us a call with any questions

24/7 Emergency Support

Our offices in Portland are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, but  we can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-40-STUDY (1-800-407-8839)

Health and Safety Alerts

Active safety and security announcements will be posted here.

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